Learning Resources

This is part of an evolving web presence for the Education Program of Canadian Quakers. Over time, Friends will have access here to a variety of resources.

The Education Program is administered by the Canadian Yearly Meeting Education and Outreach Committee, which can be reached at

Introduction to Quakers and Friends Ways

Introduction to Quakers and Friends Ways

jeffThis six session learning resource will build community among the participants to deepen our understanding of Quaker worship. The course facilitator, David Summerhays, will support an exploration of the early history of Friends, the history of Friends in Canada, Quaker testimonies and their origin, and how our Quaker community nurtures how we live, work, worship, and transact business. This course was previously offered in 2012, 2015 and 2016.

Although created to meet the needs of more recent attenders seeking to learn more about Quakerism, we believe that even longstanding members could benefit from this course.We welcome inquiries from anyone who would like to learn more about Quaker ways, with priority given to Canadian Yearly Meeting Members and Attenders.

Participants will meet once a week for six weeks using either video conferencing or audio conferencing technology. Don’t worry if you are unfamiliar with conferencing technology, the facilitator and the Education and Outreach Committee are committed to making participation in the course as easy as possible for everyone.

The 6 sessions will focus on:

  • Introduction(s) and Building the Course Community
  • Experiencing the Spirit – Worship and Ministry in our Community
  • Early Friends – History (including Canadian) – What are our roots?
  • Testimonies – Faith in Action
  • The Meeting Community – Business
  • The Meeting Community – Living the Spiritual Community

Participants will be asked to do a short reading before each of the sessions. These readings can be accessed below this text.

The course will include worship, active exercises, reflections from readings, and the application to one’s own life of what is learned.

The course is free of charge, and donations to Canadian Yearly Meeting are of course welcome. For information concerning the dates of the course and how to register, email

Uh oh, Was That a Leading?

This is an on-line course developed by David Summerhays for Canadian Yearly Meeting which can also be used by face-to-face meetings. The course contains 5 or 6 two hour sessions including:

  • Exploration of the concept of “leadings”
  • Readings and discussion on how early Friends and Friends throughout history have understood “leadings”
  • Jokes
  • Discernment of what is and what is not a “leading”
  • Practice explaining Quakerism to newcomers
  • Exploration of what participants learned in the course

There are readings for each session. The full course descriptions, readings and resource materials and facilitator guides are available here.  The course includes worship, storytelling, reflections from readings, and the application to one’s own life of what is learned.

Study of Canadian Yearly Meeting's Faith and Practice

Published in 2011, Faith and Practice is a collection of writings and quotes selected by Canadian Friends to serve as a living reference of our values, witness, and tradition.

This course was developed by Majory Reitsma-Street and Gale Wills as a tool to explore and study Faith and Practice. It was first used in Vancouver Island Monthly Meeting.

It is available as an online course and a self-study course, which you can access below:

Being Peace, Being Quaker – Walking Through Conflict Together

Friends’ testimonies, discipline, and instruction in faith and practice focus on the positive value of good relationships among us. However, conflicts do arise from time to time, and we hope that Friends will seek to be faithful in addressing these conflicts and walking through them together.

The resources below have been developed or collected for Canadian Yearly Meeting, and are offered with the hope that Friends will find them useful:

Conflict Resource Overview

The Gift of Lived Experience

List of Needs

List of Feelings

Conflict and Struggle in Meetings– a one-session study guide (Part 5 of the ‘Friends Ways’ Curriculum. Guidelines and the first 4 units.

Justice is Possible – CYM Minute 79, August 2010

Extract from Australian Quaker Practice and Procedure Handbook

Dealing with Conflicts in our Meetings – Article Rob Hughes, Vancouver MM

Conflict Resolution Guidelines Vancouver MM

Quakers and Conflict – an oxymoron

CYM Conflict Guidelines For Committees

Being Peace, Being Quaker

6 Sessions on ‘Being in Conflict’

This guide for a 6-part learning session is offered as part of the Canadian Yearly Meeting resources for individual and Meetings in conflict. It is based on Quaker Process and the Non-Violent Communication (NVC) approach developed by Marshall Rosenberg.

Session 1:
 Welcome and Introduction – A practical, life-affirming approach to being peace, being Quaker
(Introduction of the NVC model/approach, and linking with Quaker Faith and Practice)

Session 2: 
Being Peace Being Quaker – Peace within myself; – understanding my needs, exploring, inquiring to find them behind feelings and thoughts – practicing self-empathy, distinguishing between needs and strategie

Session 3: 
Speaking Peace, Speaking Quaker – Peace with another; – Listening to hear, understand and acknowledge others’ needs; expressing empathy; listening where there’s hurt

Session 4:
 Speaking Peace, Speaking Quaker – Peace with another; – speaking truth without judgment, seeing the unmet needs behind thoughts and expressions of judgment, making requests (not demands) of others

Session 5:
 Living Peace, Living Quaker – Answering that of God – in self and in others, – the power of empathy, sustaining a practice of Spirit-led, peace-full communication

Session 6: 
Living Peace, Living Quaker – Peace where others are in conflict,
or there is a difficult question without resolution – What would Love have us do? How do we support others in listening, in speaking truth with compassion? How do we contribute to moving through conflict in the Blessed Community?

For more information, contact

Learning at CYM in Session

tomfindleyCanadian Quakers gather annually for CYM in Session, where there are many opportunities for learning (more information on the coming year’s program).

  • Pre-gathering Retreats, sometimes silent retreats, sometimes on specific topics
  • Welcoming and Gathering activities that involve learning more about our community and who we are as Friends
  • The Sunderland P Gardiner Lecture – wisdom from seasoned Friends on how Spirit has moved in their lives. For the audio and video of some of the lectures, go to
  • Quaker or Bible Study (Alternating Years) 4 or 5 sessions on specific topics of interest to Friends. For audios of some of these Study sessions, click here.
  • Workshops such as – Welcoming first-timers, Leading worship-sharing or worship-study groups, the role of Listener at CYM in session, training for those working with youth
  • Special Interest Groups (SIGs) offered by a number of Friends or Committees. Past SIGS have included: Sharing on Service Projects, ‘Being in’ Conflict, Writing, Collage, Playshops, Visitation, Clerking Meeting for Worship for Business. Friends may apply to present a SIG, and time is allotted as available
  • Age appropriate, engaging learning and play activities for children and youth
  • Sometimes we learn just by being in the presence of our elders.
Quaker Youth Pilgrimage

Correspondence from Blythe Davenport <>, May 2017:

Due to budget and staffing issues, the Quaker Youth Pilgrimage is currently on hiatus. This year, our Traveling Ministry Corps will be made up of all young adult Friends. While I know this program is not the same as the Pilgrimage, it is the way we currently can gather young Friends to start to take leadership roles in the Religious Society of Friends. The page is

Blythe Davenport, Coordinator for Communications and Administration
Friends World Committee for Consultation Section of the Americas, 215-241-7251

The Quaker Youth Pilgrimage has been active for over 50 years and is known to be a life transforming and Quaker leadership developing experience. It enables young Friends ages 16–18 to learn about Quaker history and process, develop a stronger relationship with God and experience the diversity of Friends’ traditions and worship while traveling, living and working on a service project together for a month during the summer. Jointly sponsored by the Section of the Americas and the Europe and Middle East Section, the pilgrimage takes place once every two years.The FWCC Quaker Youth Pilgrimage in 2014 took place in Latin America. Learn more at the website.

For more information on the Quaker Youth Pilgrimage, go to FWCC website.

Please contact E&O Grants & Loans Officer for more information.

Grant application form (PDF)
Grant application form (Word)