The End of Summit Oxford
(Telos: end, purpose.)
There are times when events present us with significant changes. As such, we have an important announcement to make – several, in fact – as well as much gratitude to express. But first things first.
As of 31 December 2016, Summit Oxford will come to an end.
As the leaders of Summit Ministries have developed, adopted and implemented their current vision, a study abroad program is not within its purview. That is reasonable. At the heart of Summit Ministries are the summer conferences and the publishing efforts. And yet there is more.
The close of 2016 will conclude my nearly-25 years on staff with Summit Ministries!
I began on summer staff in 1992 and moved into the Curriculum Department that autumn. I migrated to the Research Department a couple of years later and then became the Director of both the Curriculum and Research Departments for nearly a decade. We moved to the United Kingdom in 2004. In 2008, I founded a new Summit Ministries’ program: the Summit Oxford Study Centre. I developed an advanced worldviews course and have been curating it ever since.
Now, I must confess that these decades have been filled with numerous challenges, many successes, massive amounts of learning, a multitude of speaking events, meetings with myriads of wonderful people, and mentoring hundreds and hundreds of eager students (a number of whom I am pleased now appreciate as friends).
Without hesitation, I am profoundly grateful for my decades on staff with Summit Ministries and am fully supportive of the Summit. More so, I’m thankful for the many staff and faculty who are friends, mentors, and confidants.
My separation from Summit Ministries is thoroughly infused with mutual love, respect, and encouragement. In fact, it is possible (and even probable) that Summit’s students will find me on the rota of speakers Summit’s summer conferences in the future.
So, what is on the horizon in 2017?
Launching the Oxford Study Centre
Perhaps you know how much we invest in our work here in the United Kingdom, and how much we cherish our students! As we look at our emerging scholars we glimpse the future and what it promises. Even if the tomorrow is fraught with challenges and difficulties and threats, it also promises to be populated with hope and faith and love. Our deepest desire is to cultivate an informed faithfulness in our students that God may be glorified, the church may be encouraged, and our neighbors’ well-being may be enhanced.
So, at the advice and encouragement of select friends, close confidants, and keen advisors, we are continuing the study program in Oxford into the new year.
The beginning of 2017 will bring the launch of the Oxford Study Centre. (The website oxfordstudycentre.org already is live.) In fact, we have students arriving in January for the 2017 Hilary Term (January-April), as well as several applications already in hand for both the Summer Term (June-August) and also for the Michaelmas Term (September-December). So, we are pressing into the future with confidence, holding fast to our telos, our purpose (our end)!
In the meantime, we continue to explore potential affiliations with a several U.S. ministries. We are hoping and praying and working toward an appropriate connection over the next few months.
Would you pray with us as we seek a ministry affiliation that is suitable and mutually beneficial?
Transition and Support
Everyone involved at Summit Ministries in the United States wants the transition for us here in the United Kingdom to be both amiable and successful. I cannot express my full appreciation for the many efforts invested in the decisions and details surrounding the passage from Summit Oxford to the Oxford Study Centre over this and the next few months. The leadership and staff of Summit Ministries are being fantastically encouraging.
For instance, Summit Ministries will receive and receipt donations for us through the end of March 2017.
Now, as you might imagine, continuing the Oxford Study Centre will depend on the generous support of our friends, our alumni, and our families. And we are grateful that Summit will help in this regard through the end of March 2017.
So, if you would like to support our family and invest in the lives of emerging Christian scholars, please consider donating at the following link: https://www.summit.org/give/one-time-donation/?oxford. Just be sure to add a designation for Bywaters/Oxford in the comments/designation section of the form, otherwise, your donations cannot be allotted to support us through this transition.
Here we cultivate scholarship for church and culture!
Applying to Study at the Oxford Study Centre
As I mentioned above, we have students arriving in January for the upcoming Hilary Term. We also already have received several applications for next year’s Summer Term (June-August) and several for the Michaelmas Term (September-December). We have a rolling application deadline, meaning that we accept qualified applicants in the order their completed applications are received. And there is limited seating for each of the terms (Michaelmas and Hilary permit 15 students; the Summer Term permits 30 students). So, the sooner one applies, the better.
The Oxford Study Centre‘s program combines tutorials with world-class Oxford scholars and an advanced worldviews course (that arguably isn’t quite like any other worldviews course). Our students become associate members of Oxford colleges, gain access to Oxford libraries, may attend a variety of Oxford lectures, and enjoy a number of cultural excursions. We host undergraduates and graduates, singles and couples, students currently enrolled and those outside of enrollment. Other details may be found at the Oxford Study Centre website, including a downloadable application.
If you would like to glimpse what it can be like to study with us for a term, you can look at one of our previous book lists. And you most definitely also should read some of the testimonies of our alumni: Benjamin Bailey, Chelsia Van Hierdan, Adriana Hanson, Jeffrey Reid, Celina Durgin.