Protestant Wisdom Foundations II

A 12 day summer program
With Dr. Brad Littlejohn and Dr. Nicholas K. Meriwether


July 15-27

Summer 2024



Early Bird Price (Before April 15)


Standard Price

This two-week residential course will introduce you to the long debate over the relationship of spiritual and political authority, the Reformation’s decisive contributions to this debate, and the rich heritage of Protestant social and political thought. You will be encouraged to attend seriously to the political insights of an older era of Christendom, while also seeking to creatively apply this heritage to the very different context and fresh challenges of our own day.

Each day will begin with Scripture study on a passage relevant to the theme of the course, with afternoons spent in lectures and Socratic discussion seminars. In addition to accessible contemporary introductions, students will grapple with key texts in the Christian tradition that shed light on the relationship of Christian faith and political life.

“The biggest and perhaps most useful thing I got out of the course was a framework for Christian discernment. Whether discerning marriage, discerning a call to marriage, or thinking through current events, I believe the things I learned over our two weeks together have given me a very helpful framework with which to think through these things.”

Jacob Harding

“I think every Christian would come away from this course with skills to help them think wisely about their faith and God’s creation.”

Coleman Rafferty

Protestantism and the Commonwealth

Protestantism was once credited with the emergence of individual liberty, constitutional government and the separation of church; today it is often maligned for fostering libertine individualism, revolutionary movements, and the secularization of society. What is the right balance of liberty and authority, and how has Protestantism contributed to this balance over the centuries? How can political power be anchored in the consent of the governed without denying the divine source of all authority? And is there a way to reap the good fruits of Protestantism’s promotion of religious liberty without abandoning public religion altogether?


Readings will include selections from:

  • Johannes Althusius, Politica 
  • C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man
  • Brad Littlejohn, The Two Kingdoms
  • Oliver O’Donovan, The Ways of Judgment
  • James Wilson, Lectures on Law

Together, readings and discussions will provide an intense but rewarding time of intellectual stimulation, laying a foundation for faithful Christian discipleship in the modern world, rooted in the wisdom of the past. 


For Davenant Hall Students: If you are pursuing the Certificate or M.Litt degree, participation in this residential program is required. It is worth 3 credits, as is PWF I (Only Protestant Wisdom Foundations I is required for Certificate students, Both I and II for M.Litt students). 


You will join us this summer for one of our Protestant Wisdom Foundations courses at The Davenant House and experience a deep dive into how to be an intelligent, faithful, and historically-grounded Protestant in the twenty-first century. 

Students will spend twelve days in the beautiful and restful setting of our Davenant House retreat center in the Carolina Blue Ridge foothills: worshiping together, preparing meals together, reading together, debating together, and learning from our team of gifted teachers. 

Each day’s schedule will also have time for gardening, quiet reflection, or nature walks in the woods.

The cost for attending the program is just $1200 ($849 if you register by April 15th), with some scholarship opportunities available. 

This includes all of your meals, room and board for the period of your stay. Although we encourage students to be residential for the full experience, a limited number of commuter students will be accepted. Some scholarships are available for students for whom the cost is prohibitive.

If you are tired of easy answers for hard questions, you fit the vision of the Davenant House.

“While the program engaged my mind in important and worthy study material, it did so in an atmosphere that was heavily influenced by fellowship with one another and interaction with nature. It allowed me to grow intellectually, but (perhaps more importantly) personally and relationally as well.”

Angie Tang



Dr. Bradford Littlejohn (Ph.D., University of Edinburgh) is the Founder and President of the Davenant Institute. He also works as a Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and has taught for several institutions, including Moody Bible Institute-Spokane, Bethlehem College and Seminary, and Patrick Henry College. He is recognized as a leading scholar of the English theologian Richard Hooker and Has published and lectured extensively in the fields of Reformation history, Christian ethics, and political theology. He lives in Landrum, SC with his wife, Rachel, and four children.

Dr. Nick Meriwether

Dr. Nicholas K. Meriwether (Ph.D. Purdue University) is Professor of Philosophy at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, OH. He has taught the Ethics requirement at SSU for 26 years. He received an MA in Christian Thought from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a PhD in Philosophy from Purdue University. He has published in the areas of moral psychology, critical theory, Islamic militancy, the role of ethics instruction and religion in higher education, and natural law. His areas of research include corporate moral responsibility and divine judgment, the nature of modern socialism and Conservatism, and Identity Politics. He and his wife, Janet, have three grown children. They are members of the Presbyterian Church in America.

The Davenant House has all the ingredients for a stimulating period of intellectual and spiritual growth: excellent books, stirring conversations, homemade meals, stunning nature vistas, and a commitment to pursue wisdom together through communal work, reasoning, and recreation. I’ve never experienced such a unified curricula, where each week—drawing on Aristotle, Aquinas, Calvin, and post-Reformation theologians—built upon the last and the selected texts incrementally brought us closer to the real, enduring, and solid principles of life in God’s world.

Jonathan Kuo

PLease JOin Us!

Apply Now for This Course!

Contact:  Brad littjohn ([email protected]) for any questions about curriculum

Contact: Rachel Littlejohn, Hospitality Director ([email protected]) for any questions about program logistics.
Protestantism and the Commonwealth: Protestant Wisdom Foundations II
What is your church background? Where has the Lord called you to serve right now? What are you hoping to get out of this course? (NOTE: If you wish to be considered for a scholarship, please indicate your level of financial need here)
REQUIRED If you are NOT enrolled in the Davenant Hall M.Litt program: Please give the name of a pastor or elder whom we may contact to provide a reference.
REQUIRED If you are NOT enrolled in the Davenant Hall M.Litt program: Please give the name of a pastor or elder whom we may contact to provide a reference.
Minimum Deposit Required: $150 for Protestant Wisdom Foundations and Intensive Courses. Balance will be due upon arrival at Davenant House.
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