A Center for the Retrieval of Christian Wisdom

Protestant Wisdom Foundations II

A Protestant Christendom

12 Day Summer Program

July 17 – July 29, 2023

Summer 2023

This program offers something of an intellectual crash course in classical Protestant political theory and how it may serve our own political thought today.

Davenant Hall Students: If you are pursuing the Certificate or M.Litt degree, participation in this residential program is required. It is worth 3 credits, as is PWF I (Only Protestant Wisdom Foundations I is required for Certificate students, Both I and II for M.Litt students). 

Are you burnt out on easy answers, searching for a wisdom that is both biblical and historically grounded? Do you wonder how to read God’s two books of His Word and world?

Join us this summer for one of our Protestant Wisdom Foundations courses at The Davenant House for a deep dive into how to be an intelligent, faithful, and historically-grounded Protestant in the twenty-first century . Students will spend twelve days in the beautiful and restful setting of our Davenant House retreat center in the Carolina Blue Ridge foothills: worshipping together, preparing meals together, reading together, debating together, and learning from our team of gifted teachers. Each day’s schedule will also have time for gardening, quiet reflection, or nature walks in the woods.

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

Protestant Wisdom Foundations II
A Protestant Christendom

Protestantism was once credited with the emergence of individual liberty, constitutional government and the separation of church; today it is often maligned for fostering libertine individualism, revolutionary movements, and the secularization of society. What is the right balance of liberty and authority, and how has Protestantism contributed to this balance over the centuries? How can political power be anchored in the consent of the governed without denying the divine source of all authority? And is there a way to reap the good fruits of Protestantism’s promotion of religious liberty without abandoning public religion altogether?

This two-week residential course will introduce you to the long debate over the relationship of spiritual and political authority, the Reformation’s decisive contributions to this debate, and the rich heritage of Protestant social and political thought. You will be encouraged to attend seriously to the political insights of an older era of Christendom, while also seeking to creatively apply this heritage to the very different context and fresh challenges of our own day.

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. 

The cost for attending the program is just $1200, with some scholarship opportunities available. This includes all of your meals, 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.

Reading List

  • Johannes Althusius, Politica 
  • C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man
  • Brad Littlejohn, The Two Kingdoms
  • Oliver O’Donovan, The Ways of Judgment
  • James Wilson, Lectures on Law


Dr. Bradford Littlejohn (Ph.D., University of Edinburgh) is the Founder and President of the Davenant Institute. He also works as a Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and has taught for several institutions, including Moody Bible Institute-Spokane, Bethlehem College and Seminary, and Patrick Henry College. He is recognized as a leading scholar of the English theologian Richard Hooker and Has published and lectured extensively in the fields of Reformation history, Christian ethics, and political theology. He lives in Landrum, SC with his wife, Rachel, and four children. Follow him on Twitter at @WBLITTLEJOHN

Early Bird Cost: $849 (until May 15th)
After May 15th: $1200 
July 17 – July 29, 2023

Please plan your flight to arrive on the afternoon or evening of July 16, depart July 29.

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.

The biggest and perhaps most useful thing I got out of the course was a framework for Christian discernment. Whether discerning marriage, discerning a call to marriage, or thinking through current events, I believe the things I learned over our two weeks together have given me a very helpful framework with which to think through these things.

Jacob Harding

I think every Christian would come away from this course with skills to help them think wisely about their faith and God’s creation.

Coleman Rafferty

Only Able to Join Us For an Evening or Two?

If you’re from the surrounding community and would like to come out to get a taste of this unique program, but can’t get away from work, consider joining us for four public lectures:

  1. Tuesday, 7/18: “The Freedom of a Christian in an Age of License”
  2. Thursday, 7/20: “Bottom-up Politics: A Protestant Vision of Subsidiarity”
  3. Tuesday, 7/25: “The Protestant Foundations of the American Founding”
  4. Thursday, 7/27: “Prophet of the Post-Human: Reading C.S. Lewis’s Abolition of Man in the 21st Century”

If you’re coming out, consider joining us for Evening Prayer at 7:00 PM beforehand and feel free to hang out and enjoy refreshments and fellowship with us after the lecture. The suggested donation for each session you attend is $25, but if that’s not feasible, please join us anyway!


reCAPTCHA is required.

If you have a bit more time and like to join us for a full day to participate in meals and reading discussions, or for multiple full days, please email Brad Littlejohn at b.littlejohn@davenantinstitute.org  for detailed schedule and cost breakdown.