Past Events

April 2016 - Dr. Allan Anderson, University of Birmingham, UK for a public lecture on World Christianity and the Pentecostal movement

Dr. Allan Anderson is Professor of Mission and Pentecostal Studies in the Department of Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham, UK.

He has written numerours books, articles and chapters on world Christianity and the Pentecostal movement.

His award winning books include: 

  • An Introduction to Pentecostalism: Global Charismatic Christianity (Cambridge, 2004, 2013) 
  • To the Ends of the Earth: Pentecostalism and the Transformation of World Christianity (Oxford, 2013)

February 2016 - Public Lecture: “Green Jesus: Creation Care, Sabbath, and the First Earth Day” - AJ Swoboda 

A.J. Swoboda (PhD, Univ. of Birmingham, UK) pastors Theophilus church in urban Portland, Oregon and is the founding director of Blessed Earth Northwest, an organization turning the hearts and hands of Jesus’ people to Jesus’ creation. He teaches theology, Bible, and pastoral studies at Fuller and George Fox Evangelical seminaries. As well, A.J. authored A Glorious Dark (Baker) and Introducing Evangelical Ecotheology (Baker Academic), among other books. His website and blog can be found at He is @mrajswoboda on Twitter.

October 2015 - "The Meaning of Sunday: The Practice of Belief in a Secular Age" - Joel Thiessen


Fewer Canadians identify with a religion, believe in a god, or attend weekly religious services than in past decades. What explains higher and lower levels of religiosity? Is secularization a myth or reality? What impact does religiosity or secularity have on a society’s social and civil fabric? Drawing on material from my forthcoming book (November 2015), I turn to interview data with those who attend religious services weekly, those who attend services mainly for religious holidays and rites of passage, and those who do not identify with any religious group and never attend religious services. My central argument is that the “demand” for religion is waning regardless of what religious groups do to their “supply” of religion, and that secularization theory remains a useful way to describe and explain the current and future state of religion in Canada.


Joel Thiessen is Associate Professor of Sociology at Ambrose University in Calgary, Alberta. The focus of his research is religion and culture in Canada, including secularization, religious nones, nominal and regular church attenders, religious and secular socialization, and congregations. He is author of two books, The Sociology of Religion: A Canadian Perspective (co-author with Lorne L. Dawson, Oxford University Press) and The Meaning of Sunday: The Practice of Belief in a Secular Age (McGill-Queen’s University Press), along with a range of articles. For more information see

(March 2014)- Dr. Michael Wilkinson, Professor of Sociology, TWU, "Prayer and the Heart of Religion." Response by Dr. Joshua Kruse, Assistant Professor of Psychology.

(March 2014) - Dr. Janet Epp Buckingham, Associate Professor of Political Studies and History, TWU, "Fighting over God: How Religious Freedom Developed in Canada."

(February 2014) - Dr. Linda Ambrose, Professor of History, Laurentian University, "'You Preach Like a Man.' Bernice Gerard and Gender Equality, 1964-1985."

Bernice Gerard was a local pastor, host of national television program, and Vancouver politician.

 (February 2014) David Di Sabatino and showing of "Fallen Angel: The Outlaw Larry Norman."

About The Film:

If you could combine the onstage magnetism of Mick Jagger, the lyrical brilliance of Bob Dylan and the personal fragility of Brian Wilson, you would only have begun to scratch of the surface of Larry Norman. FALLEN ANGEL: THE OUTLAW LARRY NORMAN recounts the rise of the father of Christian rock music as the rock 'n' roll Billy Graham' of the 1970s through to the height of success as the visionary behind Solid Rock Records before a personal meltdown and subsequent fall from grace exiled him to the margins of the Christian subculture he helped create.

