• John G. Stackhouse, Jr.

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!

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