Questio, Disputatio, Fides, Ratio:

Inquiry, Discussion, Faith, Reason

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 Howard College of Arts and Sciences (Stockham Scholars). 
  • “Great Books” study abroad opportunities in select centers of Western cultural and institutional development for outstanding Samford students.
  • 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 Scholars

Stockham Scholars is a competitive scholarship program for outstanding Samford students studying a variety of careers in the Howard College of Arts and Sciences. 

Stockham Scholars are intentional about their training and recognize that higher education includes both preparation for a profession and ascertaining the knowledge and values that make freedom, virtue, self-governance, and effective leadership possible in a constitutional republic.

Program requirements

Stockham Scholars must have at least one declared major in the Howard College of Arts and Sciences.  In addition, Stockham Scholars select six general electives (24 credits) chosen from below, one of which must be selected from Hist. 312, Hist. 314, Hist. 315, or Hist. 316. 

  • HIST 301 - American Revolution/Early Rep
  • HIST 305 - Civil War/Reconstruction
  • HIST 312 - Medieval Intellectual History
  • HIST 314 - Early Modern Intellectual Hist
  • HIST 315 - American Intellectual History
  • HIST 316 - Modern Intellectual History
  • HIST 317 - Nationalism
  • HIST 403 - The Civil Rights Movement
  • HIST 410 - The American Presidency
  • HIST 445 - American Constitutional Hist
  • POLS 315 - Topics in Political Theory
  • POLS 330 - Classical Political Thought
  • POLS 345 - Modern Political Theory
  • CLAS 303 - Greece: Crucible/Civilization/History 331
  • CLAS 304 - Eternal Rome/History 332
  • ENGL 320 - Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Literature
  • ENGL 321 - Renaissance Literature
  • ENGL 322 - 18th Century Literature
  • PHIL 210 - Intro to Science and Religion
  • PHIL 314 - Philosophical Ethics
  • PHIL 351 - Logic
  • ECON 201 - Principles of Macroeconomics
  • ECON 415 - Philosophy/Politics/Economics
  • Participate in 2 designated cadres before graduation
  • Complete an approved internship. (Students should check with their home department to see if they may receive academic credit for their internship.)
  • Participate in Stockham Student Seminars (held 3 times each semester)

Program Benefits

  • $1,500 scholarship per year for three years
  • Discretionary funds available for travel courses, student conferences, and undergraduate research projects
  • Invited discussions with select speakers and scholars
  • Access to a network of business professionals and community leaders in Birmingham and the state of Alabama
  • Access to a database of internships, recommended graduate programs, and professional organizations
  • Designated academic mentors to help guide undergraduate research projects, provide internship advice, and career advice
  • Opportunities to lead discussion groups, student seminars, and debates about ideas and events related to Western history and American culture
  • Build relationships and community with students and faculty who desire to apply the Christian liberal arts tradition in pursuit of ordered freedom, responsible politics, and prudent cultural stewardship


  • 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

Apply Here. 


Colloquium on American Citizenship

Mission Statement

“The Howard College Colloquium on American Citizenship explores the meaning and purpose of citizenship in light of the Western intellectual heritage, American Constitutional government, free market economics, and Judeo-Christian ideals. Our mission is advanced through four components: Curriculum Development, Student Enrichment, Faculty Development, and Community Outreach.”


Oversight Committee

Art Carden, Department of Economics Finance and Quantitative Analysis
Jonathan Den Hartog, History
Lee Trepanier, Political Science
Jason Wallace, Stockham Chair
Tim Hall, Dean HCAS, ex officio

Great Ideas Summer Institute

The Great Ideas Summer Institute (GISI) is a unique week-long academic experience for high school students hosted on the campus of Samford University in Homewood, Alabama. This summer program offers an opportunity for intellectually ambitious students to enjoy the energy of a college classroom, engage ideas that form the essence of American citizenship and develop friendships with exceptional high school students.  Candidates must have completed their sophomore or junior year of high school to apply.

Learn more about the 2023 GISI summer program.