Trinity Forum Academy Fellows engage in a rigorous graduate-level curriculum that presents three core questions: “Who am I?”, “Who is God?” and, “What difference does it make?” Each question is addressed in one of three terms during which readings and discussions are complemented by guest speakers, movies and community activities. Ninety minute classes are held twice daily, five days a week.
Throughout the year, Fellows write responses to readings to form a log of personal and intellectual development. The goal of the curriculum is to help Fellows grapple with the core philosophical principles of Christian thought and modern society. Within this context, Fellows form a foundation for their personal faith and consider how to effectively strive for a purposeful life.
Follow our 2011-2012 Curriculum
Readings are drawn from classic literature as well as some of the most influential Christian and secular thinkers. The curriculum draws from diverse perspectives that intentionally challenge complacent thinking about faith and life. Past curriculum readings include works from:
- St. Augustine
- Friedrich Nietzsche
- Dallas Willard
- Os Guinness
- Albert Camus
- Douglas Adams
- Fyodor Dostoevsky
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
- Marilynne Robison
- C.S. Lewis
- Herman Melville
- N.T. Wright
Past curriculum topics include:
- The nature of reality
- Contextualization of thought – rationalism, existentialism, pluralism
- Individualism and the church
- The meaning of work
- Approaching Scripture
- Characteristics of Jesus
- Christian ethics
The Fellowship Thesis is a unique research project that gives Fellows the opportunity to form their learning for the year into applicable ideas. In traditional academic settings it can be difficult to develop a project that considers the professional and spiritual implications of an issue. At the Academy, Fellows are encouraged to pursue those significant questions in their field that they may not have time to answer anywhere else. While many Fellowship Theses are written, past projects have included a short film, a website, a portfolio of oil paintings and a charter for a non-profit organization.
Sample thesis topics include:
- The Impact of Communication Technology on Our Sense of Community by Josh Britton (Class of 2008, LSU, currently working on Capitol Hill)
- Science as Worship by David Scudder (Class of 2008, Stanford, currently teaching in South Africa at the African Leadership Academy) A multimedia website exploring the fundamentals of neuroscience and cosmology and their theological implications
- Sandals Home for Women by Monica Slinkard (Class of 2007, Davidson University, Yale Nursing) Recognizing a need to serve mothers in crisis pregnancies on Maryland's Eastern Shore, Monica wrote a charter for a non-profit organization, partnered with a local agency, formed a board of advisors and put into motion the funding and effort needed to establish a home to serve mothers in need.
- Fashion as Insight into Modern Culture - Katie Roland (Class of 2003, Bucknell University, Johns Hopkins University)
- Christian Views on the State and War - Judd Robertson (Class of 2004, Princeton University graduate, currently serving as a defense analyst in Washington, DC)
- Christian Business Ethics Applied to Real Estate Development - Brad Bell (Class of 2007, Florida State graduate, currently a market analyst with CNL Real Estate).
If you are interested in contacting the authors of these projects, please send a request to email@example.com and we can help put you in touch.
Each Fellow has the opportunity to lead a series of classes in the spring term on topics of their choosing. Fellows are also encouraged to invite guest speakers to complement their own presentations. During this time the community of Fellows develops a broad multidisciplinary understanding of important movements and ideas. Past Fellows have taught on:
- Evaluating the structure of the American healthcare system
- Themes in Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead
- Classical economics and alternatives
- A layman’s primer on cosmology and neuroscience
- Characteristics of a healthy church
- T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets
- Ethical considerations of a litigation lawyer
- The impact of short-term charity work
- Appreciating modern art
- Christian understanding of the body
- Material and relational poverty in the United States
Guests speakers visit the Academy on a regular basis to complement the curriculum and expose Fellows to the myriad of ways Christian leaders have pursued their own callings and sought to be faithful and strategic in their field.
Past speakers include:
- Dr. Os Guinness (author and social critic)
- Jody Hassett Sanchez (CNN, Pointy Shoe Productions)
- Gary Haugen (Founder and President of International Justice Mission)
- Dr. Francis Collins (Director of the Human Genome Project)
- Doug & Ann Holladay (Doug has served as a special ambassador to the White House and banking executive, Ann is a trustee of Trinity Forum Academy and The Trinity Forum and is actively involved in combating human trafficking)
- The Hon. Ed Meese (former U.S. Attorney General)
- Micheal Flaherty (President, Walden Media)
- Rev. Jim Wallis (Founder and editor of Sojourners, author)
- Nigel Cameron (bioethicist)
- Steve Case (former CEO of AOL)
- Paul & Terry Klaassen (Founders of Sunrise Senior Living)
- Al Sikes (Former Chairman of the FCC, media executive)
- Tom & DeAnne Hutchison (Tom has served a real estate development executive, most recently with CNL Real Estate)
Many speakers come to the Academy as a Scholar in Residence. Through this program rising and established scholars are invited to spend an extended time at the Academy while working on a thesis, dissertation or book. During their stay, scholars are invited to give a presentation to the Fellows as well as participate in community worship and meals.
Because the Osprey Point campus is only 90 minutes from Washington, DC and Baltimore, Fellows make regular trips into the city to attend lectures, arts performances and museums. Other getaways include trips to New York City (approx. 4 hr drive), camping in the Shenandoah and beach trips to Delaware's Atlantic Coast.