Maintaining its faithful tradition, SCIO continues to offer students the opportunity to study in Oxford in 2024-25 and beyond.

Live and study in the beautiful and renowned city of Oxford. A semester at Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford (SCIO) utilizes expert tutors, offers endless scholarly resources, arranges library access, and provides a formative academic program with enriching research opportunities, all in the context of a commitment to integrate the pursuit of academic excellence amid deep Christian commitments. We invite you to walk the same paths and study in the same places as some of the greatest scholars in history.

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Dear Prospective Scholars,

Thank you for looking at Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford’s (SCIO) offerings. Whether you are considering a semester or summer 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 scholarship is omnipresent: with 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, and drama.

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, as a researcher yourself, you will have access to one of the world’s great libraries, the Bodleian Library with holdings in excess of 13 million items.

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 the opportunity 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 SCIO staff, you will have a resource at hand to help you put your best foot forward as you apply.

Yours with every best wish,

 

Stan Rosenberg
Executive Director

Stan Rosenberg, PhD

Stan Rosenberg, PhD

Executive Director

Ana-Maria Pascal, PhD

Academic Director and Senior Tutor
Jordan Smith_SCIO Headshot

Jordan Smith, MA

Director of Administration and Student Affairs
Jonathan Kirkpatrick, DPhil

Jonathan Kirkpatrick, DPhil

Principal Lecturer and Director of Studies in Classics & the History of Art

Kelly McClinton, PhD

Junior Dean, The Vines

Anneke Flower

Operations, Finance, and Properties Administrator

Mitch Mallary, PhD

Academic Administrator

Sarah Campbell

Marketing and Admissions Manager

Designed specifically for students seeking an academically rigorous and robust experience, a semester at SCIO seeks to brighten the brightest of minds. In tutorials, students meet one-on-one with acclaimed Oxford scholars (often including widely-published authors, historians, former international ambassadors, and other celebrated scholars) to go head-to-head on subjects within the disciplines of history, literature, languages, philosophy, musicology, art, science, and more. Tutorials, lectures, and seminars are equivalent to upper-division courses, and students are expected to do advanced-level work. More specific information about the coursework offered at SCIO can be found in the table below.

Academic Concentrations

There are three ways to put together a plan of study at Oxford so that a coherent and individual programme can be followed by each student.

Thematic Concentrations

Perhaps you are interested to see ways in which you can specialize your studies by theme or time period through an interdisciplinary focus. Thematic examples include “The Ancient World,” “Philosophy and the Human Mind,” “Religion and Literature,” and more.

Disciplinary Concentrations

Putting together studies in this way follows the traditional model of learning: working within one discipline but specializing within it. Students select a primary and secondary tutorial from one of the disciplinary lists, do a research project in the same discipline as the primary tutorial, and, where appropriate, choose British culture essays within that discipline.

Personalized Learning

Students put together a combination of courses to meet particular needs and interests. Selecting a primary and secondary tutorial from the disciplinary lists, students normally do a research project that corresponds to the primary tutorial, and choose any British culture essays. This can be useful for meeting graduation requirements. Many students, however, find the programme works best when the various elements build on each other to make a coherent whole.

The tutorial is at the heart of the SCIO Semester Programme. It is an hour long conversation between a tutor who is engaged in research and one student who has spent the week reading and writing an essay in answer to a question.

The tutorial gives students the chance to read in depth, to formulate their views on a subject, and to consider those views in the light of the detailed, analytical conversation in the tutorial. Our aim is that through the tutorial experience, you can develop your ability to find your own ‘voice’ as a writer within your discipline. This means not simply relating the views and findings of others, but using them to develop your own opinions and justify your thoughts and conclusions. The one-on-one arrangement of the tutorial is particularly well suited to this.

For the semester-long programme, you have literally hundreds of different tutorial topics to choose from. You enroll in one primary tutorial which meets eight times and is worth six credits, and one secondary tutorial in a different topic; which meets four times and is worth three credits. More information on specific tutorials can be found below.

Primary Tutorial

6 Credits

Your primary tutorial meets each week (during the last 8 weeks of the fall semester and the first 8 weeks of the spring semester) for a total of 8 meetings. You’ll do assigned readings, conduct research, and write essays each week in preparation for your tutorials.

Secondary Tutorial

3 Credits

Your secondary tutorial meets every other week (during the last 8 weeks of the fall semester and the first 8 weeks of the spring semester) for a total of 4 meetings. Aside from the subject, secondary tutorials have all the same characteristics as primary tutorials.

Classics

Classics

Computer Science

Computer Science

Engineering

Engineering

English Language and Literature

English Language and Literature

History

History

History of Art

History of Art

Life Sciences Icon

Life Sciences

Mathematics icon

Mathematics

Modern Languages

Modern Languages

Musicology

Musicology

Philosophy

Philosophy

Psychology

Psychology

Theology

Theology

Students studying in the Wycliffe Hall LibraryStudy

A semester at SCIO is an intensive study experience. While all majors may apply, you should look through our course offerings to see what the options are for each course.