Sponsored by the Religion in Canada Institute

Public Lecture: Dr. Marty Mittelstadt, Professor of Biblical Studies, Evangel University, Springfield,  Missouri -
"Reading Luke-Acts in the Pentecostal Tradition" (May 2013)

  Pentecostals not only took their theological and experiential cue from the Lukan story, but eventually made their mark on the larger Christian community and academy through their biblical theology. Mittelstadt examines the influence of Pentecostal scholars on a range of topics including narrative theology, missiology, healing and exorcism, the role of women in ministry, spiritual formation and other current topics. This lecture is based upon Mittelstadt's research and writing on Luke-Acts.


Sponsored by the Religion in Canada Institute and ACTS Seminaries. 

Summer SeminarMay 2013, Theology & Global Renewal Christianity

Summer Seminar focused on current issues in contemporary Christianity for students, researchers, and ministry leaders.



Dr. Amos Yong is J. Rodman Williams Professor of Theology at Regent University School of Divinity in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and director of their PhD in Renewal Studies program. His graduate education includes degrees in theology, history, and religious studies from Western Evangelical Seminary and Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, and Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, and an undergraduate degree from Bethany University of the Assemblies of God. He has authored or edited two-dozen volumes.

He and his wife, Alma, have three children – Aizaiah (married to Neddy), on the pastoral team at New Life Church in Renton Washington; Alyssa, a junior at Vanguard University (Costa Mesa, California); and Annalisa, a senior in high school in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Michael Wilkinson

Dr. Michael Wilkinson, Trinity Western University 
Dr. Wilkinson is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Religion in Canada Institute, Trinity Western University. He has research and published extensively on Pentecostalism including: The Spirit said Go: Pentecostal Immigrants in Canada and Canadian Pentecostalism: Transition and Transformation.

Lectures, Symposiums and Summits:

Public Lecture with Dr. Amos Yong, May 2013 “Renewing Christian Theology – the Contemporary Task in Global Context”

Pentecostal/charismatic renewal is one of the major factors behind Christianity’s center of gravity shifting from the Euro-American West to the global South in the last few decades. Yet little systematic theological thinking has emerged out of these developments within the global renewal movement. This lecture sketches the context, rational, and methodology for such a theological project, arguing that it has the potential not only to contribute to contemporary pentecostal/charismatic self-understanding but also to renew the task of evangelical theology in general in global context.

Forum on Religion and Politics featuring Dr. Paul Rowe, Dr. Ron Dart, and Bill Blaikie - “Beyond Secularism: a new view of religion and politics.” - December 2012.

Symposium with Dr. Steven Studebaker and Dr. Lee Beach, McMaster Divinity College, McMaster University. November 2012  "Alternative Churches in Canada." 
Dr. Studebaker and Dr. Beach presented the findings from their national study of "emerging" or "missional" churches in Canada (funded by Lily Foundation).

Public Lecture with Dr. Linda Ambrose, Professor of History, Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON,October 2012. "Neither Male nor Female'?: Gender and the History of Canadian Pentecostalism."

October 2012 a public Lecture with Dr. Allan Anderson, Professor of Global Christianity, University of Birmingham, UK and Visiting Scholar, Trinity Western University called "The Transformation of World Christianity in the 20th Century" was hosted by the RCI.

Summer Seminar in Pentecostal Studies August 2012 at Trinity Western University.
The Summer Seminar focused on current issues in Pentecostal studies for students, researchers, and ministry leaders. 
-Dr. Allan Anderson, University of Birmingham, UK 
Dr. Anderson is Professor of Global Pentecostal Studies in the Department of Theology and Religion. He has published extensively on Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity including the books An Introduction to Pentecostalism: Global Charismatic Christianity and Spreading Fires: The Missionary Nature of Early Pentecostalism.
-Dr. Michael Wilkinson, Trinity Western University 
Dr. Wilkinson is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Religion in Canada Institute, Trinity Western University. He has research and published extensively on Pentecostalism including: The Spirit said Go: Pentecostal Immigrants in Canada and Canadian Pentecostalism: Transition and Transformation.

