5 Saturday Certificate presented by Emmanuel Bible College in cooperation with Social Research and Education Group

Each of the 5 Saturday workshops in the series are from 9 am to 4 pm.

NEW This year: You Can Also attend this Certificate course online!


We have moved all 5 of the Saturday workshops to the Emmanuel Bible College campus.


Save the Dates!

Thanks to the strong participation from last year,
we're doing another 5 Saturday Certificate!

Jan 11 and 25,
Feb 8 and 22,
March 21

Support in The Midst of Struggle

In John 10:10, Jesus tells a crowd that part of his purpose on earth is to give people “a rich and satisfying life” (NLT). Though many have interpreted Jesus’ words to mean eternal life specifically, elsewhere (e.g., Matt 25) Jesus clearly demonstrates the importance of helping people in the here and now. 


This Certificate course explores how we can do just that: help people experience a rich and satisfying life in the midst of struggle.  We will hear from people with life experience in a number of common and difficult struggles, those who have helped support them, and professionals whose job it is to come alongside and not only help people survive but also thrive in the midst of struggle. 


Supporting people so they can thrive in the midst of struggles requires that we understand their lived experience.  Therefore, we must hear from these people, and we must hear about their experiences.  Though these workshops cover various subjects that are often debated within the church, they are not about positions, stances, or even specific approaches in terms of understanding or responding to an “issue.”  Instead, they are about how to support people who are struggling with a variety of experiences.  They are about supporting people who are struggling with the experience of being human.


Please consider attending this Certificate with us.


Aaron Smith, MTS, MA, PhD (cand.), RP

Consultant, Social Research and Education Group
Adjunct Professor, Counselling, Emmanuel Bible College

See our list of speakers here

Register Here!click here to sign up through our learning portal for the 5 Saturdays

Sponsored by
As a member of the Emmanuel family, you may be eligible for a specially designed program that takes advantage of our collective purchasing power to save money on your personal insurance needs! It can take less than 5 minutes to get quote by calling
You Can Choose From 3 Levels of Learning

NEW!  1. Attend 1 or more of the individual Saturday workshops. 
Select individual workshops that interest you. $125+HST

2. Earn Emmanuel Bible College's Practical Certificate in Social Support.
Requires attending at least 4 of the 5 of the sessions and passing those quizzes and completing those surveys. $625 (current early bird pricing $575)

3. Earn academic credit for the Social Support Skills course and the Certificate.
Requires meeting all Certificate requirements plus writing six academic papers. $1068 tuition

You Can Choose On-Site or Online Location

1. Attend on-site at Emmanuel Bible College campus in Kitchener 
click here for a map to Emmanuel Bible College
Doors open about 8:15 am. Coffee, tea, snacks, and lunch included.

2. Attend through online live streaming. 
click here for computer requirements
Online access opens about 8:15 am. We will host online practice sessions before the first Saturday.

You Can Choose Your Payment Options

1. Pay through PayPal. 
click here to register on our portal
Online registration includes the opportunity to pay conveniently with PayPal.

2. Pay through the Emmanuel Business Office
click here to email business office
Following registration, payment may be made in a lump sum or in installments.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in these workshops do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or perspectives of Emmanuel Bible College. Emmanuel affirms the inherent value of all people and believes in the importance of loving and supporting all persons in the midst of struggle.


  • Struggles in Mental Health

    Sat Jan 11, 2020 - The Mental Health Commission of Canada (2019) states: “One in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem or illness every year. That’s about 7 million of us.” Yet, despite the prevalence of mental health struggles, mental health is a subject that is rarely addressed. Some churches create safe and welcoming climates for all people, but others leave many people, particularly those experiencing mental illness, feeling stigmatized, blamed, and alone.

    By hearing from persons with lived experience with mental illness and those who support those of us who struggle with such experiences, not only will the myths about mental illness be dispelled, but participants will also be encouraged and taught how to come alongside and support those around us.

    Please note that Bell Let’s Talk is an important program addressing mental-health issues. The next Bell Let’s Talk Day is January 29, 2020, only a few weeks after this workshop.

  • Struggles involving Suicide

    Sat Jan 25, 2020 - Suicide has been identified as the ninth most common cause of death in Canada, resulting in more deaths per year than chronic liver disease and cirrhosis of the liver. Despite how common it is, suicide remains a highly stigmatized struggle, particularly in the church. A 2017 study found that while 76% of churchgoers believe suicide is a problem that needs to be addressed in their community, and 80% of Protestant senior pastors believe their church is equipped to intervene when someone is struggling with suicidality, nearly no churchgoers who have lost a close friend or family member to suicide say that church leaders (4%) or church members (4%) were aware of their loved one’s struggles.

    By hearing from someone whose life has been affected by suicide, participants will better understand the lived experience of suicide. Participants will also be better equipped in knowing how to support people who struggle with suicidality and those who have been affected by it.

  • Struggles with Addiction

    Sat Feb 8, 2020 -In 2012, Statistics Canada released data that showed that approximately 21.6% of Canadians will meet the criteria for a substance use disorder during their lifetime. What this means is that in a given year approximately six million people will struggle with addictions to substances such as alcohol, cannabis, and other drugs. As this statistic is nearly eight years old, and some studies suggest the rates of addiction are underreported, it stands to reason that this number is higher. Add to this the reality that addictions come in many forms, not only through the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol but also things like gambling and sexual behaviours, for example, and it becomes clear that far too many people are struggling with addiction.

    By hearing from persons who have struggled with addiction, participants will learn more about what it is like to struggle with addiction. Participants will also hear from those who support persons with addictions, in both professional and personal contexts, and in so doing learn how they likewise can support those around them who may be struggling with addiction.

  • Struggles associated with Abuse

    Sat Feb 22, 2020 - More than a quarter of all reported violent crimes in Canada involve a family member or intimate partner. It is commonly believed that due in part to stigma and safety concerns, many instances go unreported, meaning that the actual number of such instances is higher than what available statistics suggest. The Christian faith does not inoculate against this kind of behaviour or prevent victimhood. Thus, many Christians today experience abuse or are otherwise affected by it.

    Participants in this workshop will hear from people whose lives have been affected by abuse in a number of ways. In learning from these people, participants will better understand the terrifying and isolating experience of domestic violence, neglect, and human trafficking. Participants will also hear from people who support those whose lives have been forever impacted by these acts of violence, and in so doing they will learn how they can better support those in our families, communities, and churches who, perhaps unbeknownst to many around them, have experienced or are experiencing abuse.

  • Struggles related to Sexuality and Gender

    Sat Mar 21, 2020 - In 2014, Statistics Canada released data showing that the overall rate of violence victimization for LGBTQ+ Canadians was more than double that of heterosexual Canadians. This same data showed that bisexual Canadians were almost nine times more likely to be the victims of sexual assault. The Canadian Mental Health Association likewise states that LGBTQ+ people experience higher rates of depression, anxiety, suicidality, self-harm, and substance use than people who identify as heterosexual. Opinions and arguments about sexuality and gender permeate much of the current Church climate. What is often missing, though, is consideration of the experiences of those in the LGBTQ+ community.

    Participants in this workshop will hear from speakers about the harm that, as members of the LGBTQ+ community, they have experienced in religious communities. Participants will also hear about the supports that Christians within the LGBTQ+ community have experienced, the supports that are still needed, and how you too can support those around you who identify as both a Christian and a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

Each of our workshop presenters are people who have experienced various struggles as well as people who have supported those in the midst of struggle.