The main difference between U.S. and Oxford academics is Oxford’s acclaimed tutorial system: a series of hour-long sessions in which you and your tutor, one-on-one, will focus with undivided attention on your response to a single, daunting prompt. This is the system students often describe as the most intimidating and satisfying academic experience of their lives. It will change the way you read books, write sentences, and think—and students will often return home feeling like athletes who have trained at high altitude.

Housing

SCIO’s student residence is The Vines, a late-Victorian mansion on Headington Hill overlooking Oxford’s “dreaming spires.” All SCIO students will be housed in The Vines. In addition to student rooms, the house also has large common spaces where students can work, study, and live. It also has a substantial garden where, when the weather is accommodating, students can relax and read, and, play sports.

SCIO places great significance on nurturing the student community that develops over the course of the semester. The program is academically demanding, and the support network that develops between all the students is essential in helping everyone feel that they are staying on top of things! Every semester many students have shared that over their time in Oxford they have formed some of their strongest ever friendships. The opportunity to live with like-minded people in one of the most beautiful cities in the world is exciting, profound, and fun.

Students accepted into the programme will complete a rooming preference questionnaire that helps SCIO place students in the most suitable room available. Most rooms are shared with 1-3 other students, but single rooms are also available.

THE VINES

The Vines is a modest mansion on the crest of Headington Hill, 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 busses passing by every 6–7 minutes). It has a large kitchen, laundry facilities, a well-appointed common room and bathrooms for every 2-3 rooms.

  • 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
SCIO Housing - The Vines

Further information and pictures of The Vines

SCIO is a member of ANUK (Accreditation Network UK) which promotes high standards in private rented residential accommodation. Wycliffe Hall operates under a similar system to promote high standards in its residential accommodation. In student housing matters, SCIO abides by ANUK’s guidelines on equality, and works to ensure that no person will be treated less favourably than any other person or group of persons on grounds of race, colour, ethnic or national origin, gender, disability, appearance, age, marital status, sexual status, or social status. In addition, at The Vines and its Lodge, SCIO abides by ANUK’s code of standards for larger residential developments which governs practical matters. Its performance, with respect to equality in housing matters and to practical matters at The Vines and its Lodge, is regularly reviewed by an independent assessor approved by ANUK. 

The Vines has been adapted to accommodate students with physical disabilities. This includes the following ground floor facilities: accessible single and double occupancy rooms, an accessible bathroom, all common rooms, kitchen, and both main entrances are equipped with ramps for wheelchair access. SCIO is committed to making reasonable arrangements to enable students to participate as fully as possible in all areas of the programme. Further information about accessibility accommodations are available upon request. Please send any queries to globaled@cccu.org.

The Vines is mixed gender housing, with both single and shared rooms available.  Students are only assigned roommates of the same gender and, likewise, bathrooms facilities are only shared with students of the same gender.

Bedrooms

Students are placed in rooms based on their answers to a housing questionnaire that is part of the application process. Rooms range in capacity from singles to quadruples. Below are some examples of typical rooms in the Vines:

Common rooms

In addition to students bedrooms, there are many common rooms that are shared with everyone living at the Vines. At the Vines offers areas for students cook, study, and relax together in a tight knit community.

Lounge room

Library and study room

Kitchen

Dining room

The grounds

Students have full access to the grounds at The Vines. This includes a large back garden with tables and chairs for studying and eating and plenty of space for sporting activities and relaxing.

large grass area with tables and chairs with large house in background large grass area with tables and chairs

Internet Access

Free high speed broadband internet is available throughout the Vines. The Vines has an average download speeds of 50mbps and an upload speed of 18mbps. Login information for the Vines will be provided to you when you move in and is posted throughout the property. The wireless network is checked regularly to ensure there is proper coverage throughout the property.

Environmental Sustainability at the Vines

SCIO is committed to reducing our environmental impact and we encourage our students to follow sustainable practices. We do this through:

  • Providing recycling and composting bins and guidance on how to properly recycle at our student housing. Instructions for what can be recycled and composted is posted on the notice board by the main kitchen. An orientation about recycling and composting will be provided by the Junior Dean during the start of the programme.
  • Encouraging students to walk and cycle while travelling around Oxford and to take mass public transit while traveling greater distances. Bicycles are provided free of charge to all residents of the Vines to use throughout the programme term.

