Congratulations to SCIO’s 2016 spring semester prizewinners

SCIO is delighted to announce the winners of the spring 2016 de Jager prizes offered by the Scholars’ Semester in Oxford.  The de Jager prizes are funded by a generous donation to SCIO from Geoffrey and Caroline de Jager who have a long standing commitment to encouraging excellence in education and scholarship.

The prizewinners are named below, along with their sending institution and the aspect of the programme for which they won their award.

A couple of the students reflect on their time on the programme
There are countless reasons why studying through SCIO is an invaluable experience.  I might note the unique and challenging tutorial system, the inspiring staff, the life-giving fellowship, and the beauty and history of Oxford itself.  However, although these reasons cannot be overemphasized, what makes me long to return to Oxford’s streets is far more difficult to articulate.  My mind leaps to the ankle-turning feel of cobble stones beneath my feet or the cool, quiet reverence of stepping into a college chapel.  I dwell upon these concrete moments.  I wish to walk again through Christ Church Meadow.  Oxford became home and perhaps only those who have spent hours in the shade of the Radcliffe Camera can understand this yearning and have succumbed to the same spell.

Christopher Volk

Between late nights and early mornings, drowning myself in coffee and writing thousands upon thousands of words, something strange happened: I learned what it is like to fall in love with an entire city. From the libraries and lectures to the parks and pubs, Oxford’s uniquely moody charm and international cocktail of people completely seduced me. Sitting in the Radcliffe Camera one afternoon, I looked up from essay-writing and noticed all of the other students tapping on [...]

CCCU Job vacancy: Admissions and Academic Services Coordinator for Oxford and Middle East Studies Programmes

The CCCU are now advertising for the position of Admissions and Academic Services Coordinator for the Oxford and Middle East Studies Programmes. This position is based at the CCCU office in Washington, DC. Do see the website for further information.

SCIO Alumni scholarship awarded to Olivia Anderson

Oliva Anderson, who attended the Scholar’s Semester in Oxford in Michaelmas Term 13 and Hilary 14 is the first student to be awarded a SCIO Alumni scholarship towards her doctoral studies at the University of Oxford, beginning in Michaelmas Term 16.

Dr Elizabeth Baigent, SCIO’s Senior Tutor, noted that Olivia is an ‘impressive student’ with ‘a well developed research proposal’ and referees from Oxford University who are ‘unequivocally supportive ‘of her application.

SCIO Alumni awards  are funded by a generous gift from Geoffrey and Caroline de Jager. Applicants must be alumni of our student programmes (SSO and OSP).  Scholarships of £2,500 each can be awarded to alumni registered for a graduate degree at the University of Oxford. One scholarship is offered in each of the following areas:

Texts and manuscripts with a focus on New Testament studies
Religion and science
Subjects in, or broadly related to, SCIO’s teaching fields

Those interested in applying for these scholarships can find further details on the Graduate scholarships page of our website.

Olivia comments
I am incredibly grateful to Caroline and Geoffrey de Jager and to the SCIO team for their generosity and support in helping me to actualize my dream of continuing on to doctoral studies here in Oxford. The SCIO Alumni Scholarship is not only a great encouragement and financial help, but bears many happy memories of my time as a SCIO scholar—the precious friends that were made, the spiritual journey that was trekked, and the academic interests which were broadened and intensified. It was during my time with SCIO that the Lord first began to teach me how to perceive learning more as an act of worship than a hectic assortment of deadlines and essay topics. This ongoing lesson is one of [...]

SCIO Junior Dean wins Oxford University Student Union award

Thiago Alves Pinto, SCIO’s Junior Dean for the academic year 2015–16 and a doctoral student at the University of Oxford, was presented with the prize for ‘Best support staff’ in Oxford University Student Union 2016 Teaching awards ceremony at Oxford Town Hall last week.  Students from across the University, including SCIO’s Scholars’ Semester students who are Registered Visiting Students at the University, were invited to nominate an Outstanding tutor, Most acclaimed Lecturer, and Outstanding supervisor, and there were also a Special recognition award, and an award for Outstanding pastoral support.

