Autumn 2015‎ > ‎

3. What Are You Doing Here?

Julia de Boer, 1st year MA
I decided to come to ICS for two very important reasons. Firstly, the tight-knit academic community and the chance to learn through conversation and open dialogue. Secondly, the knowledge that at ICS I do not have to separate or conceal my emotional or spiritual responses to the material I study. Rather, it is encouraged! I am a participant in an academic environment that acknowledges my whole self. These factors made it an easy decision, and I am struck, already in my short time here, by the dedication to high-quality scholarship and the deep sense of community which is present.

Hector Acero Ferrer, 1st year PhD
My courses at ICS posed many challenges to my previous ways of thinking, pushing me to to re-evaluate what was truly at stake in my concerns and questioning my premises. What started as an uncomfortable experience became, in fact, the perfect combination of multidisciplinary inquiries about faith, society, and the history of ideas for which I was yearning. That is why I decided to continue my academic journey through the PhD program at ICS!

Jonathon Polce, 1st year MA
I first encountered ICS two years ago as a graduate student at the Toronto School of Theology. At that time, I was looking for a few philosophy classes to buttress my studies in theology and ICS has a great reputation within the TST network. After only one class at ICS, I realized this was one of the most unique graduate environments I have experienced. The environment fosters success and growth in a communal environment, not competition in isolation. When I finished my degree at TST, I had a desire to pursue a degree in philosophy, and I knew there was only one institute in Toronto I wanted to call home.
Mark Novak, 1st year MA
My background (Bachelor of Nursing and MA in Counselling) is slightly different from most other students here, but what attracted me to ICS was a desire to learn and do philosophy from out of a strong Christian stance and worldview. I am currently interested in philosophical and theological anthropology, and how having a clearer understanding of “what it means to be a person” is necessary for proper counselling and ecclesiology, as well as the co-contingency of man and God, and how both need and depend on the other in order to “be” in the world. I am certain that these interests and the research of them will be supported and enhanced by the professors here.

Dean Dettloff, 1st year PhD
Last year, when the thought of PhD work naturally came up, I began to consider other programs. There were interesting courses and fields going on elsewhere, and perhaps, I thought, I needed to diversify my education. The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized I had found a special kind of place at ICS. Where else could I go where profs were willing to not only effectively teach their specialties but also go out for a spontaneous lunch? Where else could Emily and I find a place where we both felt affirmed and comfortable, as individuals and as a couple? True to form again, I applied to only one program, ICS, and I haven't had any second thoughts.

Joonyong Um, 3rd year PhD
ICS has always been a Christian institution with ears and hearts for the “small voices” of marginalised people. I came to ICS with a hope that I could be prepared for serving children from marginal families in Korea through my course studies and under the excellent guidance of faculty. This year I plan to study how they may be emancipated, with insights drawn from the book of Job and works of Paulo Freire.