 

Libraries and Special Collections

Students on the Oxford Semester Programme 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

  • The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology houses the University’s extensive collections of art and antiquities. Established in 1683, it is the oldest museum in the U.K. and one of the oldest in the world. It also houses an exceptional collection of prints which can be viewed by any member of the public upon special arrangement. Free admission.
  • The University Museum of Natural History houses the University’s scientific collections. With 4.5 million specimens it is the largest collection of its type outside the national collections. Free admission.
  • The Pitt Rivers Museum holds one of the finest collections of anthropology and archaeology. Free admission.
  • The Museum of the History of Science is housed in the world’s oldest surviving purpose-built museum building. It contains an excellent collection of historic scientific instruments from around the world. Free admission.
  • The Bate Collection of Musical Instruments celebrates the development of musical instruments in the western classical tradition from the medieval period to the present.
  • The University of Oxford Botanic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in Britain. It contains the most compact yet diverse collection of plants in the world.
  • The Harcourt Arboretum is an informal garden, where the public can enjoy walks and riding their bicycles. It is six miles south of Oxford and forms an integral part of the Botanic Garden’s plant collection.
  • The Christ Church Picture Gallery houses an important collection of Old Master paintings and almost 2,000 drawings in a gallery of considerable architectural interest.
  • Modern Art Oxford is the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in the Southeast region of Britain. Admission free.

 

Spiritual Life

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 the 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.

Exploring

Alongside the field trips organized as part of the programme, there are opportunities for students to explore other parts of the UK. The costs associated with non-academic trips are the responsibility of each student. In the past, these outings have proven to be a great break from studying and a chance to explore more of the British landscape. You may also wish to follow an itinerary below on your own or with a friend!

Exploring Oxford and Beyond

Oxford

Oxford is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. While in Oxford you will have access to libraries that have been established for over 800 years, as well as the city’s its museums, bookshops, and entertainment venues. Discover some of the amazing art available on view in Oxford with an art-walk: explore Christ Church Picture Gallery, see the Pre-Raphaelite murals in the Oxford Union, and visit the famous “Light of the World” by Edward Burne-Jones hidden away in the chapel at Keble College. Over your time at Oxford, various plays are put on in the evenings, which are fun to attend as a group.

Blenheim Palace

Spend the day wandering the grounds of Blenheim Palace: a world heritage site, home of the eleventh duke of Marlborough, and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The palace dates from 1705 and is set in a park designed by Capability Brown. Next to the grounds is the village of Bladon, where we visit Winston Churchill’s grave. Complete the afternoon with tea at the wonderful Bladon Tea Rooms in Woodstock.

Port Meadow

Enjoy a beautiful afternoon stroll (weather permitting) through Oxford’s Port Meadow—frequented by grazing horses—and end at the famous Trout Inn for a meal of fish and chips.

Bath

Stroll through the Roman streets of Bath, taking in all of its architectural beauty. Visit the Roman Baths and the great Abbey, and follow in the footsteps of one of Bath’s most famous inhabitants, Jane Austen. End the day with tea at Sally Lunn’s tea-room in the oldest house in Bath.

C.S. Lewis’s Home

Enjoy an afternoon visit to The Kilns, C.S. Lewis’s home in Headington. After touring the house and grounds, visit his parish church, Holy Trinity, where he is buried and commemorated with beautifully etched Narnia windows.

Burford

Burford is a small historic village with one of the most prized parish churches in the country, dating from the 1100s (although the site has been a place of Christian worship since the 600s). Walk through the countryside to visit the deserted medieval village of Widford, a once-thriving community that was wiped out by the plague during the 14th century and never recovered. The 12th-century church is all that remains, and is situated in the middle of a field without any access except by foot.

Dorchester

Once a major political and ecclesiastical centre, Dorchester is now a sleepy town with one of the most fascinating churches (once an abbey) in the country. Walk through the woods and up an Iron Age hill fort (dating from the 4th century BC) with some of the most spectacular views in Oxfordshire. Plus another 14th-century church to explore along the way! Cross the Little Wittenham Bridge, used for the official World Poohsticks Championships.

London

Over the semester many students find themselves drawn to sites and attractions in London, which is less than an hour by train, or 90 minutes by bus. In one day, students often manage to explore aristocratic London and the royal parks, and go past Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster, and Downing Street before stopping to spend some time in the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery at Trafalger Square. After lunch, you can walk around some of the older part of the City of London, including an optional climb up the Monument (a large Corinthian column with panoramic views over London from its top) and a walk past the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. Then go to St Paul’s Cathedral for evensong, where you can hear one of the finest all-boys choirs in the world. Don’t forget to have dinner before heading back home. Phew! And that is only a minute selection of the many opportunities there are to explore whatever might be your heart’s desire in this remarkable city. Some students have chosen to supplement their research by taking advantage of their free access to the holdings of the British Library in London and the National Archives at Kew, near London.

