Online Quaker Courses – Spring 2018

E&O’s spring semester courses will begin soon! Two courses will be offered: “Introduction to Quakers and Friends’ Ways” and “Quaker Faith and Practice.”

The first registration deadline is April 15 — at which time the online course administration team will begin to determine which courses will run and their respective dates and times.

Late registrants can sometimes be accommodated — so don’t hesitate to contact us — but priority goes to those who register by the deadline!

Introduction to Quakers and Friends’ Ways

How did Quaker faith come to be based on direct experience rather than authority? How can a Quaker community nurture how we live, work, worship, and make decisions? “Introduction to Quakers and Friends’ Ways” is a free online course that explores the origin of Quaker testimonies, such as the traditional peace testimony and testimony of equality, in Canadian Friends’ history and beyond. It also invites participants to deepen their understanding of the role of Monthly Meetings in Quaker life.

Topics include:Picture of pews

  • Experiencing the Spirit;
  • Early Friends in Canada and the world;
  • Quaker decision-making;
  • Living the Spiritual community.

New attenders as well as experienced Friends will find opportunities to grow in this course, which meets online once per week for 6 weeks starting in late-April/early May.

Register for the Introduction to Quaker and Friends’ Ways course

Quaker Faith and Practice

Would you like to share and learn about the varieties of ways people “do” Quakerism? Do you wonder how Friends know when to speak during worship? “Quaker Faith and Practice” is another free course starting in late April/early May. This course will explore some of the many ways that Quakers worship in expectant silence, listen spiritually to build peaceful communities, read and write spiritual journals, and make business decisions in large and small groups by “coming to unity” in the “sense of the Meeting.”

The course will explore themes like the following:

  • That of God in everyone
  • No end to divine revelation
  • What is Heaven on Earth?
  • Quaker Mysticism

This group will also meet online once per week for 7 weeks, use queries to nurture spiritual growth, and explore the foundational book Faith and Practice of the Canadian Yearly Meeting. This book documents the spiritual insights of Canadian Quakers past and present, as well as including text from other times and places such as the historical “Advices and Queries.”

Register for the Quaker Faith and Practice course

When do these courses run?

Introduction to Quaker and Friends’ Ways
May – June 2018 (day and time determined through registration process)

Quaker Faith and Practice
May – June 2018 (day and time determined through registration process)

Registrants will assist Education and Outreach Committee with determining the exact dates and times that these courses will run by completing the online registration form.

*Multiple courses may be offered if registration number warrant. The scheduling of any additional courses will accommodate as many people as possible. Are you considering signing up? Do you need more information? Contact the organizing committee for more information.

How do the courses work?

A short reading will be provided before each session. The weekly online sessions will use video or audio conference, depending on the technology available to those who sign up, and will include worship, exercises, reflections on readings, and opportunities to apply the learning to our own lives. You can see examples of previous course materials here:

Introduction to Quakers and Friends Ways Learning Resource
Quaker Faith and Practice Learning Resource

The courses are offered by Canadian Yearly Meeting’s Education and Outreach Committee. You can contact the organizing committee for more information.

Both courses are free of charge

However, we warmly welcome any donations you are able to give, to support future courses and other work of Canadian Yearly Meeting. You can donate online, by mail, or by phone.


David Summerhays, an experienced facilitator from Montreal Monthly Meeting, will lead one course, or multiple sessions of the same course. Previous participants have said:

  • “David did a beautiful job of modelling the Quaker way and managing deep sharing.”
  • “David was able to move us along, without me feeling hurried. He asked open-ended questions, which moved the discussion to the most interesting places.”
  • “He managed time and turn-taking smoothly and held a great balance between keeping to the outline of that day’s material and allowing time for discussion that arose.”
  • “David was also very conscious of assisting those having technical/language difficulties.”

Arwen Brenneman, an experienced facilitator from Vancouver Monthly Meeting, will lead one course. Previous participants have said:

  • “Arwen did a helpful, insightful, sensitive job!”
  • “She was attentive to the needs of the group and individuals and very respectful of differences in opinions and experiences.”
  • “Arwen was awesome. Her experience and values/approach were a perfect fit.”

What are people saying about Canadian Yearly Meeting’s online courses?

They enhance spiritual connection:

  • “The big Ah-Ha’s for me were around understanding what waiting in the Light means for me, and what that sense of being connected to God means for me.”
  • “Reading Faith & Practice was inspiring and it reminded me of the inspiration and insights it contains. I enjoyed the discussions and sharing of the course participants.”
  • “Very meaningful — I’ve still got sooooo much to learn.”

They deepen understanding:

  • “The specific topics we focused on were things that I’d somehow not understood very well even as I found Meeting for Worship sustaining. I think I understand better now.”
  • The course “was very meaningful to me. I have been circling the Quakers for a few years now and it helped me decide that it’s right for me.”
  • “As someone who is new to Quakerism, I found the outline very informative. I appreciated the conversation with others, as it prompted a wider perspective of the topic under discussion and also allowed me to see some of the variety of the Quaker culture beyond the Meeting I have been attending. My Meeting was interested in my experience of the course.”
  • “It provided the information on Quaker ways it was presumably designed to, and also provided opportunities to interact with participants in Quaker ways. Both functions are of good intellectual, emotional and spiritual value in my quest to learn.”

They connect community:

  • “The real thing that made this course meaningful was the connection I made with other Friends.”
  • “I greatly enjoyed meeting other Friends from across the country. I liked hearing people’s personal stories and perspectives.”
  • “I had an opportunity to communicate with Friends I did not know, and that was worthwhile.”
  • “I greatly appreciated hearing from other Quakers about their experiences, struggles, joys, and questions. Their contributions led me to reflect on my own journey and the dynamics of my particular meeting. I also now feel like I have a stronger knowledge base in Quaker practice and history, and can more easily explain some Quaker concepts to curious friends and family.”

Contact us with questions or for more info

For more information, contact the organizing team at . We look forward to meeting you!