Seminars and Courses

The following are examples of seminars and courses offered at TWU with content relevant for the study of religion in Canada.


HIST 347 / RELS 377 Religion in the USA

Religious developments in the USA from the beginning of European settlement to today. The relationship between such developments and the political, economic, and social life of the country. The Great Awakenings and the Modernist/Fundamentalist controversy.

HIST 348 / RELS 378 Religion in Canada

Religious developments in Canada from the beginning of European settlement to today. The relationship between such developments and the political, economic, and social life of the country.

HIST 398 / RELS 398 Radical Religion in the 16th to 18th Centuries

Radical Christian movements from the Reformation period to the early Enlightenment: 16th century Anabaptism, German Spiritualism, radical German Pietism and American Pietism, early English Separatism, radical Puritanism, the Levellers, early Baptists, the Philadelphian movement, and the Methodist movement. Class time is divided between lectures and seminar discussion of primary source readings.

HIST 415 Science and Religion from Copernicus to Creation Science

In 1896 Andrew Dickson White published his famous History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, a work that helped establish the belief that science and religion were irreconcilable domains. This course examines the validity of that claim from the Copernican revolution in the 16th century to the rise of the modern Creation Science movement, and aims to place the relationship between science and faith in a mature, historical, scientific, and theological context.

HIST 471 Missions and Imperialism in the Global Context

This seminar based course examines some of the major themes in the history of the West's colonial encounter with non-Western communities and the role played by Christian missions and missionaries in that process. Primary attention is given, not only to the origins of, and complex inter-relationship between, the colonial encounter and the evangelical enterprise, but to the redefinition and reconstruction of Western and non-Western identities which emerged as a result of such interactions.

RELS 271 Western World Religions

An analytical and critical study of the phenomena, the conceptual patterns, and the sacred texts of some of the major Western religions. Each religion is studied as a total perspective for life which is embodied in interpersonal and communal life, in cult, and in ideology.

RELS 272 Eastern World Religions

An analytical and critical study of the phenomena, the conceptual patterns, and the sacred texts of some of the major Eastern religions. Each religion is studied as a total perspective for life which is embodied in interpersonal and communal life, in cult, and in ideology.

RELS 470 Psychology of Religion

An application of the tools of empirical psychology to the study of the development and function of religious experience. An analysis of the role of religious experience in the human personality. Specific religious experiences (e.g. conversion, prayer, glossolalia, miracles) are examined with a view to understanding their function in the normal individual.

RELS 483 / PHIL 483 The Evidential Force of Religious Experience

Examines the place of evidence in religion and assesses the evidential force of religious experience. Such experiences as near-death, visions, conversions, mystical states of consciousness, and other topics that have been the focus of ongoing public attention are discussed.

SOCI 331 / RELS 371 Sociology of Religion

An introduction to the theories and concepts utilized by sociologists to interpret religious behaviour and the organization of religion. 

SOCI 340 Religion and Culture in Canada

This course examines of the role of religious beliefs and practices in Canadian culture from a sociological perspective.  Emphasis is on understanding pluralism, multiculturalism and contemporary religious expression in relation to other social institutions like family, economics, and politics.  Attention is given to cross-cultural comparisons of religions in Canada

SOCI 405 Globalization and Religion

This course is an analysis of the character of religion in relationship to globalization.  Attention is paid to the nature of religion in global society, responses of religions to global change, religious/theological reflections on the various meanings of globalization, and the development of religion as a global culture. 

Graduate Studies

HIST 547 Religion in the USA

Writing in the 1830s Alex de Tocqueville noted the profound influence religion upon the American populace, arguing that ‘there are some who profess Christian dogmas because they believe them and others who do so because they are afraid to look as though they did not believe in them.  So Christianity reigns without obstacles, by universal consent… .’ Even though (or perhaps because?) de Tocqueville was a citizen of France, he was regarded by his contemporaries as one of the most insightful observers of the American character.  At times, his comments continue to ring true, particularly with regard to the centrality of religious faith to the American experience.  While not intended to be exhaustive, this course examines representative episodes in the history of religion in the United States, albeit largely in its Christian (and Protestant) form.