 

 

JCR Committee

The JCR committee is a distinctly Oxford institution and stands for the Junior Common Room. The JCR committee for the Semester Programme is a group of five to seven students from the programme — voted onto the committee by you once you have arrived — who help run fun events for all the Semester Programme students. It is always great fun to be part of the JCR committee, as you get a chance to make things happen the way you would like! The JCR committee has a sizable budget to help fund its various activities. Every JCR committee has its own way of running things, but usually every semester we have a variety / open mic night which showcases your talent. The JCR committee can also help organize activities that give you a chance to give something back to the community by helping in various charitable ways.

Sports

Every semester students enjoy competing alongside other students in Oxford in the various sports that take place while they are here. Sports that you can play include basketball, volleyball, football (soccer), archery, fencing, rowing, and table tennis. Nearly any sport that you enjoy is represented in Oxford.

Clubs and Societies

Oxford has hundreds of clubs and societies that cover almost any activity you can think of. There are several orchestras of varying standards and many choirs (some you have to audition for and some you do not). If you enjoy acting, why not audition for a role in a play? Juggling, dancing, hiking, caving, movies, politics, debating…you name it, there is a club somewhere in Oxford where you can meet other students with similar interests. There are also numerous Christian societies and activities going on throughout the city, and you will find that you are always welcome to participate while you are here. The Oxford CS Lewis Society is also popular!

Weather

Be prepared for all types of weather over your semester in Oxford. There will be sunny stretches when you can read and study outside in the sleepy warm sunshine, and other times when you can have a snow fight in the University parks! Whatever happens, you can guarantee that it will rain, so pack waterproof clothing.

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 some lunches organized as part of the program, 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.

Alumni

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 Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford so passionately unites. Learn more about what alumni are up to on the SCIO website.

The SCIO Semester Programme is an interdisciplinary program that gives no preference to students in any particular field of study. However, a good academic record is necessary.

Students must have a GPA of 3.7 or higher or an overall minimum 3.5 GPA with a minimum GPA of 3.7 in their major.

The tutorial style of teaching is very different from the North American system of education; many students find this a stimulating and challenging transition, requiring experience and maturity. The tutorials, lectures, and seminars are equivalent to upper-division courses. Students are expected to do advanced-level work, and therefore need to have sufficient preparation for the concentration chosen.

It is advised that students participate in their junior or senior year; however, if your academic (curricular or extracurricular) schedule won’t allow you to come to SCIO in your junior or senior year, you can apply for admission as a sophomore (second-semester encouraged). The programme coursework will be no less demanding, but, in a tutorial (just one student and a tutor), it is always possible to tailor the teaching to the student.

SCIO aims 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.

For more information on the the SCIO Semester Programme, contact admissions@cccu.org, or phone 202-546-8713 ext. 402.

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:

  • Completed online application form
  • $50 application fee (payable by check or credit card)
  • 1 faculty reference
  • 1 character reference
  • 1 honors director or department chair approval
  • Official transcript(s) of all college course work
  • Off-campus approval form

After Acceptance:

Once admitted into the program, 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.

SEMESTER PROGRAMME DATES

Spring 2025 

Rolling Admissions

Application available until (or spots are filled) Nov 15 
SCIO begins on arrival Jan 10
SCIO concludes Apr 22

Fall 2024 

Rolling Admissions

Application available until (or spots are filled) Aug 15 
SCIO begins on arrival Sep 6
SCIO concludes Dec 16

HOW MUCH DO I PAY & WHAT’S INCLUDED?

Deposits:
Typically, the only expenses SCIO Semester 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).

Program Fees:
About six weeks before each semester begins, the CCCU sends participation invoices to each home campus. For the 2024-25 school year, that bill will feature the below SCIO Semester Programme costs.

SCIO SEMESTER PROGRAMME FEES
Instructional Fees $15,950
Room $3,900
TOTAL SEMESTER FEES $19,850
Confirmation Deposit ($500)
BALANCE OF SEMESTER FEES $19,350

Keep in mind the total program 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 the SCIO Semester Programme Fees:

  • 17 hours of academic credit
  • Accommodation in SCIO’s student housing
  • Grade report from SCIO
  • International medical coverage for the duration of the semester
  • Field trips to historical destinations of academic interest 
  • Access to the Bodleian libraries
  • Use of programme computers, unlimited wireless internet access, and printing facilities
  • Free on-site laundry facilities at the Vines (must provide own detergent, etc.)
  • Social events including weekly afternoon teas with staff and other funded student events

Additional Anticipated Expenses:

  • Travel to and from and Oxford
  • Meals
  • Personal medical expenses, if incurred, including preparatory vaccinations
  • Personal discretionary expenditures, including personal travel (expect twice as much as normally spent during one semester in the U.S.)
  • Optional bike rental

International Travel

Participants are responsible for arranging travel to and from Oxford. Student housing check-in time is between 9am and 5pm on arrival day; departure is before 11am on checkout day. Student accommodations are closed outside of official program dates/times. Travel information from London’s major airports to SCIO’s student housing is provided in a pre-departure packet.

