Not THAT kind of "Summer School"! YOUR kind of Summer School

Why in the world aren’t you coming to Regent’s spring or summer schools this year?

I know, I know: The term “summer school” sends chills up your spine. Summer school is for the lazy kids, or the stupid kids, or the keen kids, not for a fine, hardworking person such as your good self.

But Regent College’s summer school is the biggest in the world for one simple reason: It’s not that kind of summer school. It’s really summer camp–for grown-ups. You gotta get here.

Here are the Top 10 Reasons why you should be changing your summer plans and coming this summer:

1. Courses are only 1 or 2 weeks long. Even our beloved American cousins, with their terrible culture of short vacations, can squeeze in a course.

2. Courses are given either in the morning or the afternoon, so you have the rest of the day to play–by yourself (which is unlikely, unless you prefer it: you’ll make new friends the very first day you’re in class) or with your significant other(s).

3. You get to play in Vancouver. There are one or two things to do in Vancouver in the summer. One or two hundred.

4. And once you’re bored of Vancouver (although when one tires of Vancouver, one is tired of life), there’s Whistler. And Harrison Hot Springs. And Vancouver Island. And Victoria. And the Gulf Islands. And the Sunshine Coast…

5. You don’t have to do any homework while you’re there. Courses are taught so as to give you the rest of the day to play. If you want to take the course for credit, you have 45 days to complete the assignments after the course is over and mail them back.

6. You don’t have to do any homework–Part II. If you audit, as my parents did in their retirement, you don’t do any homework at all. And you pay less. How cool is that? (Answer: Quite cool.)

7. Free concerts. Yep: Free concerts, outdoors if possible, several days a week at lunchtime: bluegrass, jazz, flamenco, pop, Celtic, grunge, death metal–okay, I’m kidding about the last two, but there are a lot of styles on offer. Buy an inexpensive lunch from Regent’s in-house chef (I’m not kidding about that) or at one of more than a dozen eateries nearby and sit on the lawn and take it in–for free.

8. Free evening public lectures. Twice a week, we have one of the lecturers give an hour-long address on a subject of general interest. You have general interests, don’t you? Then, like the 300+ who attend these lectures, you’ll be attending. Yep, they’re free, too.

9. Outstanding lecturers you won’t normally hear in your hometown, or almost anywhere else.

Prof. Grant Wacker of Duke University (one of the funniest guys I know, and he’s smart, also) lecturing on Billy Graham and his importance in the story of evangelicalism–and Grant is the author of the definitive biography of Billy Graham.

Half a dozen courses on the arts, ranging from literature with scholars such as Wheaton College’s Prof. Roger Lundin and poets such as Scott Cairns, to music with violinist and theologian Dr. Chelle Stearns or with ethicist and jazz aficionado Dr. David Gill, to spiritual writing with Regent’s own Professor Emerita Maxine Hancock or alumna Dr. Sharon Jebb Smith.

Three courses on gender (something of a record for an evangelical school, alas): one with former Oxford and current Regent professor Dr. Sarah Williams; another with a leading authority on domestic violence Prof. Nancy Nason-Clark; and one with a global vision with missiologist and anthropologist Dr. Miriam Adeney.

Our usual shameless raiding of British universities brings us Edinburgh’s Larry Hurtado, Oxford’s Bernd Wannenwetsch, London’s Paul Helm and Dominic Erdozain, and Queen’s David Livingstone.

And, yes, still more variety: apologist Krish Kandiah, early church expert Andrea Sterk, economists Paul Oslington and Paul Williams, ecologists Loren and Mary-Ruth Wilkinson, Bible experts galore (really: galore), half a dozen spiritual teachers… I mean, how can you not come?

10. And–oh, yes–Alister McGrath, Marva Dawn, Mark Noll, and a few other folks you might have heard of.

Drop what you’re doing right now–you were just browsing the Net anyway, right?–go to Regent’s website and start planning. You’ll thank me for it: this is your kind of summer school!

