Nine Louisiana Christian University students and two faculty members spent two weeks in England seeing first hand the world in which C.S. Lewis walked.
Several of the students were part of the HN304 Honors Colloquium travel course. Travel included London, Oxford, Stonehenge, and Bath from May 11-24.
Dr. Justin Langford, dean of the School of Missions and Ministries, said HN304 is a travel course option that all honors students have the opportunity to take, and the location varies every year.
“This was the inaugural trip to London and Oxford which, I believe, was delayed a couple of years due to COVID restrictions,” he said. “The London trip will be the regular international trip offered every few years.”
The colloquium travel courses are on a three-year rotation (national, local, international), said Dr. Sarah Payne, chemistry professor and director of the C.S. Lewis Honors Program.
“A trip to Boston in May 2023 is in the works,” Payne said. “There will be a local trip, possibly focusing on the Gulf (May 2024), and we will plan to go abroad again in the summer of 2025.”
The international destination is London due to its proximity to Oxford and the namesake of the Honors Program being the C. S. Lewis Honors Program. Lewis lived and taught in Oxford for the latter part of his life, so this location provides a number of opportunities to walk in his footsteps.
The trip is offered first to honors students but the remaining spots may be filled by other students desiring to attend and meeting the qualifications, Langford said.
Students who attended this year were:
- Anna Albury, a junior business administration major from the Bahamas
- Madalyn Starns, May 2022 graduate in graphic design from Amite
- Hannah Miller, a sophomore honors secondary math major from Iowa, Louisiana
- Jade Harmon, a sophomore honors biology major from Lafayette
- Joshua Poole, a junior honors chemistry pre-engineering major from Lithia, Florida
- Leanna Lanford, a junior honors biology major from Pineville
- Mackenzie Strickland, a sophomore honors English education major from Monroe
- Marisa Mercer, a May 2022 graduate in social work from Winnfield
- Emma Ellis, a sophomore applied biology major from Krotz Springs
“The London trip was an experience beyond anything I could have ever imagined,” said Hannah Miller. “Every museum, garden, or landmark we visited housed more beauty and history than I have ever seen in my small-town life experience. I will forever be grateful for all the memories and life-changing experiences I had while on the trip.”
The colloquium course and trip focused on C. S. Lewis and Scientism, with a sub-highlight on origins. The main texts were the Magician’s Nephew by Lewis and the Magician’s Twin edited by John West.
“Study abroad opportunities are one of the University’s core experiential learning initiatives we desire our students to experience throughout their time at LCU,” said President Rick Brewer. “Along with internships, service learning, and research, study abroad opportunities enhance the academic and spiritual development of our students. Indeed, four things will change anyone’s life— the books they read, the people they meet, the places they go and the scripture they memorize. Study abroad for LCU students underscores this four-fold fact.”
The group visited:
- The British Museum
- The Victoria and Albert Museum
- The Natural History Museum, Oxford
- The Kilns, Oxford, C. S. Lewis’s home guided tour with Colin Duriez, an eminent C. S. Lewis Scholar
- Magdalen College Old Library to see The Magdalen Papyrus: Fragments of the New Testament, some of the oldest pieces of the new testament, also the place were Lewis taught
- Kew Gardens
- The Natural History Museum, London
- Science Museum, London
- Faraday Museum, Royal Institute, London
- National Gallery
- The Roman Baths, in Bath
- London Bridge
- Tower Bridge
- Westminster Abbey for an Evensong service
- The British Library (containing the Magna Carta and Codex Sinaiticus)
“We also worshiped with and passed out circulars as our trip’s service project for Coldharbour Church,” Payne said.
Coldharbour Church is pastored by Langford’s friend, Joshua Bell, from their seminary days.
“The Bells are currently on their second stint in London doing mission work, so it was a tremendous blessing to be able to worship with them and do community outreach together,” Langford said.
They attended three theatrical productions:
- Wicked (The Apollo Victoria Theatre)
- The Play that Goes Wrong (Duchess Theatre)
- Much Ado About Nothing (Globe Theatre, as groundlings)
“I really enjoyed getting to go to so many different museums and experience the history,” said Anna Albury, who plans to become a travel agent upon graduation. “I also appreciated that there were so many tactile options available to me at the museums as well as at the Tower of London. One thing I really appreciated about London was the inclusion. London was very accessible. We never had to worry about how to get places because of the Tube and all the trains that are always reliable.”
Albury said it was the trip of a lifetime.
“I will definitely be going back one day hopefully before long. I cannot wait to see where my next adventure will take me and I especially cannot wait for the day I can help someone plan their next adventure.”