In founding C.S. Lewis College, we could do no better than to shape an institution that will strongly reflect the distinguishing qualities of its great namesake.
For those well acquainted with C.S. Lewis, there were certain qualities that consistently characterized his life-long love of learning and living within the academy.
As we enter this most exciting phase of our journey towards the founding of C.S. Lewis College, we would like to highlight several key distinctives that will mark it as being truly unique. Together, these qualities will prepare its graduates to meet the challenges they will inevitably confront in these turbulent times.
A Mere Christian Community
The first distinctive of C.S. Lewis College will be its robust embrace of Christian thought and life.
Its Christian character will be defined and expressed in such a way that all those professing faith in Christ in accordance with the historic creeds of the church (Apostles’ and Nicene) will be welcome and actively engaged in leadership at all levels.
Ours will be a College community that eagerly embraces the rich and diverse implications of “Mere Christianity.” Accordingly, most of its students and all of its faculty, staff, and trustees will be drawn from the historic Christian communions of the Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant churches.
We will, no doubt, enjoy many fine and spirited theological discussions among ourselves (much as did Jack and his friends), but this enlivening diversity will be lived out in the unity of a shared and loving commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord.
A Great Books Curriculum
Second, C.S. Lewis College will be a college of the Great Books.
Its curriculum will require a close examination of the seminal writings of the greatest thinkers of Western civilization (including several Eastern texts). There will be one course of study at the College, ensuring that all students read the College’s entire curriculum of Great Books, ranging from physics to politics to poetry and everything in between. (We are currently in the process of preparing the list of works to be included in the curriculum).
Discussion-Based Seminars and Tutorials
Third, all learning will take place in discussion-based seminars and tutorials, not lectures.
This means that students who choose C.S. Lewis College will do so because they desire to assume primary responsibility for their own education. They will be committed to read and carefully study the Great Books and intelligently discuss their significance in seminar dialogue with their fellow students under the guidance and supervision of the faculty.
The Visual and Performing Arts
Fourth, just as the Foundation has always honored the special role that the arts play in our lives, so too will the College.
In due season, we eagerly look forward to establishing a School of the Visual and Performing Arts as part of the College. But pending that day, the College will act to establish and promote resident/touring professional dance and theatre companies joined by a variety of resident visual artists (e.g. painters, potters, film makers, etc.) as well as other resident performing artists.
From the outset, the College also looks forward to fostering rich hymnody and choral work of the highest quality.
Fifth, in the time honored tradition of all Oxford colleges, the faculty Fellows of C.S. Lewis College will be strongly represented on its Executive Council.
This will ensure the College’sensuring the primacy and integrity of the College’s academic, social, and spiritual mission.