Monthly Archives: July 2018

Student Life Blog: food groups

SCIO alumna Melissa Barciela, who studied theology and philosophy with us during Michaelmas Term 2016, reflects on her Oxford experience. 

As any SSO student, I was anxious upon arrival, with the weight of academic pressure looming overhead. Yet, my time at Oxford proved to be nothing I expected and everything I did not know I needed. This truth rang true in various areas of SSO life.

Academically, Oxford pushed me to expose my academic weaknesses and overcome my fear of failure, so that I may be a better scholar and a better follower of Christ. My tutors and the SCIO faculty invited me to explore intriguing topics and assigned diverse readings that challenged my thinking. Their primary concern was not that students would prove themselves, but rather that they would improve and grow as critical thinkers and Christian members of the academy.

Another significant and unexpected piece of my time at Oxford was the community. I expected to live a lonely life secluded from community and lost in the wealth of the Bodleian resources. I have never been so pleased to be disappointed. SSO cultivated a welcoming environment of like-minded students, both passionate about scholarship and deeply committed to the Christian faith. This environment fostered inter-disciplinary dialogue, both formally during seminars and informally at the dinner table. In fact, the dinner table played a key role in my academic and personal growth during my semester abroad through what students call “food groups.”

A food group is a student-organized system of rotating dinner preparation. Each group is comprised of about eight SSO students, with one person cooking for the entire group each night. Practically, this group offsets the food cost and stress for SSO students. Yet it also provides [...]

SCIO alumna to read for MPhil at Cambridge

We are delighted by the news that SCIO alumna Hannah Grady (Michaelmas Term 2016) has been accepted to study for an MPhil in Theology at Clare College, Cambridge.

Hannah received offers from a number of universities, including Duke, Yale, Oxford, and Cambridge: ‘I chose Cambridge’, she writes, ‘because it is the best fit for my research interests.’

Concerning her proposed research, Hannah writes:
My research will consider the nature of Christian sanctification. I will be drawing metaphors for sanctification from the work of the Greek Fathers, beginning with Saint Gregory of Nyssa’s On the Soul and Life of Moses. This research will continue the work in Patristics that I began during my term in Oxford. My ultimate hope for my career, after I complete a doctorate, is to become a professor of theology.
Hannah’s passion for Patristics, which flourished while at SCIO, is reflective of her broad passion for the study of theology.  She notes:
The thing I love most about studying theology is that it offers a window into life’s biggest mysteries and deepest truths. It is thrilling to me to befriend ancient theologians and to learn from their perspective on life’s biggest questions. The academic pursuit of theology is a worshipful experience for me, full of wonder and delight.
Hannah read for an undergraduate degree in Biblical and Theological Studies at Biola University and was accepted to SCIO in the autumn of her final year. Hannah writes that her time here at SCIO was deeply formative, shaping her entrance into graduate studies:
My network of friends and mentors from SCIO have been integral in my journey toward graduate studies. It was in conversations with SCIO faculty that I made the decision to continue on [...]