Page: Profile: Group
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Formed?: January 2011
New Members OK?: Yes
501* Cert.?: No
Group Id: 37295
Poster Id: 118542
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Avalon College Wiccan Seminary
Age Range/Type: Adult
Located in: Edmonton, Alberta
Key Contact: Samuel Wagar
Spiritual Path: Wicca
Status: Group Forming
Community Support: Teaching Available
Group Overview: Avalon College Wiccan Seminary
This is the second year in a ten year journey toward the establishment of a full-scale Canadian Wiccan seminary / ovulary. We are beginning by offering several courses online and we will be moving as rapidly as possible toward a residential model with a full two year program of Wiccan pastoral studies.
There are three parts to our approach:
1. academic work up to the expected standards of university or college in the secular world but focused on the needs of a Wiccan clergy person ministering to an Outer Court and community of neo-Pagans of various stripes. A large part of the formal class work and discussion can be done as distance education and on-line, although it would be our preference to engage in face to face discussion and work in conjunction with other in-person work.
2. Personal work guided by a mentor. Some valuable work can be done solitary but our understanding is that "you cannot be a Witch alone" and that some significant spiritual experiences require one on one and small group work - in particular guided meditations, Drawing Down and other possession and inspiration trance and counselling skills.
3. Outer Court group work in the community. Ministry cannot be taught in the abstract - it must be learned through the doing. Students will be required to undertake significant public work as assistants of established clergy: co-writing and leading rituals, doing chaplaincy visitation, counselling under supervision, practical Temple governance work, scheduling and booking space, assisting in teaching religious education courses, assisting in public rituals like weddings, funerals and baby-naming ceremonies, participating in Temple committees.
Potential full-time students must be legal adults and must signify in writing that they agree with our statement of beliefs and our ethics statement .
Although there are numerous more-or-less compatible religious paths which all call themselves Wiccan we restrict our teaching to those that we agree with theologically and organizationally. We will refer to the others, we may include writings and ideas from them, but we will not teach them. We also do not offer Initiation into a specific Tradition.
Although the founders of the College are in substantial agreement with the Congregationalist Wiccan Association of British Columbia and its sister churches, the College is not formally affiliated with any church and membership and involvement in a church is not a prerequisite to enrolment in the College.
In addition to the statements of beliefs and ethics, which are required for all students and teachers, full-time students will be required to send an autobiographical letter detailing why they wish to follow a path of public Wiccan ministry, letters of reference from at least two Elders in their community attesting to their character and dedication. A clean Criminal Records Check will be required of all full-time students at the time of enrolment.
Course Offerings: Academic
In the Fall term workshops will be offered through the CWA of Alberta's Ravenwood Temple.
In the Spring 2013 term, two courses will be offered, both distance education.
Rit 101: Introduction to Ritual Theory. This will be a reading course meeting for discussion every two weeks. There will be one primary text and some supplemental reading will be assigned and participation in discussion will be required. Students will be given a series of exercises to perform privately and required to write short reports on their performance and experience of them, and an essay will be assigned.
Theology 101: Introduction to Philosophy of Religion. This will be a reading course meeting for discussion every two weeks. There will be one primary text and some supplemental reading will be assigned and participation in discussion will be required. Students will be required to write a paper of some substance dealing with a theological problem or issue in modern Wicca, approved by the instructor.
These courses will both begin in February and will be carried out with meetings by Skype. They will be limited to confirmed maximum enrolments of six students per section with a minimum of three. Local students will be welcome to participate in in-person discussions as well.
In the Summer-Fall terms one course will be offered, also by distance education.
Rit 601: Graduate Seminar on Ritual Theory. This will be a revised version of the seminar from 2011 and will involve reading and discussion at an advanced level. This challenging seminar will involve reading one book every two weeks (14 books in total) and discussing it, writing three short book reviews and an original paper on some aspect of ritual applying these theoretical models to some real-world problem or idea. Participation in discussion is required. There are no pre-requisites but it is highly recommended that students have a background in ritual and some background in theory. Some post-secondary education would also be helpful. The course will be limited to confirmed maximum enrolments of six students with a minimum of two. This course will begin in June 2013.
Academic courses will have fees of $200 each for the general public, $100 for members of CWABC and CWAA. The College is not formally affiliated with either CWABC or CWAA.
Course Offerings: Personal work
This option will be open to students that live in the Edmonton area and can commit to bi-weekly meetings with a mentor. It is available by mutual interview and agreement between mentor and student and these arrangements must be approved by the Dean.
Course Offerings: Ministry Training
This option will be open to students can commit to ongoing regular involvement in clergy training through one of our partner congregations. Preference will be given to students that live in the Edmonton area but supervisory arrangements in other areas, backed up by supervision from our Dean or other faculty, could be worked out as well.
It is our intention to offer all three streams of clergy training as rapidly as possible and we are prepared to undertake all three at present for a few students. Our expectation is that by 2015 we will have a mixture of residential and non-residential students and that by 2021 we will be a residential seminary offering distance education courses but requiring residence for our certification.
The founding Dean of the College, Samuel Wagar, holds an MA in History from Simon Fraser University, has a number of academic publications to his credit and has been a Wiccan HP (3rd degree) since 1985. He is a founder of the national and BC CWA churches and of the Gathering for Life on Earth religious retreat and John McClure Community School. In addition he has served on the provincial Board of the BC Green Party and several constituency associations of the NDP, and in other non-profit organizations.
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