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July 16, 2015

WATERLOO — Rev. Dr. David Pfrimmer, principal-dean of Waterloo Lutheran Seminary (WLS), is pleased to announce the appointments of four new faculty members.

  • Dr. Olena Darewych has joined the seminary faculty as a full-time Assistant Professor, Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy.
  • Kate Harper has also been appointed as full-time Assistant Professor, Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy.
  • Dr. Mona Tokarek LaFosse has been appointed to the full-time faculty position of Assistant Professor of Christian Scriptures and Sacred Texts.
  • Dr. Daniel Maoz, as part of a one-year pilot project, has been appointed on a part-time basis as the seminary’s first Jewish Scholar in Residence.

“Postsecondary and theological education today is facing many challenges,” says Pfrimmer. “WLS is fortunate to see a growing demand for our programs. We are delighted that we have been able to welcome these very accomplished scholars to our community.

“Each of them will make important contributions to helping our students prepare for their places as global citizens in their communities, and as leaders in churches, non-governmental organizations, and institutions,” he adds.

“As enrolment grows and demand for professional programs continues — alongside greater engagement with academic programs at Laurier and a broadening of the seminary’s public role in the community — WLS needed to add faculty to meet these needs as well as replace some positions left vacant due to retirements.”

Dr. Olena Darewych is a Registered Psychotherapist (RP) in Ontario, Registered Canadian Art Therapist (RCAT), educator and researcher. She completed her PhD in expressive therapies at Lesley University in 2014 and her MA in Marital and Family Therapy, with an emphasis in art therapy psychology, at Notre Dame de Namur University in 1999. She earned a BSc (Honours) in Zoology from the University of Toronto in 1996. Her most recent research explores digital technology as a new creative medium and clinical intervention tool for adults with developmental disabilities.

“As a lecturer, my primary objective is to prepare students to become successful psychotherapists in our global society,” Darewych says. “I plan to integrate creative activities in my courses in order for students to connect with their mind, body and soul and learn clinical interventions and psychological theoretical frameworks in creative ways. 

“As a researcher, I hope to continue investigating imaginative thinking abilities in adults with autism,” she adds.

Kate Harper earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Psychology from York University in Toronto, Ont., Canada, and is currently a PhD candidate on track to defend her dissertation by the end of 2015.

“I study historical and theoretical aspects of psychology, psychoanalysis, and neuroscience,” Harper says. “My current research focuses on ‘theoretical neuroscience’ with an emphasis on neural-network theories from the past in light of new technology and contemporary theory.”

Harper has been teaching at the seminary as an adjunct faculty member since 2009. 

“I have always said that the seminary was my favorite place to teach, primarily because of the small class sizes, the strong community feeling here, the ability to connect both personally and professionally with the students, and the complete support of the faculty and administrative staff,” Harper says. “I feel so very privileged.”

Dr. Mona Tokarek LaFosse says she is very pleased to be part of a faculty that cultivates respect and dialogue in a dynamic and welcoming institution.

“I also look forward to getting to know students and working with the diversity of students whose goals, faith traditions, backgrounds and experiences offer rich opportunities for discussion, dialogue and exploration inside and outside of the classroom,” she adds.

LaFosse earned bachelor’s degrees in Biblical Studies (Columbia Bible College) and Anthropology (University of Waterloo); a master’s degree in Religion and Culture from Wilfirid Laurier University; and a PhD in Religious Studies (University of Toronto).

Her doctoral work focused on how ancient Mediterranean age structure, intergenerational relationships and the life course illuminate social dynamics among women and men in early Christian texts.

“When studying diverse sacred texts, the cultural and social contexts provide points of exploration,” says LaFosse. “The curiosity and dialogue that follow are what make this area of study so dynamic.”

Darewych, Harper and LaFosse have been appointed on two-year renewable, non-tenure-track contracts.

Dr. Daniel Maoz brings a professional Jewish presence to the courses he teaches, and team-teaches, based on published research about the Jew Jesus and the Jewish foreground to the New Testament. He majored in the history of Christianity during his graduate studies and wrote a master’s thesis on Martin Luther’s use of Scripture. In his doctoral dissertation, Maoz analyzed the Greek language in which the New Testament was written.

“I am especially interested in Jewish sacred literature, in particular Jewish ethical writings called Aggadic Midrash,” Maoz says.

“I seek to individualize learning experiences for my students, viewing them as fellow scholars on a never-ending learning curve that is life itself,” he adds. “I am looking forward to being more accessible to students/scholars at the seminary, to learn from them and to share our life stories together.”

More extensive profiles for each new faculty member — including details about their research, interests, and lists of their selected publications — are available by clicking on the hyperlinks in their names or by going to the seminary’s faculty and staff listing webpage.

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Mirko Petricevic, Director
Communications & Public Affairs
Waterloo Lutheran Seminary

T: 519.884.0710 x2162  



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