Civitas, Rectio, Officium

Responsible citizenship in a constitutional republic requires effort. Each generation must strive to understand the ideas and institutions that give order to civilization. This task begins with intentional education that emphasizes the vital relationship between freedom, virtue, and self-governance. The Christian liberal arts tradition can and should make a difference in how we order our lives and transmit our values.

The Stockham Chair is an office of academic and administrative oversight in the Howard College of Arts and Sciences promoting the study of the liberal arts for responsible citizenship, leadership, and service. The chair oversees and directs:

  • Scholarships and programs for outstanding Samford students studying in the Christian liberal arts tradition intending careers in business, law, ministry, education, and public service (Stockham Scholars)
  • “Great Books” study abroad opportunities in select centers of Western cultural and institutional development for outstanding Samford students regardless of their major (Stockham Stewards)
  • Lectures and seminars related to responsible citizenship in a free society, the Western and Christian intellectual traditions, and the unique significance of the American political project (Stockham Speakers)

Stockham Scholars

Supports outstanding students desiring to study in the Christian liberal arts tradition for the purpose of cultivating leadership and responsible citizenship. Student career goals include pursuits in business, law, ministry, education, and public service. Stockham scholars are required to maintain academic excellence, participate in designated cadres, complete an approved internship, and complete a capstone seminar on freedom, civic virtue, and leadership. Each Stockham Scholar receives a $3,000 scholarship per year for three years.


  • Rising Sophomore with a declared major (or majors) in the Humanities division of the Howard College of Arts and Sciences
  • Minimum 3.7 GPA
  • Application with Essay
  • Faculty Recommendation
  • Interview


  • August 31, Completed Application Materials Due
  • September, Interviews
  • September 30, Notification of Selection


  • Supplied by Stockham Chair

Stockham Speakers and Seminars

Supports bringing prominent public intellectuals, academics, and writers to Samford to discuss issues and ideas pertaining to the uniqueness of Western civilization. Specifically, the Stockham Chair promotes lectures and discussions related to responsible citizenship in a free society, the Christian intellectual tradition, the “great books” tradition, and the unique significance of the American political project. These lectures are intended to enrich the Samford student body as well as the greater Birmingham community.

Past Sponsored Speakers and Seminars

Dr. Dan Seidel, art historian, art critic, and curator who has spent nearly twenty years writing and lecturing on modern art and theology
Fall 2019

Stockham Symposium: “Where do we go from here? Martin Luther King Jr., Race, and America’s Future”
Spring 2018

Dr. Alan Jacobs, Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Baylor University 
Fall 2018

Dr. Theodore J. Cachey Jr., Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, Ravarino Family Director of Italian and Dante Studies, University of Notre Dame
Fall 2018

Internships and Recommended Organizations

The Stockham Chair of Western Intellectual History maintains a list of organizations and agencies offering internships and further programs of study for undergraduate students.