Residents at The Vines, home to Thiago and most SCIO students during their time in Oxford, gave him a book with messages of appreciation for his wisdom, care, and encouragement in their academic and personal lives.

Thiago comments
‘I am honoured to receive the OUSU Award for Best Support Staff in my capacity as Junior Dean for SCIO. Yet, even more valuable than the award, was a booklet that the students made with extremely generous messages of appreciation. It has been a great pleasure to serve SCIO students as Junior Dean and the best prize of all is their friendship. I have learned a lot during my time with the students at The Vines, and I will always treasure the moments we spent together.’

SCIO student accepted onto prestigious leadership programme

SCIO  congratulates Isaiah Whitten, a Northwest University student currently studying on the Scholar’s semester in Oxford (SSO), who has been chosen for the Washington programme of the Institute for Responsible Citizenship. The programme, which gives African American men the chance to develop in leadership roles, takes place over two summers and includes a full-time internship, classes, professional development, mentorship, and graduate-school preparation. Isaiah has made his mark in Oxford by establishing the Oxford American Student Union to be a focus for Americans in Oxford and Oxfordians interested in America. Congratulations all round Isaiah!

Congratulations to SCIO’s fall semester 2015 prize winners

 

SCIO is delighted to announce the de Jager prize winners for the Scholars’ Semester in Oxford fall 2015.  The de Jager prizes are funded by a generous donation to SCIO from Geoffrey and Caroline de Jager who have a long standing commitment to encouraging excellence in education and scholarship.

These students showed exceptional academic performance in the following aspects of the programme

Two of the students reflect on their time during the programme
My time in Oxford was one of the best experiences of my life. But it was also one of the most difficult. I am beginning to learn that those two often go together. The Oxford environment challenged me academically, emotionally and spiritually in ways that I never thought possible, but I grew as a person more in one semester than ever before. The unique combination of rigorous academics, intentional conversations with tutors and peers, and walks through the many parks all within the beautiful city of Oxford made it an experience unlike any other. In the future, as I look back, I know that I will always view my time in Oxford as integral to my formation as a person, a scholar, and a Christian.

Eric Tuttle

My time with SCIO was personally and academically transformative. I learned so much about the world, and about myself, during my fourteen weeks in Oxford that I consider myself deeply changed by the place, people, and program. I spent many hours in the library, and many hours in coffee shops with my library books. I spent hours talking with housemates about philosophy, theology, literature, and history. I researched and wrote essays that changed the way I see the world. Conversations with tutors and SCIO staff helped me to consider different perspectives and arguments that I had not [...]

Congratulations to SCIO’s 2015 Spring semester prize winners

SCIO is delighted to announce the de Jager prize winners for the Scholars’ Semester in Oxford spring 2015  The de Jager prizes are funded by a generous donation to SCIO from Geoffrey and Caroline de Jager who have a long standing commitment to encouraging excellence in education and scholarship.

These students showed exceptional academic performance in the following aspects of the programme

Two of the students reflect on their time during the programme
Oxford, for me, was more than a semester of school. It was a transformative experience, marking a new stage of my growth as a person. Oxford sank into my bones. I am not the person I was before I saw those towering spires, or bought those books at Blackwell’s, or biked those cobbled streets, or cooked food with those friends I fell in love with. Oxford became a part of me, and SCIO made that happen. I will be forever grateful, and I am forever changed.     Ryan Klein
 
As a Visiting Student at Wycliffe Hall, I read more books, wrote more essays and enjoyed my studies more than I ever have before. There, amidst libraries, lecture halls, and late night writing parties, my fellow students and I were blessed to participate in a community characterized by thoughtful scholarship and a deep love for learning. SCIO introduced us to this city in all her old-stone beauty and to the notion that we too were academics in our own right, albeit young, inexperienced ones. Coming to Oxford opened so many doors for me, like the ability to study medievial manuscripts through the Green Scholars Initiative. The seven months I spent there were, in a word, glorious and I will always remember them and that city with love.     Elspeth [...]