HOW DOES BILLING WORK FOR SCIO SEMESTER PROGRAMME PARTICIPATION?

The SCIO Semester 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 the SCIO Semester 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.

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SCIO Staff Support

Staff at SCIO are available and equipped to provide support for students. Our staff have decades of experience working with study abroad students in Oxford as well as other locations around the world. SCIO has staff members that are trained in mental health first aid and medical first aid. Where needed, SCIO has relationships with local counselling services to refer students that need to meet with a counsellor while in Oxford.

Nightline Oxford 

Nightline is a listening, support, and information service run for and by students, and it aims to provide every student in Oxford with the opportunity to talk to someone in confidence. They are available to everyone from 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m., but only during Oxford term time. Nightline does not provide advice or tell callers what to do; it is a service that listens and talks about whatever the caller wants, big or small, in complete confidence. Nightline also offers a wide range of information related to mental health and general health issues. Students can contact Nightline from 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. by phone (01865 270270) or in person.

Health Services

There are a number of world-class professional medical, surgical, and psychiatric facilities located in Oxford. International emergency medical insurance is provided for all students on the programme, but this may not cover all costs of medical care. Students will be responsible for covering the costs of any medical costs that are not covered by insurance. Some universities provide assitional medical insurance for their students. Students should enquire about this with the off-campus study office at their home university. General pastoral care and support is provided by SCIO staff, who can also assist in helping students get connected to needed medical care.

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 10-minute cycle ride, or a 20-minute bus ride accessed via a 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 and transportation.  
  • Traffic drives on the left side of the road. 
  • Students may be unused to cycling or to cycling in traffic and this should be considered before cycling in Oxford.
  • 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. 

Safety

Oxford is generally a safe place in which to study and explore; nevertheless, you should minimize any risks by remaining alert and taking precautions. Students will be briefed about safety protocols during programme orientation. 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.

PROGRAMME LOCATION

You’ve probably heard a great deal about the UK, but what makes Oxford stand out? Read the FAQ below to find out.

Where does the programme take place?

“Oxford still remains the most beautiful thing in England, and nowhere else are life and art so exquisitely blended, so perfectly made one.” —Oscar Wilde

The programme is located in Oxford, one of the oldest and most prestigious university cities in the world. You will study in and enjoy all the benefits of the great city of Oxford. The SCIO offices are in North Oxford, a 15 min walk to the city centre. The Vines is located in the Headington neighborhood, a 30 min walk to the city centre.

Oxford is located 60 to 90 minutes from the centre of London by train or bus.

Will I get to travel throughout the semester?

Day trips to local historical sites are a part of the British Culture course, and vary from year to year, but have included trips to Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral, Winchester Cathedral, Bath, and Portsmouth. You can also travel in your free time to London, a short bus or train ride away, or any number of other local destinations. During mid-term break, students may travel anywhere they choose, including Ireland, mainland Europe, or other U.K. destinations.

What is the climate like?

Weather in Oxford is much like weather in the Pacific Northwest of the US. Winters are mild, and snow accumulates rarely, with cool and mild summers. Rain and misty days are not infrequent.

What is the geography like?

The area surrounding Oxford is rural with farmland, but Oxford itself is a city with a small-town feel. Bordering the academic castles are cobbled streets with small shops; bicyclists weave in and out of traffic. The libraries contain so many volumes that the stacks must be housed below ground—so as you walk, you walk over books. It is flat enough that you can bike everywhere and small enough that you can walk nearly anywhere in Oxford in around 30-45 minutes!

ACADEMICS

SCIO revolutionizes the way students learn — the way they read books, write essays, make arguments, and think. Are you ready to enter this gauntlet and emerge as a newly minted scholar? Read the FAQ below to find out more.

How many credits will I receive?

You will receive 17 credits for your time at SCIO. Nine of those credits will be comprised of tutorials: the primary tutorial (six credits) and the secondary tutorial (three credits). The British Culture course (four credits) and the Research Project (four credits) are the other two courses which complete your curriculum.

Where will I be taking classes?

Classes can take place in many places around Oxford.

For tutorials, students may meet with their tutors at their college or department, while others meet at SCIO’s offices, museums, coffee shops, and other places in Oxford.

For the British Culture courses and Research Prohect meetings, most of these will take place at SCIO’s offices, which has teaching room space.

What will I be studying?

Oxford has many discipline areas from which to choose: biology, classics, chemistry, English language and literature, history, history of art, mathematics, modern languages, musicology, philosophy, physics, psychology, theology, and more! Many students choose both tutorials within a single topic, but cross-selection between topics is allowed.

