We welcome you to the “city of dreaming spires” and a summer at Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford (SCIO). As a student in Oxford, you’ll discover what so many people across the world have found to be the most academically exhilarating experience of their life. Live in the heart of Oxford as an affiliate student of Wycliffe Hall and challenge your mind and heart.
Connect With SCIO
Dear Prospective Scholars,
Thank you for looking at Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford’s (SCIO) offerings. Whether you are considering a summer, semester, or year-long programme, we have great opportunities awaiting you.
Oxford: the name that conjures up notions of a great medieval city full of dreaming spires and stunning architecture, idiosyncratic practices, renowned authors who have made their way into the canons and literary reading lists, great theological debates, and major politicians. The mythic abounds. But even more, the concrete reality of a world-class academic institution is omnipresent: world-class research; major scientific discoveries; scholars across the disciplines whose works inform most, if not all, academic libraries; students sitting in cafés debating perennial issues and newly breaking ideas alike; and a rich and vibrant student life including music, sport, drama, and the opportunity to participate in any one of more than 600 clubs and societies.
Come sit in a tutorial where you meet one-on-one with a tutor engaged in serious conversation, testing ideas and joining together as junior and senior scholar. This is a learning experience like no other: there is no hiding (for tutee or tutor!), and you probe and digest ideas, coming to your own conclusions with the requirement to demonstrate that your view is valid and solid, even where it diverges from the views of other scholars or your tutor. To accomplish that goal, you will have access to one of the world’s great library systems. The Bodleian library is the centerpiece of a group of more than 100 libraries with holdings in excess of 13 million items.
With a base in Wycliffe Hall, one of Oxford’s permanent private halls, join a rich community of scholars who share life together in a variety of forms: from the life of the mind; to cooking a meal together; to traveling on SCIO trips to interesting places like Bath and Hampton Court Palace; or making your own forays into London, up to Scotland, or over to the continent during the mid-term break. Join, too, a community of faith that is engaged in serious learning, affirming the ability to participate in scholarship as Christians dealing with difficult and profound issues.
SCIO offers you the way into Oxford to participate in a great academic experience, prepare for graduate studies (for those headed in that direction), and build your CV with a recognized educational experience that matters to academic institutions and employers alike. As you review the materials on the website, we hope you see the possibilities and consider joining us. With the CCCU GlobalEd staff, you will have a resource at hand to help you put your best foot forward as you apply.
Yours with every best wish,
Designed to uncover the relationship between Christianity and the British Isles in just one summer month, the Summer Programme at SCIO fuels intellectual minds at all levels of education: undergraduate, post-graduate, professorial, and beyond.
Seminars & Tutorials
All students participate in two different seminars. Each seminar consists of three discussion classes, four gobbets classes, and two tutorials (gobbet is Oxford’s word for a small mouthful of text for close reading or translation and then discussion). Discussion classes (1 hour) and gobbets classes (45 minutes) are with the seminar leader and a small but varying number of participants. For each class, students read all or parts of assigned texts and then discuss them. Students are evaluated by seminar leaders on the basis of written work. Seminars can be taken for undergraduate credit.
As part of their seminars students participate in individual tutorials during the second part of the programme. While meeting one-on-one with their seminar leader, students develop, discuss, and defend an essay related to the students’ seminar topic. Tutorials are individual meetings of one hour between the seminar leader and each of the seminar participants. In preparation for each tutorial, the student reads assigned texts and writes an essay of 2,000 words in response to a question set by the seminar leader.
ALL OXFORD SUMMER PROGRAMME STUDENTS MUST COMPLETE their pre-programme reading before arriving at Oxford. Once your seminars have been confirmed, please ensure you make a prompt start with this reading or you will not be able to make the most of your discussion classes and tutorials.
All students participate in the lecture series “The Christian tradition in the British Isles.” This course includes lectures and field trips to sites of major interest, providing the historical context for work undertaken in the seminars.
This course explores key moments in the development of Christianity in the British Isles, from the Celtic peoples of Britain to the Roman province of Britannia, to the Anglo-Saxons, the medieval Church, and the emergence of a variety of traditions in the Reformation and beyond. Through studying the Christian tradition, central to British culture until the last few decades, participants also get a glimpse into the development of British culture as a whole across time. The course includes field trips to sites of major interest.
The programme varies from year to year but past lecture topics have included:
- Celtic Christianity
- Anselm and his influence on medieval theology and literature
- Field trip lecture: Stonehenge, Old Sarum, and Salisbury
- Julian of Norwich and the late medieval English mystical tradition
- Medieval drama
- Reformation and Christianity
- Field trip lecture: Bath and the development of consumer culture
- Jane Austen and her literary antecedents
- The theology of the metaphysical poets
- The Oxford Movement
- English social justice in the nineteenth century
- Planet Narnia
- The theological imagination of C.S. Lewis
- Climate change, stewardship, and mission
- Field trip lecture: Glastonbury and Wells
- Field trip lecture: Coventry
Field trips are day-long excursions led by an expert guide to places such as Stonehenge, Salisbury, Glastonbury, Wells, Bath, and Coventry.