Mr. Darwin’s Tree, the acclaimed one-man play, to tour North American Christian colleges in 2016

 

Mr. Darwin’s Tree, the acclaimed British one-man play about the life and work of Charles Darwin, will tour North American Christian college campuses in 2016. Produced by SCIO, and underwritten by Templeton Religion Trust, the tour aims to strengthen the educational environment on CCCU campuses by enhancing the conversation on science and religion.

Written by noted playwright and director Murray Watts (The Miracle Maker, KJB: The Book that Changed the World, The Dream) and starring leading British film, TV, and theatre actor Andrew Harrison (Dorian Gray, Miss Marple, Beyond Narnia), Mr. Darwin’s Tree presents a very human and very real Charles Darwin, one who wrestled with the challenges that his theories posed for traditional beliefs. It also presents Darwin’s wife, Emma, as an intelligent and articulate representative of Christian faith. In doing so, the play rejects the ‘straw man’ effigies of Darwin presented by both his extreme protagonists and antagonists, providing the opportunity for lively engagement, thoughtful conversations, and fresh explorations.
‘Discussing creation and evolution in abstract terms often leads to polarized and emotional debates,’ said SCIO Executive Director and Bridging the Two Cultures of Science and the Humanities Project Director, Dr Stan Rosenberg. ‘Seeing these issues in their historical context and connected to real people, by contrast, helps us to understand the complexity of the issues and to discuss them in more nuanced and less confrontational ways.’
Hailed for packing in ‘a great deal of history and fascinating insight [thanks to] the show’s 75-minute bravura performance by solo actor Andrew Harrison’ (Christian Today) and acclaimed as ‘an elegantly conceived, clever and highly informative performance, overflowing with gentle humour and charm (Three Weeks Magazine, Edinburgh), the tour will mark the play’s first performances in the USA [...]

Final week of ‘Bridging the Two Cultures’ seminar in Oxford

The first Bridging the Two Cultures of Science and the Humanities seminar, funded by the Templeton Religion Trust is drawing to a close this week.  The twenty-five participants have attended a month of lectures, workshops, and mentoring sessions with eminent scholars in the field, including Alister McGrath, John Hedley Brooke,  David N. Livingstone, Markus Bockmuehl and René van Woudenberg.

The programme aims to foster in participants the interdisciplinary skills and understanding central to the study of science and religion, so that these early and mid-career scholars can return to their campuses equipped to lead corresponding discussions and research projects.

The twenty-five scholars will return to Oxford for next year’s seminar taking place from 3–30 July 2016 which will end with a conference on science and religion for the presidents of the participants’ institutions.

For further information and comment please see the CCCU website.

SCIO Junior Dean gains postdoctoral teaching fellowship at Indiana Wesleyan University

We are delighted to announce that Lexi Eikelboom has gained a 2–3 year postdoctoral teaching fellowship with the John Wesley Honors College at Indiana Wesleyan University, in Marion, Indiana. The Honors College offers an Honors Humanities Major through interdisciplinary seminars based on questions fundamental to human existence such as: ‘What is truth?’ ‘What is beauty?’, and ‘What is humanity?’ as well as seminars based on faculty research. Lexi will be teaching some of these seminars as well as continuing with her own research on rhythm as a theological category.

She comments,
One of the reasons that I am excited about this job is that I suspect the students in the John Wesley Honors College will be similar to the students who have come through SCIO: inquisitive, generous, and genuinely trying to understand how to live, think, and follow Christ well in a very complicated world. Investing in the lives of undergraduates has enriched my life and my research, and I am so pleased that this will continue to be a significant part of the next step in my academic journey.
Lexi and her husband Paul (pictured above) have been Junior Deans at The Vines, SCIO’s residence in Oxford, for three years. They have seen six cohorts of students through the Scholars’ Semester in Oxford, and assisted with numerous conferences and summer programmes. They have been invaluable members of the SCIO staff team: we will miss them!