You will be in four courses throughout the semester. The heart of the Oxford Semester Programme is the tutorial. During the full eight-week Oxford term, you will be enrolled in a primary (6 credits) and a secondary (3 credits) tutorial, which meet every week and every other week, respectively.

The British Culture course (4 credits) examines aspects of past and present day Britain. Students attend discussion and gobbets (gobbet is Oxford’s word for a small mouthful of text for close reading or translation and then discussion) classes in the tutorial seminar of their choice and participate in field trips, but spend most of their time doing independent study to produce detailed, scholarly essays. The Research Project (4 credits) allows for independent research on a topic of students’ choosing. Most of the work for the Research Project is independent research, but each student is assigned an advisor to guide them in their research.

Who will be teaching my classes?

You will be taught by SCIO staff and/or other Oxford scholars. SCIO staff pairs you with scholars that are experts in the field you are studying. These are scholars of the highest order: well-regarded and well-published.

Who will be in my classes: local or CCCU GlobalEd students?

Your British Culture and course will be comprised of other SCIO Semester Programme students from mostly North American universities. Your tutorials and Research Project will be a one-on-one discussion with your tutor, an scholar in the field of your choosing.

TRAVEL

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 programme?

You will purchase your flight to the UK a few months before the programme. If you are accepted, we’ll send you more details on when to book the flight and how to find your way to your new home for the semester. Once you arrive in the UK, London’s Heathrow airport is a 90-min bus ride away from Oxford.

Will I need a passport?

Yes! Make sure to check the expiration date. You will need a passport that does not expire within six months of your return from the programme. If you do not have a passport yet, you should apply for one as soon as possible, as their can sometimes be delays for passport processing.

Will I need a visa?

Well, that depends on your nationality. Usually, US and Canadian citizens coming to study in the UK for less than six months do not need to apply in advance for a visa. There is a helpful checklist on the UK government website. SCIO staff will be able to guide you towards further information if required, but cannot advise on the actual visa application process.

 

Will my family and friends be able to visit me during the semester?

In the past, students have found it prohibitively difficult to host visitors during the semester due to the amount and intensity of their academic work. For this reason, we suggest that friends and family visit during the semester break or before or after the semester, when you will have free time to tour the country. Hosting visitors after the semester ends can be especially valuable, as you’ll already be an expert in the area!

DAILY LIFE

Students are sometimes surprised by how different day-to-day life in Oxford can look. In this FAQ series, we’ll answer some common questions about living in Oxford.

Where will I live?

You can learn more about our student residence on the Experience page!

The Vines, a modest mansion with a beautiful view, is a 35-minute walk to the city centre of Oxford. It also has a common room, dining room, large kitchen, and laundry facilities.

If you are accepted to the programme, you will be asked to fill out a housing form in which you may indicate any rooming preferences you have. However, please bear in mind that SCIO will not always be able to accommodate housing preferences.

What will I eat?

You will prepare your own meals in the community kitchens and shop at the main supermarkets. Students often join food groups to rotate making dinner for each other. Oxford also has many wonderful cafés and pubs, including the famous Queen’s Lane Coffee House (reputedly the oldest café in Europe) and The Eagle and Child, where Tolkien and Lewis met weekly to discuss their writing with the other Inklings.

You will get plenty of invites to tea times throughout the week. Many students acquire such a taste for tea, and for the social rejuvenation of these respites, that they bring the custom back home at the programme’s end.

 

 

How will I get around?

Walking (start breaking in your shoes now!), local buses, or cycling. Oxford is city of bicyclists and pedestrians. Buses are also easily accessible (The Vines is less than a 5 minutes walk to the nearest bus stop), but many students prefer the freedom and pace of foot travel.

For travel outside of Oxford, the UK has an extensive network of trains and buses that can get you to most anyplace you will want to visit.

Will I be interacting with local people?

On a daily basis! You will be studying in the library, attending church, attending clubs and activities, walking/cycling alongside, and purchasing coffee from locals.

Will my cell phone work in England?

That depends on your cell phone provider. Make sure to talk to your service provider about your options.

If your phone is unlocked and compatible with overseas SIM cards, you can purchase this card upon arrival. Many students choose this option as it is often much more cost effective than paying to use your US provider’s service in the UK.

COMMUNITY AND SPIRITUAL LIFE

As you prepare for this uniquely challenging opportunity, know that you are not alone. Oxford and its faculty, staff, and fellow scholars will join you and equip you as you face the challenges—and celebrate the gifts—of life as a student in Oxford. Read these FAQs to find out more about the community and spiritual life of the SCIO Semester Programme.

What is the programme community like?

Thirty to forty North American students will make up your new community. As expats, you’ll form quick bonds within a British culture that may seem familiar at first, but in time reveals fascinating differences in custom, humor, faith, and more. The JCR (Junior Common Room) is a group of elected fellow students who organize regular fun events for the group. Each semester’s group chooses different activities, but the end-of-term Black Tie Pizza Dinner is an enduring classic.