Your Oxford Summer Programme seminars give you the chance to explore your chosen subject in-depth with an expert member of faculty and a small group of committed students. On this page you will find detailed syllabuses and reading lists so that, once your seminar allocation has been confirmed, you will be able to start some preparatory reading.
All students participate in two different seminars. Each seminar consists of three discussion classes, four gobbets classes, and two tutorials (gobbet is Oxford’s word for a small mouthful of text for close reading or translation and then discussion). Discussion classes (1 hour) and gobbets classes (45 minutes) are with the seminar leader and a small but varying number of participants. For each class students read all or parts of assigned texts and then discuss them. Students are evaluated by seminar leaders on the basis of written work.
All Oxford Summer Programme students must complete their pre-programme reading before arriving at Oxford. Once your seminars have been confirmed, please ensure you make a prompt start with this reading or you will not be able to make the most of your discussion classes and tutorials.
Welcome to the home of some of history’s greatest thinkers. With discussion classes, lectures, one-on-one tutorials, and access to the world-renowned Bodleian Libraries, every student spends a lot of the time reading … and reading … and reading! If working at one of the best research establishments in the world excites you, then this is the programme for you! The only thing you will do as much as read, is write.
During each tutorial you answer a different question working with an extensive reading list. All students appreciate the chance to focus and specialize. It is exhilarating, head-spinning, and, sometimes, feels a little overwhelming, which is why the programme staff spend so much time making themselves available not only to support and encourage, but also to challenge you to push for new levels of academic achievement.
The Vines, a modest mansion on the crest of Headington Hill, is situated on 1.5 acres of garden with stunning views of Oxford’s spires. Running parallel to the path of C.S. Lewis’s former commute, The Vines is a 35-minute walk into Oxford city centre, a 10-minute cycle ride, or a 5-minute walk to the nearest bus stop (with buses passing by every 6–7 minutes). Equipped with a large kitchen, laundry facilities, and a well-appointed common room and bathrooms for every 2-3 rooms, The Vines will be your home away from home during the programme.
- Free laundry facilities
- Library with work stations and free printing facilities
- Large common room
- Dining room
- Large kitchen
- Wheelchair access and disability accommodation
- Prayer room
- Free WiFi throughout the property
Further details for The Vines
Students housed at The Vines can rent a bike without charge. If there are enough bikes, students living at Wycliffe Hall may also opt into this scheme at a subsidized cost on a first-come first-served basis. You will receive more information about bicycle rental upon acceptance to the program.
Libraries and Special Collections
Oxford Summer Programme students have access to one of the greatest libraries in the world. Make use of Bodleian libraries and its large and rapidly growing physical and digital resources.
Additionally, Oxford’s museums and collections are world renowned and provide an important resource for scholars around the world.
Museums and Special Collections
SCIO’s spiritual mission is first to demonstrate that personal faith in Christ can flourish within an academically rigorous environment; can operate in a public university; and interacts with scholarship but not necessarily in ways that are obvious and easily labelled. Second, to help students acquire the maturity, vision, confidence, and skills to study in a public research university and to encourage scholarly reflection in religious contexts and in a public, non-religious environment.
Learning to study alongside and under those of different religious beliefs (or, in many cases, none) is challenging. We encourage this by offering ourselves as mentors/examples, creating an atmosphere of independence in which students can develop such a vision and ability, and offering nurture by staff who are engaged and committed.
All students are encouraged to find a church home in Oxford. Apart from the spiritual nourishment that comes from remaining involved in regular worship, church is a great place to meet other students and residents of the town, and creates opportunities for you to get to know the people in your community. Many students on the programme make a point of attending a church whose style is markedly different from that which they usually attend at home, while other students find it a great comfort to attend a service whose style is more familiar, and all students should think about what might best suit them while they are here.
See, Experience, Explore
Alongside the field trips organized as part of the programme, a number of optional field trips are arranged by Oxford staff. These trips change from summer to summer. The costs associated with optional field trips are the responsibility of each student but every effort is made to ensure costs are minimal. In the past, these outings have proven to be a great break from studying, a chance to explore more of the British landscape, and an opportunity to share in the community life of SSO. You may also wish to follow an itinerary below on your own or with a friend!
Summers in Oxford are typically cool and mild and compare to what you could experience in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. You will enjoy plenty of moments full of sunshine, allowing you to read and study outside in the sleepy warm sun. You should also be prepared for some rain and misty days though, so be sure you have a rain jacket and trusty umbrella.