0 Responses to “Not THAT kind of "Summer School"! YOUR kind of Summer School”

  1. Wendy

    I will have to “borrow” this to post it for my colleagues~!
    well done- so inviting.

  2. Mark

    Suddenly I’m wondering why I go to school during the normal semesters…

    • John Stackhouse

      Suddenly I’m wondering why you go at all…


      Sorry, Mark: You wounded me and I just had to snap back. I’m sorry, and I trust you’ll forgive me–once I’ve circulated your comment to the rest of my colleagues and we’ve all had a chance to review your GPA.

      • Mark

        Apology accepted, and forgiveness granted! And now it’s my turn to apologize. I realize now I should have hinted at playfulness with a few “lol’s” and a nice wink or two, as you so gently supplied in your retort. And might I add to all the viewers out there, one would be hard pressed to summarize the joys of Regent’s Fall and Winter semesters with only ten points.

        Trusting you and your colleagues to bear in mind throughout your deliberations my inextinguishable admiration,


        • John Stackhouse

          And the crowd goes wild at that excellent save! Graceful, effective, and humble all at once–top-notch goalkeeping! If Luongo goes down, we’ll be calling you up for sure, Rook!

          • Mark

            Ha thanks! Let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that!

  3. Matt McCoy

    Having been a full time student for two years now, I must say that I greatly prefer spring and summer school to the fall and winter terms, and I think the fall and winter terms are fantastic.

    In addition to all the wonderful things highlighted in this post I would add the fascinating students who show up. People who would willingly burn a week or two of vacation time to be a part of this unique environment are quite amazing. Pastors wanting to dig deeper, business people wanting a broader theological worldview, stay at home parents wanting to further their learning, all alongside chumps like me. Never seen a student body quite like it.

    I hated school growing up. I really HATED summer school growing up. Now, as my wife and I try to discern what is next for us in life, we know that we have to do something that allows us to come back for a few weeks every summer until we die.

  4. Matthew D. Young

    I wish Regent had a Dmin program… Not just for the summer mellow-ness, although that is cool. But because, from what I can tell in all the Regent courses I’ve downloaded, Regent has and brings in top-notch people, takes scholarship AND the church seriously, is holistic, offers a nice blend of Reformed and Anabaptist types, has a wonderful international and communal flavor, is respectfully ecumenical and thinks outside the box. Having a flock of us pastors coming up there regularly and engaging in serious, longer-term study would bless us AND, I dare say, probably make Regent even better. If you build it, we will come… in droves, I think. And Regent could even make some bank. Princeton Theological Seminary, where I did my MDiv, canned its Dmin program a few years ago. How wonderful if Regent would start one. Not so I can put a Dr. in front of my name and sound like I have a Ph.D.(which, to me, is not the point of a Dmin) but so I can engage in a sustained, disciplined study for church ministry, building on my MDiv, in a terrific place… I am going to pray for this. I will also, of course, consider coming up for a summer. Wow.

  5. Steve Wilkinson

    Awesome reasons! Now I’m just going to go cry because I don’t think I’ll be able to attend this summer. 🙂 (And I TOTALLY look forward to doing some auditing down the road. No homework and paying less is indeed quite cool!)

  6. yvonne archer

    This brilliant article and subsequent rejoinder reminds me of those equally thought-provoking, interactive classes with John Stackhouse that were without disappointment, cleverly amusing while delivering actualities with passion. As an alumnus, I miss those times! I began my studies at Regent during a summer session and I can wholeheartedly attest that it was indeed a time of copious student body, sunshine, music, poignant communal worship, kayaking in deep cove with new friends, and vibrant visiting lecturers. The Regent College summer studies experience was, and is, second to none!

  7. economist

    Where do people normally stay when they are just attending a 2-week course?

    • John Stackhouse

      It depends on their budget and preferences. Some stay at one of Vancouver’s wide range of hotels. Some book rooms at one of the U. of British Columbia’s residential colleges, such as St. Andrew’s or St. John’s, or at the Gage Conference Centre of UBC itself. Regent has a Housing Coordinator who helps in this regard.


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