Can I attend church?

Absolutely! We encourage you to find a church home in one of the many local cathedrals, house churches, or other diverse places of worship. Not only will these communities support you spiritually, but they will connect you to other students, faculty, and families in Oxford. Upon arrival SCIO will provide a list of local churches that students have attended in the past.

Are there clubs and sports I can join?

There are many opportunities in Oxford. In the past students have played club sports, joined orchestras and ensemble groups, sung in choruses, or joined theatres productions. More information about clubs and societies will be provided during programme orientation.

Contact Us

Have questions or want more information about Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford?
Please call us at 202-546-8713 ext. 402 or fill out the form below, and one of our team members will contact you soon!

Stan Rosenberg
 
BA (Colorado State University), MA, PhD (Catholic University of America), FISSR

Stan Rosenberg is the founding director of Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford (SCIO), the U.K. subsidiary of the CCCU. He is also on the faculty of theology and religion at the University of Oxford, and a fellow of the International Society of Science & Religion. He has published on Augustine’s thought, early Christianity and Greco-Roman science, and ancient preaching and popular religion. Stan is on the editorial board of the journal Religions, and on advisory councils for BioLogos and the Museum of the Bible. He has overseen numerous science and religion projects for faculty, funded by major granting bodies, and directs the Logos program on biblical manuscripts, texts, and reception. Recently, he co-organized a funded project that led to his edited book, Finding Ourselves after Darwin: Conversations on the Image of God, Original Sin, and the Problem of Evil. 
Ana-Maria Pascal
 
Ana-Maria is our new Academic Director and Senior Tutor in Oxford; she joined SCIO in October 2022, from Regent’s University London, where she was Reader in Philosophy and Public Ethics, and Director of Liberal Arts programmes. She is also Director of Studies in Philosophy, with research interests in hermeneutics and comparative metaphysics. When not at her desk, she is either exploring old monasteries, listening to Classic FM, or out jogging.
Jordan Smith
BA (Houghton College), MA (American University)

Jordan earned a BA in International Studies from Houghton College and an MA in International Training and Education at American University. His master’s research focused on intercultural competency in study abroad. Throughout his career, Jordan has worked with non-profit organizations in Thailand, Vietnam, and Washington, DC. Prior to joining SCIO, he worked for the CCCU in Washington, DC as the Director for Educational Programs.
Jonathan Kirkpatrick
 
BA (Oxon), MSt (Oxon), DPhil (Oxon)

Dr Kirkpatrick graduated BA in classics, MSt in oriental studies, and DPhil in classics from Oxford, and his research interests currently centre on pagan religious cults in Roman Palestine. From 2004 to 2006 he was departmental lecturer in Jewish Studies at the University. He is writing a book on C.S. Lewis’s connection with the classics, and co-ordinates SCIO’s activities with the Green Scholars’ Initiative.
Kelly McClinton
 
BA (University of Texas, Austin), MA, PhD (Indiana University)
 
Kelly graduated with a BA in classics and ancient history from the University of Texas at Austin, an MA in art history from Indiana University, and a PhD in informatics from the Indiana University. Her thesis explored computational modelling methods applied to the study of Roman domestic space. Her DPhil at Oxford expands this work and focuses on early Christian basilicas in Rome, AD 200–600. Various sources of evidence are digitally reconstructed and approached as part of the larger image of transformation in cities during the late antique and early medieval period.
Anneke Flower
 
Anneke matriculated from Pro Arte Alphen Park High School in South Africa, where she studied hospitality studies, accounting, maths, and business economics.  After graduating, Anneke initially came to the UK for a two-year working holiday, working in various pubs and hotels, and then went back to South Africa, where she gained 14 years’ experience in different areas of finance including bookkeeping, stock control, operations, and office management.  Anneke has now resettled back in the UK.  She loves nature and spending time outdoors and enjoys interacting with people from all walks of life.
Mitch Mallary
 
BA (Judson University), PhD (University of St Andrews)
 
Mitch completed his undergraduate studies at Judson University, earning a BA in both Christian Theology and Biblical Studies, before pursuing a PhD in Theology at the University of St Andrews. Under the tutelage of Professors Andrew Torrance and Tom Wright, his doctoral research brought Karl Barth’s doctrine of revelation into dialogue with Wright’s historical scholarship about Jesus, bringing clarity to ongoing debates about the relationship between these two thinkers. Prior to joining SCIO, Mitch worked as a research assistant for both of his doctoral supervisors. In addition to his academic pursuits, Mitch is a dog enthusiast and the proud owner of Bernie, a lively Springer Spaniel.
Sarah Campbell
 
BA (Taylor University)
 
Sarah serves as the Marketing and Admissions Manager. She is a graduate of Taylor University and an alum of SCIO as well. Sarah is excited to work with the SCIO team and assist future SCIO-bound students with preparing to experience the magic that is found in spending a semester studying off campus in Oxford!

