In this issue:

  • The Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Christian Study Centers
  • An Act of Hospitality: ASC expands
  • Signing Off with a Song

The Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Christian Study Centers

The Consortium of Christian Study Center’s Annual Meeting is one of the highlights of our year. This year Adam and I (2nd and 3rd in the front row) drove to Anselm House in Minneapolis to join the directors and staff of dozens of Christian Study Centers and partner organizations from across the country. This is a time of mutual encouragement, vision casting, and iron sharpening iron. The Consortium of Christian Study Centers is not only the glue that holds more than 30 study centers together across the nation, but it also produces the kind of scholarship which every one of those centers endeavors to achieve. For example, at this Annual Meeting a team of scholars from Baylor University, Anselm House, and Chesterton House presented their findings (thus far) of a 3-year study funded by the John Templeton Foundation measuring the developement of character in college students in various settings. Their preliminary findings indicate that Christian Study Centers are making a vital difference in the formation of young people. We’ll keep you posted on the final results when the study is complete.

If you have not yet subscribed to the Consortium of Christian Study Centers’ newsletter, Periscope, we recommend that you do so by opening the link, reading the July issue, and clicking on the “sign up” button at the bottom. Also, please subscribe to The Raised Hand, a Substack published by the Consortium, consisting of essays on Christianity and higher education written by preeminent Christian scholars like Wilfred McClay, Cherie Harder, and George Marsden.

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Oliver O’Donovan, British Anglican priest and academic, is perhaps the world’s foremost scholar on Moral Ethics. He’s also a charming man with a great sense of humor. It was a pleasure to sit under his tutelage for a couple of days at the Directors Pre-Conference, prior to the Annual Meeting.

If you are new to O’Donovan’s work, you might want to check out these articles at Mars Hill Audio (and if you are not yet subscribed to Mars Hill Audio Journal with Ken Myers, you really ought to consider doing so).

The photo at the right happens to capture a few of the founders of the Consortium of Christian Study Centers in one frame. In the foreground, Drew Trotter, retired Executive Director of the Consortium, speaks to Richard Horner, retired director of the Christian Study Center of Gainesville (University of Florida). Richard introduced me to the study center movement when I was his student in seminary, and Drew guided Alcuin Study Center from its inception.

An Act of Hospitality

I can’t tell you how excited everybody here is about the expansion of the center. We’ve come to think of Alcuin Study Center as a third place—we are neither the University nor the Church, but a place where honest and charitable conversations germane to each (and both) may take place, and neither spiritual seekers nor Christian academics (whether students or faculty) need fear shame nor cancelation.

Some of the best conversations have happened spontaneously during what we call open hours. Students, faculty, and community members come in for a cup of coffee, and inevitably one or more of them have recently attended one of our courses or read an article in one of the many publications laying about the center, and they continue the conversation from the night before or ask a question based on what they are reading. It’s rich.

This construction project is an act of hospitality. While everybody at ASC is quick to invite others into their conversations, sometimes a newcomer just needs a bit of decompression space. By doubling the size of our room, we are providing a more welcoming, less intimidating experience for those who are trying us out for the first time. We are also allowing for a greater number of conversations to take place at once.

Likewise, in the past we have had 30+ participants in a class and the room has been filled. We will now be able to accommodate twice that number. And did I mention the A/C split? Again, a temperate room is an act of hospitality.

Lastly, this new space will allow us to better showcase our growing library.

The garage door will be replaced by French doors opening onto a patio. Hospitality, indeed!

We need just over $6,000 to finish paying for the this third place expansion. Will you help us reach our goal?
Click on the graphic below to give :

Signing Off With A Song

Our fall programming schedule will be posted soon. In the meantime, enjoy this presentation from Dr. Andrew Crow:

Thank you again to all who give time, resources, and energy to the work of Alcuin Study Center. We believe that the Christian Study Center movement is doing vital work for the Kingdom of Christ, and we are grateful to be a part of it.

In Christ, in whom all things hold together,

be kind