2014 Oxford Programme

Oxford Program 2

All come to this? The hearts/ That spaniel’d me at heels, to whom I gave/ Their wishes, do discandy, melt their sweets/ On blossoming Caesar; and this pine is bark’d,/ That overtopp’d them all. Betray’d I am: O this false soul of Egypt! this grave charm,/–Whose eye beck’d forth my wars, and call’d them home;/ Whose bosom was my crownet, my chief end,–/ Like a right gipsy, hath, at fast and loose,/ Beguiled me to the very heart of loss.                                                                                                             

 –Anthony & Cleopatra

The Centre for Faith & Culture summer school explores the history, literature, and spirituality of Catholic Britain from its flowering in the late middle ages through the period of destruction and persecution, and into its resurgence in the modern age. Focusing on the lives, context, style, and impact of writers such as Shakespeare, John Henry Newman, Gerard Manley Hopkins, G. K. Chesterton, and the Inklings, we look at the vocation of the Christian, and most importantly the Catholic writer, in witnessing to Christ in a hostile environment. We also wrestle with the deeper question of what it means to be human, and examine the vision of humanity, imperiled by the English Reformation, which the writers of the 19th- and 20th- century Catholic revival tried to recover and reclaim. The program is based for one week in New Hampshire and two weeks in the centre of the historic city of Oxford. Our first tutor will be Lady Clare Asquith, Countess of Oxford and author of Shadowplay, a book which traces the Catholic experience through the poems and plays of William Shakespeare. This year we will be focusing on the Roman Plays, Julius Caesar and Anthony and Cleopatra. We will travel to London to watch a performance of Anthony and Cleopatra at the Globe Theatre, as well as visiting Westminster Abbey and St. Thomas More’s cell in the Tower of London. Other tutors include Dr. Gerard Kilroy, author of Edmund Campion: Memory and Transcription, and Dr. Michael Ward, C.S. Lewis scholar and celebrated author of Planet Narnia. As well as several historical tours of Catholic Oxford, we will visit a recusant house where priests could be hidden during the time of persecution, the “college” in Littlemore where Blessed John Henry Newman was received into the Church, the G.K. Chesterton Library in Oxford, and sites associated with writers we’ll be studying such as Hopkins, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien.

Programme Schedule

035 The 2014 Oxford Programme will begin at the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hampshire. The one-week preparatory session readies students intellectually and spiritually for the two week Oxford portion of the program. Students will attend lectures and seminars directed by Thomas More College fellows and learn the influence of British culture on New England.  The remainder of the program will be held in Oxford, at St Benet’s Hall in the very heart of the city. Download the Oxford Programme Schedule for more details.

Meet the Tutors

The first Oxford tutor will be Lady Clare Asquith, Countess of Oxford and author of Shadowplay, a book which traces the Catholic experience through the poems and plays of William Shakespeare. This year she will be focusing on Julius Caesar and Anthony and Cleopatra. Other tutors include Dr Michael Ward, celebrated author of Planet Narnia and an expert C.S. Lewis, Dr Gerard Kilroy, author of Edmund Campion: Memory and Transcription, and Stratford and Léonie Caldecott the directors of the Centre and Second Spring Oxford Ltd.

Course Credit

086 Students attending the full programme will receive 6 credit hours in either Literature, History, Politics, or Theology. The course employs combination of seminar-style lectures, tutorials, guided tours, discussions, and conversation. An essay topic will be determined during the first two weeks in England. Tutorials will concentrate on the development of this essay. The essay can be completed after the students return to the US and emailed to tutors for marking by last day of October, 2014. Before their two weeks in Britain, students will attend lectures and seminars at Thomas More College in New Hampshire.  This period will provide time to make progress in the required reading list and obtain a solid background in the literature and history of Catholic society in the British Isles from its origins through its destruction in the 16th century.  Studies in Oxford concentrate on the designated theme for the year. Those taking the course for credit will also complete a reading list and take an examination no later than the first day of September, 2014.  The exam can be taken at the student’s home institution or under the direction of an accepted examiner.


  • Full Programme – $4,500 Three week programme, including six hours of course credit (upon completion of all relevant coursework). Price includes airfare, accommodations, half meals, transportation, and any required admissions fees.
  • Oxford-only Programme  Two week programme only, no course credit awarded. Participants would join the group for only the Oxford portion of the programme. Please email Teresa Caldecott at secondspringltd@gmail.com

Apply now for the Oxford Program