Upper House Brings Christian Study Center Leaders Together around “Thinking Christianly”

May 14, 2020

To Think Christianly: A History of L’Abri, Regent College, and the Christian Study Center Movement (InterVarsity Press, 2020) tells the story of a 50-year-old movement that has influenced generations of scholars and students in the United States and across the globe. On May 13, Upper House hosted 48 leaders of Christian study centers worldwide, who met with author and historian, Charles Cotherman, to discuss the movement’s history and potential for growing impact.

In fact, Christian Study Centers have fascinating historical roots, as Cotherman relates in his highly readable book. These extend to the founding of L’Abri by Francis Schaeffer and of Regent College by James Houston. Today, more than 30 unique Christian study centers seek to advance their university communities’ “spiritual, intellectual, and relational flourishing via the cultivation of deep spirituality, intellectual and artistic engagement, and the cultivation of hospitable presence” on highly diverse campuses (p. 8, Cotherman). Upper House is one of the movement’s new study centers and is highlighted briefly in Cotherman’s book as a model for the future.

Theologically, the study center movement is animated by the belief that the gospel of Jesus Christ touches and informs all of life—our work, the way we grapple with tough questions, and how we treat everyone as people created in God’s image. At Upper House, observers will note that this theology runs like a thread through our programming and deep commitment to hospitality. Within our walls and even virtually during the pandemic, we seek to invite and welcome all who long to explore the life of the mind and the questions of the soul.

For more insight about Christian Study Centers, join author Charlie Cotherman and InterVarsity Press’s academic editorial director, Jon Boyd, at a virtual book launch on May 28, 1:00-2:00 PM, when they will discuss the movement’s compelling history and bright future. Upper House is hosting this webinar via Zoom. Register here.

Co-Sponsors of our May 28 event include:

Arizona Center for Christian Studies

Chesterton House

Christian Study Center of Gainesville

Consortium of Christian Study Centers 

Emerging Scholars Network

InterVarsity Press

L’Abri International

North Carolina Study Center

Regent College