Eight APU faculty members participated in a four-day faculty seminar at Oxford University, England, in June. Sponsored by APU’s Center for Research on Ethics and Values (CREV) and led by professors Mark Eaton, Ph.D., and Roger White, Ed.D., this international opportunity explored the rich past and hopeful future of Christian scholarship.
Various lectures by world-renowned scholars offered new and insightful resources for faculty members seeking to integrate faith into their scholarship, disciplines, and classrooms. “The lectures and thoughtful question-and-answer sessions provided wonderful intellectual stimulation, and unpacked what it means to live out faith integration in very real ways for our students,” said Kimberly B.W. Denu, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Graduate Social Work, vice provost for undergraduate programs, and special assistant to the president.
Seminar attendees studied the 21st-century changes to Christianity and the important role Christian universities such as APU play in responding to these changes. “The seminar clarified the credibility of a relationship between faith and intellectualism, discounting the common belief that faith has no place in scholarship,” said Denu. “Spending time at a university with such a protracted history of Christian scholars demonstrated that faith is a viable, valuable ingredient in the academy.”
Faculty members also spent time touring notable local sites, including the home of C.S. Lewis; colleges of Lewis, John Wesley, and J.R.R. Tolkien; and various historic churches. “In Oxford, you actually experience history,” said Denu. “You see the places these great scholars studied, hear the songs at the cathedrals, and view the original manuscripts of C.S. Lewis. Having the seminar in such a place inspired us and awakened our minds to possibilities, causing us to ask, ‘What can we do to contribute to the greater good in scholarship?’”
In addition, the seminar promoted APU’s dedication to intentional
internationalization by considering how Christian scholarship can reach beyond the university and into the world, also inviting APU faculty to engage with university faculty overseas. “The CREV Oxford seminar was a pilot project—the first international faculty seminar for scholarship purposes,” said Denu. “We hope it paves the way for more global events like it.”