Teaching the Christian Intellectual Tradition

Samford University’s Teaching the Christian Intellectual Tradition Project seeks to promote a national conversation about the place of the Christian intellectual tradition in higher education. In particular, we are interested in helping faculty from across the disciplines to develop effective strategies for teaching this tradition, cultivating younger scholars who are still mastering their craft while providing opportunities for more experienced faculty to explore and experiment with new pedagogies. Under the leadership of the University Fellows Program and in partnership with local and national organizations, the TCIT Project hosts conferences, seminars, speakers and roundtables throughout the year, including a biennial national conference and a biennial residential summer institute.

National Programs

Teaching the Christian Intellectual Tradition Conference

This biennial conference provides an opportunity for scholars from across the disciplines to share ideas about teaching Christianity’s rich intellectual heritage to today’s undergraduates. Samford University is committed to teaching this heritage through its core curriculum and University Fellows Great Books honors program, and we seek to create a network of universities and scholars devoted to similar ends. Each conference focuses on a different figure or theme and equips undergraduate faculty with effective strategies for teaching the tradition in a variety of courses across the curriculum.

Teaching the Christian Intellectual Tradition Summer Institute

Designed for faculty who often teach outside their disciplines in great books, core curriculum, and general education courses, this week-long biennial seminar provides liberal arts faculty from across the country with a rare opportunity to share and to develop teaching and learning strategies focused on the seminal texts of the Christian Intellectual Tradition. Limited to 12-15 faculty and openly seeking non-specialists who are crossing disciplines, these seminars are grounded in close readings of the texts and have as their goal the collegial exchange of ideas focused on how to become better teachers of the tradition.

During the week of July 9-14, 2017, University Fellows offered its second Teaching Christian Intellectual Tradition Summer Institute, Virgil and the Modern Christian Imagination. Following 2015’s Teaching Dante’s Commedia, this institute provided faculty from across disciplines the opportunity to explore the influence of Virgil on twentieth-century Christian poets and intellectuals as well as to discuss strategies for teaching that influence today’s undergraduate. There will be another Summer Institute offered during the summer of 2019.


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