HIST 548 Religion in Canada.

Canada is sometimes regarded as a more secular version of its American neighbor. Henry Alline, the late eighteenth-century Nova Scotian revivalist, would not have agreed, for he believed that while Old and New England were engaged in a 'most inhuman war,' a great redeemer nation was emerging in his corner of British North America. This course examines Canada's rich Christian heritage from the first European encounters with aboriginal peoples to contemporary times, with particular emphasis on the relationship between Christianity and the broad socio-political and intellectual history of the nation.

HIST 661 Christianity in the non-Western World.

During the twentieth century it became clear that the majority of Christians world-wide were not Europeans or North Americans but instead were Latin Americans, Africans and Asians. Some observers interpret this as a major shift in the very nature of Christianity itself but others view it as the renewal of what is essentially a non-western religion. Instead of representing an entirely new development, they see the twentieth century growth of Christianity as a return to the history of Christianity before about 1400 when Europe developed as its dominant heartland.  By means of readings, guest lectures and student seminar presentations, this course seeks to examine aspects of non-Western Christianity including early origins, struggles with Islam, the impact of European imperialism and missions and factors involved in the accelerated growth in many parts of the world since the mid twentieth century.

Graduate School of Theological Studies

HIS 604 - Anabaptist/Mennonite Brethren Studies 

A study of the origins and development of the 16th-century Anabaptist movement, and the emergence and growth of the Mennonite Brethren Church in Russia and North America. The historical survey serves as the foundation from which to examine the cultural, theological forces that have shaped and currently challenge Mennonite Brethren faith and life, theology, worship, ecclesiology and ethics.

HIS 606 - Alliance History and Thought

Alliance movement in its social/cultural context. The continuities and changes are then traced historically as the Alliance developed to the present. In this, an evaluation of Alliance distinctives will form a central theme.

HIS 608 - The Cultural Character of Evangelicalism

By using a combination of sociological, cultural and historical analyses, the course will examine various themes within, and characteristics of, evangelical Protestantism in North America. The course will explore the manner in which evangelicalism has shaped the culture of both Canada and the United States, as well as the way in which evangelical Protestantism as an expression of Christian faith, is a unique reflection of its North American context. The course will be an opportunity for students to use their understanding of the evangelical tradition as a spring-board for their own critical reflection on various aspects of contemporary evangelicalism and its prospects at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

HIS 610 - Baptist History and Thought

A survey of the origins of various Baptist movements, particularly as these relate to the development of Baptist traditions in Canada. The continuities and changes are traced historically, but related to specific cultural challenges. The character, faith and life of Baptists generally is considered in the context of the larger Believers’ Church movement.

HIS 645 - Charismatic Christianity

A historical survey, theological analysis & Biblical critique of the major charismatic movements in Christianity, such as Montanism (2nd C.), Muentzer/Hoffmanite Anabaptism (16th C.), the Irvingites (19th C.) and 20th C. Pentecostalism, Latter Rain Movement, Neo-Pentecostalism, Charismatic Ecumenism, the Vineyard, etc. and their impact on the world-wide missionary movement.

HIS 690 - History of 20th Century Pentecostalism

The course is an attempt to define the impact of the Pentecostal/charismatic movement on world Christianity. The movement will be traced as to its scope and variety in both Pentecostal and non Pentecostal circles, and analyzed in terms of the factors related to its widespread acceptance.

HIS 745 - Christianity in Canada: Retrospect and Prospect

A vital introduction to Canadian history and culture for Christian leaders, the course serves as a springboard for reflection about the prospects of ministry in Canada by tracing the story of Christianity from the beginnings of European settlement through to the present. It explores Christianity’s role in forging the nation, and examines political events and significant cultural and social changes that have, in turn, shaped Christianity in Canada. Significant attention is given to evangelical Protestantism.