Tea (and Food)
Drinking tea is a vital element in the rhythm of the English person’s day, and all students are encouraged to discover this for themselves. Its popularity is perhaps explained in part by the cakes and biscuits that traditionally accompany this drink. Students will be invited to tea at regular times during the week, and it is an important time to relax, catch up with each other, and recharge for the rest of the day!
Apart from a few lunches and dinners organized as part of the programme, all students will need to prepare their own meals while in Oxford. This means shopping at one of the main supermarkets, going to the weekly fresh farmer’s market, or visiting the Covered Market, established in 1774. Many students form food groups that take turns to cook for each other and eat together at the end of each day. It is a great way to share with others what they have discovered that day, and also to hear what everyone else has been doing!
There are plenty of places to eat out in Oxford, ranging from the affordable to the expensive. The café in St Mary’s Church is a fun place to visit, as the café itself is in the Old Congregation House, and was the University’s first “official” building. It dates from the 14th century and was built a couple of hundred years after the colleges first started taking in students.
When the semester is all said, done, debated, and graded, you’ll return home with a community of alumni that continually reconnect over the bond that Oxford so passionately unites. Learn more about what alumni are up to on the SCIO website.
The Oxford Summer Programme is an interdisciplinary programme that gives no preference to students in any particular field of study. However, a good academic record is necessary: generally a minimum GPA of 2.9 on a 4.0 scale is required, though in the case of non-traditional students this may be reviewed (note this GPA requirement differs from that of the Oxford Semester Programme), and OSP may accept any exceptional student it believes can meet the rigorous demands of the program.
SCIO and Wycliffe Hall aim to provide an inclusive environment which promotes equality, values diversity, and maintains a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all its staff and students are respected to assist them in reaching their full potential.
Oxford Summer Programme is designed for rising college sophomores, juniors, and seniors; non-traditional students; teachers; and those enrolled in continuing education programs.
How Do I Apply?
Simply complete an online application for the semester during which you plan to participate. Each campus makes its own policies regarding off-campus study, so you should consult your academic dean, off-campus study coordinator, and/or advising faculty member at your school to ensure completion of all campus requirements.
Before your application can be reviewed for admission, you must submit all of the following materials:
- A completed online application form
- $50 application fee (payable by check or credit card)
- Two faculty references
- One character reference
- Official transcript(s) of all college course work
- Off-campus approval form
Once admitted into the programme, you will be required to confirm your intent to participate by submitting a non-refundable $500 confirmation fee, which will be applied toward your program tuition.
You will also be required to complete additional confirmation and pre-departure materials, including but not limited to: waiver and liability forms, a medical information form, a housing form, and proof of international medical insurance. But don’t worry! We will send you all the details and instructions on your acceptance.
Summer 2023 Semester Dates:
|Application available until (or spots are filled)||June 1|
|SCIO begins on arrival||June 16|
|SCIO concludes||July 17|
HOW MUCH DO I PAY & WHAT’S INCLUDED?
Typically, the only expenses Oxford Summer Programme participants pay directly to the CCCU are the application fee ($50) and the non-refundable confirmation fee ($500, deducted from the total housing fee at invoicing).
About six weeks before the term begins, the CCCU sends participation invoices to each home campus. For the 2023-24 school year, that bill will feature the below Oxford Summer Programme fees. Please note, that all Oxford Summer Programme participants will hold an Associate Member Status during the programme.
|OXFORD SUMMER PROGRAMME FEES|
|TOTAL SUMMER FEES||$7,460|
|BALANCE OF SUMMER FEES||$6,960|
Keep in mind the total programme costs billed to you through your school may differ, depending on your campus’s policies.
Note: Schools or individuals who pay with a credit card will also be charged a credit card service fee.
Expenses Covered by Oxford Summer Programme Fees:
- Tuition for recommended 6 hours of credit, including one-on-one tutorials, seminar classes, and a lecture series
- Room and partial meals
- All necessary expenses for official field trips
- Use of programme computers, unlimited wireless internet access, and printing facilities
- Free on-site laundry facilities (must provide own detergent, etc.)
- Social events including afternoon teas with staff and other funded student events
- Optional bike rental for Vines’ residents
Additional Anticipated Expenses*:
- Travel between home and Oxford (estimated $800-1,200 from U.S.)
- International medical insurance (can be purchased through CCCU GlobalEd) valid in the U.K. for length of stay/programme dates. This is required for participation in CCCU GlobalEd’s international programs. Note: Some campuses will provide this for students studying abroad; check with your study abroad office to see if this is provided by your home campus.
