These were the thoughts of 32 Lipscomb incoming freshmen recently as they prepared for their first college lecture by world renowned theologian Alister McGrath of King's College in London. McGrath lectured on his recent book “The Passionate Intellect,” and answered questions from students as they spent time together examining his work.
This foray into collegiate life was part of a travel study trip — “Lipscomb to London” — June 7-15 for Lipscomb Academy students who will enroll at the university this fall. Now in its third year, participation in the program has steadily grow.
“Each year I think about how it might be difficult for the campus school seniors to imagine the college experience being much different from their high school because, after all, it is only across the parking lot,” said President L. Randolph Lowry of Lipscomb Academy graduates. “However, each year the Lipscomb Academy graduates who choose Lipscomb for their college tell me how different the experience really is. Yet, attending here may not always be perceived as exciting as going away to college. So we developed this special experience we believe will start college for our high school graduates in an unforgettable way.”.
The course, “Our British Roots,” was team taught by Lowry, Rhonda Lowry and Global Learning Director Michael Winegeart.
“The goal was to place the experience of living in London in a meaningful context so that students are provided with a historical and contemporary perspective of their British heritage,” said Winegeart. “The course incorporated an interdisciplinary approach to exploring the historical, legal, spiritual and cultural facets of Britain that have shaped the American story. The trip also included many experiences designed to introduce the students to college life, including field trips to the cities of Bath and Cambridge.”
Guest lecturers included Mark Lanier, founder of the Lanier Law Firm in Houston; Colleen Graffy, former deputy assistant secretary of state for public diplomacy; Ranauld Macaulay, son-in-law of the late theologian Francis Schafer and founder of the Christian Heritage Institute in Cambridge; and Alister Kirkwood, managing director of the NFL United Kingdom.
"I realize that there is an entire world beyond my previous experiences where people think, act, and believe differently than I do,” one participant said. “I realize that there are more people who believe like I do than I had previously thought, but there are many more who are opposed to what I think. I know now that living in a relatively Christian society is uncommon compared to societies in places such as Cambridge. I learned that the world is accessible to me and that I can even make a career of interacting with other cultures."
Another participant said that, “Alister McGrath was definitley one of the more influential parts of the trip for me. I was honored and humbled to be able to hear him speak. I will forever be changed from both his lecture and book by how they ensured me with a definite "knowing" of the truth of my faith. What I took from him was "life makes sense under Christ."
To learn more about Lipscomb Global Learning Programs, click here.