History has shown that one of the most effective ways to transform culture is through education. Regrettably, at all too many colleges and universities today, education has come to mean little more than training for gainful employment.
As important as this may be, it has come at the expense of abandoning serious interest in the pursuit of goodness, truth and beauty, once the very hallmark of higher learning. Clearly, we are reaping the fruit of this very fact throughout our everyday lives – in government, media, law, business, family life, and the list goes on.
So how are we to respond? With despair? With anger and contempt? With spiritual and intellectual isolationism? Or might we, with firm resolve, dare to plant the seeds of renewal?
Lewis challenges us, declaring “this very obvious fact – that each generation is taught by an earlier generation….” (from God in the Dock). He then offers us direction: “The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts” (from The Abolition of Man). What a magnificent challenge!
Enter C.S. Lewis College!
“We need C.S. Lewis College because we need more C.S. Lewises!”
So observed C.S. Lewis College Distinguished Fellow, Professor David Lyle Jeffrey of Baylor University, shortly after our 2011 C.S. Lewis Summer Institute.
C.S. Lewis College graduates – with highly developed reading, analytical, writing and verbal skills, combined with their rich exposure to a “Mere Christian” collegiate community, to the visual and performing arts, study abroad, community service, and the diverse academic and social environment of a surrounding major university community – will be truly prepared for life and ready to serve in any career path they feel led to pursue.
As you know, much of our effort over the past two years has focused particularly upon launching C.S. Lewis College on the former D.L. Moody campus in Northfield, Massachusetts.
We’ve accomplished much, including drafting documents totaling almost 500 pages on curriculum, budget, structure, governance, and related matters. We’ve participated in numerous meetings with representatives of the State Department of Higher Education, the regional accrediting agency, and surrounding government, educational, and church related institutions.
We’ve built a support base of over 620 Founders and have won the endorsement and encouragement of many new friends in the local community and around the world. Countless volunteers over the past 25 years have contributed their time and talents to prepare the way for the founding of the College. And now, students across the country are eager to attend and over 300 faculty have expressed keen interest in participating in the experience.
The one thing needed to make this dream a reality is $15 million to fund the first few years of College operations. Of this, the Green Family of Hobby Lobby set a benchmark of $5 million by December 31, 2011.
Regrettably, due to the state of the economy and the very short time constraints of the campaign, we fell $3.2 million short of the year-end goal. As a result, the Greens have now opened the door to other potential recipients of the Northfield campus who may either partner with us or decide to use the campus for their exclusive purposes.
Encouraged by many friends of the Foundation, we continue to believe it is God’s ultimate intention to plant us in Northfield, however daunting the challenge. Whatever the outcome regarding this particular site, however, of this we are clear: We are resolved to follow God’s leading and persevere to the end that C.S. Lewis College may be established to serve the body of Christ and the world at large for generations to come.
But this will not be easy
In addition to actively seeking major gifts for the College, we must also raise ongoing funding for our other Foundation programs and operations. With an exciting program planned for Camp Allen in the fall, planning under way for a return to San Diego next year, and Oxbridge 2014 on the horizon, there is much to do; and this in addition to managing the daily activities of a busy Study Centre at The Kilns in Oxford.
Going into the summer months, it is extremely important that we raise the income now to underwrite our upcoming activities.
All that we’ve accomplished over the past 25 years has been through the generous financial support of friends like you and the extraordinary efforts of many hundreds of volunteers serving in a wide variety of capacities. For your part in helping to bring us this far, we are truly grateful. Simply put, we could not, and cannot, do this without you!
As we press on in pursuit of our mission we ask you to prayerfully consider partnering with us by making a particularly significant gift at this critical juncture.
Your gift at this time of $50, $500, or even $5,000 would be greatly appreciated and would enable us to continue our on-going work. Thank you for your consideration of this need!
These are trying times and your support truly does make the difference. It is not an exaggeration to say that few missions are of more strategic importance to our future.
Distinguished philosopher and ambassador to the United Nations, Dr. Charles Habib Malik, declared:
This great Western institution, the university, dominates the world today more than any other institution; more than the church, more than the government, more than all other institutions. … No task is more crucial and urgent today than to examine the state of the mind and spirit in the Western University.
In the spirit and mind of Christ, as expressed in and through the life and work of C.S. Lewis, the C.S. Lewis Foundation is dedicated to respond to this urgent call. To succeed, your support is needed now as never before. Together, enabled by the grace and power of the living God, we truly are making a difference. For the sake of this and future generations, we invite you to give, and to give generously.
What We’ve Done So Far Towards the Founding of the College
Over the past twenty-five years, the C.S. Lewis Foundation has been patiently laying the groundwork for the launching of a very special college, a college distinctively designed to prepare Christian leaders for tomorrow – a college inspired by the very form of education that uniquely prepared Lewis to communicate so powerfully with people of every age, persuasion, profession, and social class.
Here is just a bit of what we’ve been able to accomplish already with your support:
- Drafted documents totaling almost 500 pages on curriculum, budget, structure, governance, and related matters.
- Participated in numerous meetings with representatives of the State Department of Higher Education, the regional accrediting agency, and government, educational, and church related institutions.
- Built a support base of over 620 Founders
- Won the endorsement and encouragement of many new friends in the local community and around the world.
- Attracted numerous students and faculty across the country with the vision for the College, including over 300 faculty and over 200 students and parents who have directly contacted us to express their interest. All this has been done without actively marketing or recruiting for the College.