Canadian Society for the Study of Religion Annual Meeting. Panel: “Theoretical and Methodological Issues for Researching Pentecostalism”. Wilfrid Laurier University - May 2012.
Chair: Adam Stewart (University of Waterloo)    
Linda M. Ambrose (Laurentian University)    
"Questions and Quandaries in Exploring Gender History in Canadian Pentecostalism"    
Femi J. Kolapo (University of Guelph)    
"Reverse Theorization and a Different Understanding of  Reverse Mission"
Michael Wilkinson (Trinity Western University)
"Globalization Theory: Making Sense of Structure and Culture in Global Pentecostalism"

Faith and Nursing Symposium. May 2012 - Trinity Western University. For details see this link.

Religion, Culture and Conflict Research Group sponsors the 2012 Mel Smith Lecture
Featuring Bill Blaikie, "Two Social Gospels or One?" February 2012 Trinity Western University.

Symposium: The Charismatic Movement and SecularizationNovember 2011. Trinity Western University.
“Steve Bruce’s ‘God is Dead’ Thesis: Some Introductory Remarks about the Charismatic Movement and Secularization” - Michael Wilkinson, Trinity Western University.
“The Desecularization of Western Christianity: A Case Study and a Preliminary Analysis of the Alleluia Community with a focus on Prayer”- Donald S. Swenson, Mount Royal University.
“Charismatic Renewal and Social Action: The Case of River City Church, Jacksonville” - Peter F. Althouse, Southeastern University.

David Di Sabatino - "Lonnie Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippie Preacher" November 2011. Religion in Canada is hosting David Di Sabatino for a showing of his film  “Lonnie Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippie Preacher.” Despite the stories of spiritual prowess that surround his life, his enduring struggles overwhelmed him. And even though he was the charismatic spark plug igniting the rise of two worldwide denominations (Calvary Chapel & Vineyard), his name has all but been removed from their histories.

RCI's Janet Epp-Buckingham featured on CBC's The House
Hear Dr. Buckingham discuss the proposed Canadian Commission on International Religious Freedom on the 1 October 2011 show.
(See "The Role of Religion in Canadian Foreign Affairs").

Lecture Series and Symposium on the Middle East 
The Religion, Culture, and Conflict Research Group hosted a lecture series on Religion, Culture, and the Middle East Conflict. This dovetailed with a symposium on "Christians and the Middle East Conflict" onMarch 2011.

RCI Member at World Religions Summit 
Janet Epp-Buckingham served as a panelist on Human Rights and Religious Freedom at the World Religions Summit in Winnipeg, MB on June 2010.  Read about the event here.

RCI Members present at American Academy of Religion 2009 Annual Meeting 
Michael Wilkinson and Jens Zimmerman are presenting at the American Academy of Religion meeting held in Montreal, November 2009. Wilkinson presented the paper "Charles W. Chawner and the Missionary Impulse of the Hebden Mission" which examines the impact of the early Canadian Pentecostal movement in Africa. Zimmerman's paper, "Being Human, Becoming Human: Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Christological Humanism" argues for the Christian origins of humanism.

RCI Members present at Western Political Science Association 
RCI members John Dyck and Paul Rowe presented at the Western Political Science Association General Meeting in Vancouver, held from March 2009.  

RCI Launch: The Religion in Canada workshop launched the work of the Religion in Canada Institute. The launch is featured in a Trinity Western University press release and in an article in Canadian Christianity.

The RCI hosted its inaugural workshop February 2008. The sold out all day workshop highlighted three prominent religion experts and Canada Research Chairs; Jens Zimmermann (Trinity Western University), Mark Vessey (University of British Columbia) and Lori Beaman (University of Ottawa) and celebrated the official opening of the Institute in the public sphere. Funding for the workshop came from the Aid to Small Universities program of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Workshop panelists featured the who's who of religious researchers in Canada and included scholars such as Pamela Klassen (University of Toronto), Solange Lefebvre (University of Montreal), Mark McGowan (St. Michael's College, Toronto), Sam Reimer (Atlantic Baptist University), Peter Beyer (University of Ottawa), Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham and Paul Rowe of Trinity Western University.