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"Tembody God's love in the world, the work of the church requires the ministry and discipleship of all believers."  (from a Song of Faith)



The Oaten Institute equips, empowers and encourages all God's people to minister in the church and in the world.



The Oaten Institute at Five Oaks is a valuable resource providing education for faith formation and leadership development within the United Church of Canada and other denominations.  Rooted in a profound belief in the ministry of all people and in the conviction that the future of the Church rests in a strong and empowered laity, the primary focus of the Oaten Institute is to equip and empower lay leaders for ministry in the Church and for the healing of the world.  The following are the goals of the Oaten Institute:

  • Build on the vision of Bev Oaten, the founding director of Five Oaks, and seek to be as creative and courageous as he was.
  • Be responsive to emerging priorities and needs of the United Church of Canada as we strive to enliven mission, deepen faith and follow the Spirit's leading.
  • Provide learning opportunities for ministry personnel in partnership with Emmanuel College and other partners to strengthen a Canadian perspective in continuing education.
  • Create space for learning to take place on the land at Five Oaks as we seek to live out Five Oaks' mission of "Inspiring connection to Spirit, to Self, to Each Other and to Nature".
  • Encourage partnerships and opportunities that take the work of the Institute to different locations to extend and expand the reach of the mission.
  • Provide space and time for people to discern Christ's call and to recognize and honour the gifts of the Spirit.
  • Live out the vision of Christ's church as outlined in the United Church of Canada's "A Song of Faith".

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1 Bethel Road, RR3 Paris ON, N3L3E3 • T: 519-442-3212 • F: 519-442-3444 • E: hospitality@fiveoaks.on.ca