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Summer Programs

The Davenant House Protestant Wisdom Summer Programs are designed to help train Christian undergraduates, grad students, and seminarians in Christian wisdom so that they can be equipped to lead as servant heroes within the church and their local communities. Students come to live together, work together, eat, pray, and read together, and above all converse together. Each day consists of morning and evening prayer, time allocated for gardening, cooking, or manual labor on the property, communal meals, designated times for quiet reading and study, and seminars for Socratic discussion of key texts. The programs are held at Davenant House, a property located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in upstate South Carolina. 

 

This Summer’s Programs

This summer’s programs, both a 10-day Intensive version and a Five-Week version, will be led by Dr. Alastair Roberts, a popular writer and host of the Mere Fidelity podcast whose work has been featured in many publications online and whose book Heirs Together: A Theology of the Sexes will be released this year from Crossway.

What is Christian wisdom?

It is a gathering of truth in love of God, so as to embody and radiate it to the world. It comes from possessing the principles of reality in the mind, illuminated by the Spirit-filled heart, and for the sake of the knowledge of God and glorifying Him. It makes free men and women capable of prudence and virtuous practice who can lead in their communities as servant heroes.

Wisdom, unlike worldview, cannot be downloaded from a server or acquired from a video course. It requires a retrieval of the lost art of conversation and the cultivation of intellectually rich friendship. This is the vision for Davenant House.

 

On this page

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Core Components

The five elements that characterize Davenant House programs.

The Experience

Program details and our beautiful facility in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Application

Apply online for our 2017 summer programs.

 

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Summer 2017 Schedule

May 22-27, 2017: Residential Intensive Intro to Theological Latin, Pt. I: an immersive course in Latin reading, speaking, and composition for complete beginners

May 31-June 3, 2017: Convivium Irenicum 2017: a gathering of ecclesially-minded scholars, academically-minded pastors, and theologically-interested laypeople

June 6-17, 2017: Intensive Protestant Wisdom Summer Study Program: a ten-day primer in Christian wisdom and faithful citizenship with Dr. Alastair Roberts

June 19-July 21, 2017: Protestant Wisdom Summer Study Program: a five-week primer in Christian wisdom and faithful citizenship with Dr. Alastair Roberts

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Dr. Alastair Roberts is a leading evangelical blogger and writer, and one of the hosts of the Mere Fidelity podcast. He is lecturing in Christian Ethics at London Seminary, and is author of two books forthcoming from Crossway, Heirs Together: A Theology of the Sexes and The Great Deliverance (working title). He blogs at www.alastairadversaria.com and also serves as Editor of the Politics of Scripture section of Political Theology Today.

Bible and Core Dogmatics

Sure, you’ve studied the Bible before, but do you understand the grand narrative of Scripture—creation, fall, redemption, new creation? Do you have a sense for which doctrines are central to Protestant faith and which are peripheral. Gain a firmer grounding in your faith through readings from Martin Luther, John Calvin, Zacharias Ursinus, Al Wolters and Todd Billings.

Principles of Christian Philosophy

Given that God equipped us with the gift of reason and called us to the vocation of knowing the world, how is it that we come to knowledge and what can we know? And how, on the Christian view, can an infinite God relate himself to a finite creation? Explore the answers to these foundational questions through readings from Thomas Aquinas, Richard Hooker, Stephen Clark, and Pierre-Marie Emonet.

A Christian Natural Philosophy

So many conflicts today center on the relationship between the data of faith and the data of empirical science, but few pause to consider the more fundamental questions of a philosophy of nature that should help orient both faith and science in their approach to the physical world. Christians of the past thought deeply about the meaning of the natural world and how best to understand its workings. Discover this older, richer understanding of the cosmos through readings of Richard Hooker, Stephen Clark, E.A. Burtt and C.S. Lewis.

Ethics and the Challenge of Modernity

Nowhere has modernity’s assault on the foundations of a Christian understanding of the world been fiercer than in the realm of ethics, and few Christians have been equipped with the tools to resist this assault. Learn how a Christian philosophy of nature anchors a Christian understanding of moral order through readings of Richard Hooker, C.S. Lewis, and Oliver O’Donovan.

Politics and Faithful Citizenship

As the Religious Right politics that has sustained evangelicalism for three decades has crumbled, Christians are more confused than ever about what their faith means in the public square. Gain new perspective through readings of political theologians of the past and present, including Richard Hooker, Johannes Althusius, John Ruskin, Emil Brunner, and Oliver O’Donovan.

Ultimately, Davenant House is about drawing together the wisdom of the Christian intellectual tradition, the unique beauty of Davenant House’s surrounding geography, and the riches of good conversation between friends. It is the accumulated effect of all these things that, with the aid of the spirit, produces wise Christian citizens who have been transformed by divine grace and will be equipped to serve their local communities.

“The combination of rest, fellowship, work, worship, study, lectures, and discussion were deeply gratifying and beneficial to me at a very personal level, and I should think other people would feel the same way. . . . I have to say I thought the program was beautifully constructed and executed. Thank you for helping provide one of the better experiences of my life.” —David Larson, North Dakota

 

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Full room and board at our beautiful property are provided as part of our summer programs, and we encourage students to be residential for the full experience, although a limited number of commuter students will be accepted. Students must be 18 or older to participate.

This summer we will offer a ten-day intensive program and a more leisurely five-week study program:

The Intensive Protestant Wisdom Summer Study Program (June 6-17)

This program will offer something of an intellectual crash course in how to be an intelligent, faithful and historically-grounded Protestant in the twenty-first century. Featuring readings, lectures, and discussion seminars each day, it will provide an intense but rewarding time of intellectual stimulation, laying a foundation for faithful thinking in each of the five areas outlined above.

The cost for the program is $1,200 for residential students, a payment will include all of their room and board for the period of their stay. Some scholarships are available for students for whom the cost is prohibitive.

The Protestant Wisdom Summer Study Program (June 19-July 21)

This program will offer a slightly more leisurely intellectual crash course in how to be an intelligent, faithful and historically-grounded Protestant in the twenty-first century. In addition to daily readings and discussions, it will also allow ample time for students to get to know one another and their mentors, to develop gardening and landscaping skills in work on the property, and to explore the beautiful surrounding region. Students are also encouraged, in addition to the assigned texts for the course, to develop their own program of supplemental reading to discuss with their mentor, giving them an opportunity to sort through questions they have been wrestling with. You will have plenty of time to read, reflect, and informally discuss together, with only two hours of schedule seminars per day.

The cost for attending the program is $2,000 for residential students, $800 for commuter students. For residential students, their payment will include all of their room and board for the period of their stay. Although we encourage students to be residential for the full experience, a limited number of commuter students will be accepted. Early applicants (by March 17) receive a 20% discount. Some scholarships are available for students for whom the cost is prohibitive. 50% of tuition is payable after your application is accepted and is refundable through May 15; the other 50% is payable on arrival.

 

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Testimonials

“The Davenant House has all the ingredients for a stimulating period of intellectual and spiritual growth: excellent books, stirring conversations, homemade meals, stunning nature vistas, and a commitment to pursue wisdom together through communal work, reasoning, and recreation. I’ve never experienced such a unified curricula, where each week—drawing on Aristotle, Aquinas, Calvin, and post-Reformation theologians—built upon the last and the selected texts incrementally brought us closer to the real, enduring, and solid principles of life in God’s world.” —Jonathan Kuo, California

“The Church, now as always, needs open discussion of important, intellectual issues, as well as active collaboration and fellowship among Christians in advancing the mission of the Church, and the Davenant House is a good effort towards that direction.” —Angie Tang, New York

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