A Center for the Retrieval of Christian Wisdom

Protestant Wisdom Foundations I

Reading the Bible and the World

12 Day Summer Program

June 19 – July 1, 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 II (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 I
Reading the Bible and the World

The Lord reveals his glory to us through what many of our fathers in the faith called his “two books”: Scripture and nature. Both lie open to us: the latter sufficient to render us without excuse, the former sufficient to make us wise unto salvation, and both together sufficient to guide our footsteps faithfully on the tortuous paths of discipleship that lie before us. However, we are fools if we imagine that the clarity of God’s communication to us excuses us from the duty of being good readers. The great calling of every Christian is to grow in our skills of learning to attentively, discerningly, humbly read and interpret God’s revelation in both Scripture and nature, standing on the shoulders and sitting at the feet of the church’s wisdom through the centuries.

This two-week residential course will introduce you to the patterns of God’s self-revelation in his world and his Word, to tools and strategies employed by the church historically and today for reading this revelation well, and to wisdom in applying this discernment of God’s will to your own life and calling.

 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.

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


Joseph Minich (Ph.D, The University of Texas at Dallas) is a Teaching Fellow with The Davenant Institute. The founding editor of Ad Fontes, he is also the author of Enduring Divine Absence, and is the editor of several volumes with The Davenant Press. Currently, he is c0-host of the Pilgrim Faith podcast, and a regular contributor for Modern Reformation. He lives in Garland, Texas, with his wife and four children.

Dr. Alastair Roberts is a Teaching Fellow of The Theopolis Institute and lecturer for Davenant Hall, a leading evangelical blogger and writer, and one of the hosts of the Mere Fidelity podcast. His personal podcast is Alastair’s Adversaria, where, alongside topical interviews, he currently produces daily reflections upon the whole Bible. He is the author of Echoes of Exodus: Tracing Themes of Redemption Through Scripture (2018). He is married to Susannah, and they divide their time between the UK and the US.

Early Bird Cost: $849 (until April 15th)
After April 15th: $1200 
June 19 – July 1, 2023

Please plan your flight to arrive on the afternoon or evening of June 18, depart July 1.

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 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

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

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, 6/20: What is Law and Where Does It Come From? Insights from Richard Hooker (Alastair Roberts)
  2. Thursday, 6/22: Faithful Figural Reading: How the Scriptures Reward Closer Attention (Alastair Roberts)
  3. Tuesday, 6/27: God in the Mirror of the World: How God Shines in All Things (Joseph Minich)
  4. Thursday, 6/29: Expanding the Cathedral: C.S. Lewis on the Medieval Mind for Modern Man (Joseph Minich)

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!


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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.