Throughout our eight years as an organization, The Davenant Institute has benefited immensely from the flexibility afforded by the digital age—fostering a community of friends, followers, and collaborators scattered across America and the world, without having to invest in a physical hub.
As our organization has grown and our vision of reimagining theological education has deepened, however, we have felt more and more the importance of developing a residential study center. We began this work with our 2016 purchase of Davenant House, a 3,000 sq. ft. log cabin in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains of upstate South Carolina, where we were able to hold small conferences and summer intensive courses.
When the Hughes family moved in as Davenant House Directors in 2019, our residential work began to gain momentum, a momentum redoubled by our President Brad Littlejohn’s move to neighboring Ridgeview House this summer.
Now, thanks to the generosity of our donors, our long-term vision for the Davenant House facility has become reality far sooner than we had ever before thought possible.
During the coming months, using gifts received in our Capital Campaign earlier this year, The Davenant Institute will close on the purchase of nearly 75 acres of beautiful woodland surrounding Davenant House. Simultaneously, by means of an overwhelmingly generous $525,000 grant received just this fall, we will also be able to purchase an additional charming 2,400 sq. ft. log home on the property and hire new staff. Together with planned improvements, this purchase will enable us to host groups of up to 75 during the day and sleep over 40. More importantly, it will enable us to establish Davenant House as a year-round community of study for the shared pursuit of Christian wisdom.
The new grant comes from the Broadus and Evelyn Littlejohn Foundation, an upstate South Carolina family foundation that has been dedicated to the support of Christian education since its inception in 1965. Foundation trustee Marshall Winn said, “The gift to the Davenant Institute exemplifies the Foundation’s long-term commitment to making education more affordable. Furthermore, it strongly reflects the founder’s desire to especially be of assistance to those involved in theological studies. He would have been exceptionally pleased to see an institution like the Davenant Institute located in upstate South Carolina where he invested countless labors of love throughout his long life.”
In his honor, the new log home being acquired will be christened Broadus House, a haven for young adults being mentored in Christian wisdom, just as Broadus Littlejohn himself mentored so many throughout his years as a church member, philanthropist, and community leader.
Residential Fellowship Competition
This generous grant will make it possible not merely to acquire this property but to sponsor an annual Residential Postdoctoral Fellowship for like-minded scholars to come and share in the life and work of the Davenant community. Today, we are announcing the first Fellowship competition, for a year of study and teaching to begin June 6, 2022. See here for a full position advertisement.
As the Hughes family will be moving to Broadus House, our new Residential Fellow will be invited to live at Davenant House, playing a key role in events and programs that we host there throughout the year, as well as teaching regularly for our Davenant Hall program and participating in our ongoing research and writing endeavors.
The grant from the Foundation will also enable The Davenant Institute to invest in the growth of our organization and the expansion and improvement of our programs and resources in a multitude of ways. Be on the lookout for some of the fruits of this investment over the coming year as we release new publications and video resources.
We are incredibly humbled by God’s grace to our little organization and the continued support of donors large and small. Over the coming weeks we will be detailing ways in which you can get involved in helping us take this expanded work to the next level, as we reimagine theological education and renew the contemporary church. For now, please join us in prayers of thanksgiving and for a double portion of wisdom to be good stewards of all that God has entrusted to us.