9:00 am — 4:00 pm
Covenant Reformed Church
Covenant Reformed Church, 265 Albion Rd., Toronto, Ontario, M9W 3P1, Canada
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Course 6:

Reaching out: The Church and the Community


Opportunities to serve with the aging already abound, including the elderly living in our own neighbourhoods and throughout our communities.  The vast majority (90+%) live in their own homes or with their own families; 2/3 of those over 85 live in their own homes or with their families.  85% of those with dementia live in the communities (not in institutions).  Further, loneliness in Canadian seniors is widely recognized as “an epidemic”: “1.4 million elderly Canadians report feeling lonely”, “while 80 years and older say that up to 80 per cent of the time they feel lonely” (here).  This course provides an overview of this situation, a profile of those in our communities, and considers how we might respond.

“The righteous … flourish in the courts of our God.
They still bear fruit in old age;
they are ever full of sap and green,
to declare that the LORD is upright”
(Psalm 92).


Dr. Tom McCormick
Tom McCormick enjoys the interrelationships among several disciplines. He has a BA in philosophy and mathematics, an MA in Bible (Westminster Seminary, Philadelphia), a PhD in Humanities (Linguistics & Philosophy, University of Texas, Arlington), and a PhD in Philosophy (Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto). Tom also integrates praxis with thought, serving as a chaplain at Long Term & Residential Care Homes, teaching ESL, helping coordinate services for immigrants, assisting minority language groups overseas with literacy, development, and Bible translation, while helping to train consultants and literacy workers. He has taught mathematics, linguistics, reading theory, orthography design, philosophy, theology, education, qualitative research methods, and language acquisition. His books include Meditation: a Practical Guide to a Spiritual Discipline; 2 books on Nursing Home Ministry; Theories of Reading in Dialogue; Science, Imagination and God; Towards a Christian Philosophy; The Field and the Spirit; Meditation: a Biblical Study. Tom has been working with those in Long Term Care Nursing Homes for more than 40 years and has taught at both graduate and undergraduate institutions, including conducting workshops both in North America and overseas.


Audit – There will be a $100 fee for auditing the module ($50 for those who ONLY attend the conference).
Certificate Level – There will be a $150 fee for each module or $750 if preregistered for the entire program ($650 for chaplains).
Bachelors/Masters Level – Please contact the Word and Spirit Institute for tuition of Bachelor and Masters courses.
There will an additional cost for the purchase of required reading material.


  • Biblical Foundations of Ministries with the Aging
  • Principles and Practices of Spiritual Care for Seniors (I)
  • Aging, Stages of Human Development, and Spirituality
  • Principles and Practices of Spiritual Care for Seniors (II)
  • Reaching out: Institutional settings; Families and Caregivers for Seniors
  • Reaching out: The Church and the Community; Families and Caregivers for Seniors
  • Cultural, Gender, and Religious Diversity; Global Aging

Please e-mail wsinstitute@outlook.com for more information, to register and/or to receive the course-syllabus


September 15, 2018
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Dr. Tom McCormick and Rev. Matthew VanLuik

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