- Personal medical expenses, if incurred, including preparatory vaccinations
- Local transportation, if not class-related
- Personal discretionary expenditures
- Partial meals
- Cost of passport, if you don’t already have one
Participants are responsible for arranging travel to and from Oxford. Student housing check-in time is between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on arrival day; departure is before 11 a.m. on checkout day. Student accommodations are closed outside of official programme dates/times. Travel information from London’s major airports to Oxford Summer Programme housing is provided in a pre-departure packet.
HOW DOES BILLING WORK FOR OXFORD SUMMER PROGRAMME PARTICIPATION?
The Oxford Summer Programme is an extension campus of each member institution of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU); each school grants the academic credit for program participation.
The CCCU invoices campuses for the cost of participation in Oxford Summer Programme and in turn campuses bill their students following the campus’s established policies and procedures. (For example, some schools charge the exact fees of the off-campus program, other schools charge the campus tuition price, while others charge full on-campus fees plus an additional off-campus study fee. And there’s every variation in between!)
Since each school determines their own policies regarding off-campus study costs and the applicability of institutional scholarships and other aid, you should confirm your school’s policies with the Off-Campus Study Coordinator on your campus. As summer billing often differs from semester billing, it’s possible your home campus will require that CCCU GlobalEd bill you directly. In direct-bill situations, please refer to our General Policies for payment deadlines.
*Anticipated expenses are estimates, which will be updated should local costs shift significantly. You may spend more/less depending on your personal spending habits.
For the latest updates on our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit our COVID-19 Response page.
Students have access to professional medical, surgical, and psychiatric services at their own cost. General pastoral care and support is provided by SCIO staff, who can also assist in helping students get connected to the specialized care they need.
You will be required to cover any medical expenses you incur while a student at SCIO. We will require you to show proof of international medical coverage before your arrival in Oxford. We partner with Cultural Insurance Service International (CISI) to provide discounted international medical coverage. You can view the current schedule of benefits for our customized coverage through CISI here.
Oxford is generally a safe place in which to study and explore; nevertheless, you should minimize any risks by remaining alert and taking precautions. Read more on the University of Oxford website: Personal Safety. You can also familiarize yourself with any current travel or health advisories for the United Kingdom by visiting the U.S. State Department and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) websites.
Many of the faculty and staff have lived in Oxfordshire for years. During orientation, we will discuss basic guidelines to follow to help you feel confident and safe during your time here. If you have any questions prior to departure, please contact your admissions advisor.
Know Before You Go…
Studying off campus can be an exciting time filled with adventure and personal growth. Prepare yourself in advance for challenges you might face on the programme. Students at SCIO should anticipate:
- Walking in and around the city may include uneven terrain, such as cobblestone walkways, in unpredictable weather and frequent rain.
- Living in a residence of multiple occupancy with shared bathrooms, kitchens, and communal spaces. Living (and other) spaces are not air-conditioned, though this is very rarely problematic in the cool British summers. Living and other spaces are heated in winter.
- The Vines is located on a hill from which Oxford city centre is accessible via a 35-minute walk, a 15-minute cycle ride, or a 20-minute bus ride accessed via 5-minute walk to the nearest bus stop (with buses passing by every 6–7 minutes). The Vines has a bathroom for use by students in wheelchairs and generally with limited mobility and can offer ground floor accommodation.
- Students are responsible for purchase and preparation of their own food, transportation, and chapel/church requirements.
- Traffic drives on the left side of the road.
- Students may be unused to cycling or to cycling in traffic. Full cycle orientation is given.
- Historic buildings can present difficulties to students with mobility challenges but professional staff help with such challenges.
- Living away from family, friends, and other support networks.
- Managing and following a demanding study schedule with substantial independence, and attending lectures, one-on-one tutorials, and day-long field trips.
- Experiencing potentially challenging personal, religious, and cultural learning, lectures, field trips, and assignments.
You’ve probably heard a great deal about the U.K., but what makes Oxford stand out? Read the FAQ below to find out.
Where does the programme take place?
What is the climate like?
What is the geography like?
Will I get to travel throughout the summer?
The most eye-opening feature of the Oxford Summer Programme is often not the traveling, nor even the cultural immersion, but the intensive, world-renowned studies. Read this FAQ series to find out more about the programme’s academics.
How many credits will I receive?
Where will I be taking classes?
What will I be studying?
Who will be teaching my classes?
Who will be in my classes: local or CCCU GlobalEd students?
What do you need to know before you step on that plane? Read the FAQ below to find out!
How will I get to and from the program?
Will I need a passport?
Will I need a visa?
Your day-to-day to life in Oxford will look quite different than your current one—but how so? In this FAQ series, we will answer some common questions about daily life at the Oxford Summer Programme.
Where will I live?
What will I eat?
How will I get around?
Can I attend church?
What is the program community like?
Will I be interacting with local people?
How can you get in touch with new classmates and local friends, and how can you keep in touch with your old ones? In the FAQ below we discuss common questions related to communication and technology.