A Center for the Retrieval of Christian Wisdom

12-Day Summer Program

Protestant Wisdom Foundations Course

This program offers something of an intellectual crash course in how to be an intelligent, faithful and historically-grounded Protestant in the twenty-first century. 

 

July 27-August 7, 2020

Does not wisdom call out?
Does not understanding raise her voice?

Beginning with a grounding in key biblical themes and Protestant doctrines, the program will continue with explorations of the four other core themes described below: Philosophy, Natural Philosophy, Ethics, and Politics. Featuring readings, lectures, and discussion seminars each day, it will provide an intense but rewarding time of intellectual stimulation, laying a foundation for faithful Christian discipleship in the modern world, rooted in the wisdom of the past. Click here to see the full reading list.

The cost for attending the program is just $750 for early applicants, but goes up to $1000 after May 10. This includes all of your room and board for the period of your stay. Although we encourage students to be residential for the full experience, a limited number of commuter students will be accepted. Some scholarships are available for students for whom the cost is prohibitive. 

Tired of Easy Answers to Hard Questions?

Too often, discipleship in our day relies on polemic generalizations, caricatures, and easy answers. This keeps those in its school dependent on being fed superficial talking points, rather than training them to be attentive to the fine-grained complexity of created reality.

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. Wisdom 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.
 

This is the vision for Davenant House.

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 serve and lead 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, lectures, 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.

01.

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.

02.

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.

03.

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.

04.

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.

05.

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.

Dr. Alastair Roberts, a Teaching Fellow of the Theopolis Institute and the Davenant Institute, a leading evangelical blogger and writer, and one of the hosts of the Mere Fidelity podcast. He has lectured in Christian Ethics at London Seminary, and is author of two books from Crossway Echoes of Exodus: Tracing Themes of Redemption through Scripture (2018) and, Heirs Together: A Theology of the Sexes (forthcoming 2020). He blogs at www.alastairadversaria.com.

Alastair was fantastic. He was both magisterial and approachable. He made the work of Theology something much less abstract than had been taught to me before.

Being instructed in Theology as a discipline by someone who does it professionally…exceeded my expectations.

William Hall

I did not expect that I would enjoy the program as much as I did. The best part was getting to know the other people. I made great friends while reading great books and working in the woods. Two weeks of almost constant laughter.

Graham Sommers, Minnesota

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

Early Bird Cost: $750 (until May 10)

After May 10: $1,000

 

 

Dates: July 27-August 7, 2020