An 11-week course, exploring life and faith’s biggest questions, has exploded in the UK, and it’s growing in Canada as well.  

The National Director of the Alpha course in Canada, Shaila Visser, shares that, “Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith. It started in the UK as a course that was intended for people who are new to faith. It evolved over many years to become something that is much more geared towards people who would not consider themselves Christians.” 

The course became focused on “non-believers” back in 1993. It took off and has since reached over 20 million people around the world and over a million in Canada.  

Visser says, “There has been an extraordinary response in Canada to Alpha online. If I look back to March 1 (this year), we didn’t have anything called ‘Alpha online’. By March 20 we were training churches on how to run it. I think in Canada we have had over 1,200 courses.” 

Most of the alpha courses that used to take place at coffee shops and churches have switched to Zoom since the pandemic.  

“Anyone can run Alpha, it’s really simple, especially as its online. Now, because geographic boundaries are pulled down, someone you went to University with, or a friend or family member that’s moved away, you can [still] invite them to be a part of your online Alpha.” 


— Jonny Campbell (@jonnycampbell89) June 4, 2020

A survey done in the UK by Christian agency Tearfund found that 25% of adults have tuned in to a religious service since March. This shows an increase of people turning to faith in their country.  

“In the UK we’ve seen a tremendous spike in the number of Alpha’s running and I think that’s starting to happen in Canada. We’re just wondering, what will the fall look like? How can churches best respond to an increasing anxiety and need for young people to have a safe place where they can explore life’s biggest questions, do so in community (which is what Gen Z really wants), and look to see, is there truth here, and does it apply to me?”