Classics

Classics
 
The study of classical languages, literature, history, philosophy, archaeology and art is long established in Oxford. SCIO offers tutorials for experienced classicists, but those with little experience studying the classical world can also be accommodated. For those with knowledge of Latin and Greek, primary texts may be studied in the original language, while English translations can be use by those without knowledge of the ancient languages. Specific tutorial titles and descriptions can be found at the link below.
 

Computer Science

Computer science in Oxford focuses on the principles behind current computing technology, not the technology itself, and so demands a very high level of competence in the relevant areas of mathematics. Students should have studied computer science and/or relevant areas of mathematics at their home universities for at least two years. Specific tutorial titles can be found at the link below, descriptions are provided upon request.
 

Engineering

Engineering

All students wanting to study engineering at SCIO should have studied biological sciences at their home universities for at least two years.Specific tutorial titles can be found at the link below, descriptions are provided upon request.

English Language and Literature

English Language and Literature


Students studying English have the chance to take tutorials in a wide variety of specialist subfields. Students can also become literary tourists, visiting the homes of authors as varied as Shakespeare, Thomas Hardy, the Brontë sisters, Robert Burns, and William Wordsworth, and seeing the places which inspired their work. Students taking English language and literature tutorials will read only texts which were written originally in English (though this does not mean only British English as there are opportunities to study English texts from Anglophone north America, the Caribbean, etc). Students wanting to read texts by non Anglophone authors should consult the modern languages tutorial lists, being aware that they must be able to read the texts there in the original language, not in translation. The exception to this rule is that English students may study Old English and Old Norse without previous experience, and they will be helped to become competent enough to study literature in Anglo Saxon and Old Norse in the original. Specific tutorial titles and descriptions can be found at the link below.

History

History

The study of British history is at the core of what SCIO teaches, but American, European, Asian, African and other histories are also offered. Students have the opportunity to study primary texts as well as secondary literature across a broad range of tutorial options. Specific tutorial titles and descriptions can be found at the link below. 

History of Art

History of Art

Oxford is a vibrant centre for the study of the history of art. The collection in the Ashmolean is particularly rich, ranging across many centuries and many cultures. Access to London galleries is easy, and field trips show students other cities of architectural note. Specific tutorial titles and descriptions can be found at the link below.

Biology Icon

Life Sciences


All students wanting to study life sciences at SCIO should have studied biological sciences at their home universities for at least two years. Specific tutorial titles and descriptions can be found at the link below.

Mathematics and Statistics

Mathematics


Mathematicians have always been fascinated by numbers, but the subject is so much more. We can use maths to explain how a leopard gets its spots, to explore quantum theory and relativity, and to predict the movements of stock markets.

Studying maths at SCIO will teach you to think mathematically and provide you with the tools needed to construct theorems and proofs. You will be encouraged to ask questions and to find solutions for yourself. Above all, you will learn how to argue clearly and concisely as you solve problems. For some of you, this way of thinking or solving problems will be your goal. Others will want to see what further can be discovered. Either way, it is a subject we want you to enjoy. Specific tutorial titles and descriptions can be found at the link below.

Modern Languages

Modern Languages
 

Tutorials offered on demand, please contact our admissions team to find out more information. In your email, please indicate what topic and language you would like to study, and at what level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced). Tutorials are available in the following languages: French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian.

Musicology

Musicology

Instruction in performance is not offered by SCIO, but musicians are advised to bring their instruments with them and join one of the many ensembles. SCIO will try to help students of large instruments (harp, double bass, etc.) to hire or borrow instruments, and to help students find practice space, but cannot guarantee to do so. It is intended that musicians use their time in Oxford primarily as a time to further their studies in the intellectual rather than practical side of music. Specific tutorial titles and descriptions can be found at the link below.

Philosophy

Philosophy


The study of ancient and modern philosophy is well established in Oxford. There are several specialist research centres which explore such themes as practical ethics for the future of humanity. Specific tutorial titles and descriptions can be found at the link below. 

Psychology

Psychology
 

SCIO’s psychology courses offer advanced psychology students the chance to explore the analytical, philosophical, and theoretical bases of their subject, as well as its history and its influence on literature. Specific tutorial titles and descriptions can be found at the link below.

Theology

Theology
 

Theology has been studied in Oxford for many centuries. The traditional focus on biblical studies (including the study of biblical languages), church history, and church doctrine is now complemented by work on other religions and new ways of considering religion influenced by sociology and psychology. Specific tutorial titles and descriptions can be found at the link below.

Download the handout to learn more