Summer Honors Seminar

C.S. Lewis Honors Seminar

“Knowing God in a Skeptical Age”


July 21-25, 2014

Held at Trinity College in Trinity, Florida

To fill out a Trinity College application and earn 3 college credits, click here. If you are a non-credit seeking student, please scroll to the bottom of the page to apply online.

Surveys indicate that between 50 and 70 percent of young people who are self-identified Christians who enter the university scene will effectively exit the faith by the time of graduation.  However, a few campuses are reporting outbreaks of revival and surging interest in the Gospel.  What makes the difference between these extremes?

A key part of the answer, we believe, is the true knowledge of God—knowledge that is deeply biblical, relational, and reasonable, able to withstand the taunts of those who ask, “Why believe?”   

The C.S. Lewis Society is delighted to team up with Trinity College in offering a strategic week-long Honors Seminar focusing on this crucial topic.   “Knowing God in a Skeptical Age” will be held July 21-25 on the Trinity College campus at the north end of Tampa Bay.   It will be co-taught by Dr. Eric J. Bargerhuff, Professor of Theology and Director of the Honors Program, and Dr. Tom Woodward, who directs the Society and chairs the Trinity College Theology Division.  Dr. James Smith, Tampa cardiologist and biblical scholar, will guest lecture.

Students from all parts of the US and overseas are invited to experience this extraordinary week of learning.  Our target age range is 16 to 24.   In other words, the seminar is designed to equip qualified upper level high school and also college students to probe the knowledge of God in a time of unparalleled skepticism. 

“Theology proper” is the first focus:  God’s existence, His self-revelation, His majestic glory and all of His attributes.  Students then will analyze many variations of skepticism, and study biblical and practical responses to these challenges.  Leading scholars, such as Stephen Meyer, who will join the class live via Skype, will help the class articulate clear answers to today’s tough questions.

The cost is only $500 for the week long seminar, and a three-hour course credit option is available through Trinity College for a slightly higher fee (contact the Registrar’s Office at 727-376-6911 for details).  Those attending from outside Tampa Bay may take advantage of a Room and Board Plan (see below).  

To fill out a Trinity College application and earn 3 college credits, click here. If you are a non-credit seeking student, please scroll to the bottom of the page to apply online.

“Quick Facts”…


Christian college students & high school juniors or seniors everywhere are encouraged to apply—but space is limited so apply now!


An exploration of foundational truths of God Himself, and solid reasons for our faith, involving issues in  science, theology, apologetics, worldview analysis, and communication strategy.


That we may grow strong in our knowledge of God and loyalty to Christ, even in the heaviest blasts of skepticism.

How do I apply?...and how much is the room and board for the week?

Just fill out the application, and provide the required references.  You will be notified of a decision promptly, and accepted students will need to provide a $100 deposit to hold a place. The room and board costs are $300 for the week.

Are scholarships available?

There are limited scholarship funds available for partial scholarships, on a “by need” basis.  This provision, and the request for help, will be explained in the application below.

If I’m traveling to Tampa from some distance, when should I plan to arrive—and leave?

We recommend arrival in Tampa Bay (at the Trinity campus or at Tampa International Airport) no later than Sunday evening at 6 pm.  The seminar concludes at 5 pm on Friday, but a closing dinner will be held that evening for boarders.   Departure on Saturday after breakfast is recommended.  

Will there be a reading list for the seminar?

Yes—upon request, each prospective student will be sent a copy of the Seminar Syllabus, which lists the course textbooks and chapter excerpts.   Chapter excerpts are provided at no charge—their cost is covered by the Seminar Fee.  Book purchases will be handled individually by each student.

What are some of the emphases in the apologetics focus?

Attacks on biblical faith by New Atheists will be studied in detail, and replies by Dr. John Lennox and Dr. Paul Copan will be assessed.  The phenomenon of Dr. Thomas Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos will be studied, along with the Darwin’s Doubt controversy.


This is an overview of the existence of God and attributes of God as they are studied, known, and shared in a skeptical age.  This course teaches these truths in three realms:

 - biblical and systematic theology

 - apologetics and the study of modern skeptical worldviews

 - intelligent design theory and implications of the inference to design


Seminar Description and Teachers

 - This course studies two fundamental topics in theology and apologetics. The first topic is God Himself—His existence, his self-revelation and his attributes. The second focus is the challenge of 21st Century skepticism: how are Christians to witness faithfully and wisely to God’s Truth in a hostile setting?  Students will probe both classical understandings of theology proper and apologetics, as well as newer insights from scholars such as C.S. Lewis, William Lane Craig, John Lennox, Timothy Keller, Stephen Meyer, Douglas Groothuis and John Piper.  The “New Atheism” attacks and the Thomas Nagel phenomenon will be analyzed and cogent responses will be reviewed.

  • Lead Professor:   Dr. Eric J. Bargerhuff, Honors Program Director, Professor of Bible/Theology
  • Co-Lead Professor:  Dr. Tom Woodward, Chair of Theology, Director of the C.S. Lewis Society
  • Guest Lecturers:  Dr. Stephen Meyer, Center for Science and Culture, Discovery Institute;  Dr. James Smith, Tampa Cardiologist, Ph.D. graduate from Dallas Seminary

 - Cost:  $500 tuition and activity fee for the week of July 21 – 25.  The seminar meets for six hours of class time per day, and includes a lunch break.  The lunch cost is included in the seminar fee.

 - Resources: Students will receive Skype briefings from leading scholars, will view rare video segments, and will read together and analyze key passages from the Bible pertaining to skepticism and the   attributes and self-revelation of God.  The following is a sampling of book resources that will be used:

                 A.W. Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy

                 John Lennox, Gunning for God: Why the New Atheists Are Missing the Target

                 Paul Copan, Is God a Moral Monster? Making Sense of the Old Testament God

                 Stephen Meyer, Darwin’s Doubt

                 Chapter excerpts from Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology

                 Chapter excerpts from James Sire, The Universe Next Door

                 Chapter excerpts from Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion

                 Chapter excerpts from Thomas Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos


  • College Prep Level:  entering high school juniors and seniors
  • Collegiate Level: Students in Undergraduate and Graduate levels

Admission Qualifications of participants

  • To attend the seminar, students will complete a seminar application and recommendation of teacher, pastor, or youth pastor/youth leader, with application
  • Enrolled Trinity College students may attend automatically

Three hours of college credit can be earned through Trinity College of Florida. In order to earn credits, students will be requrired to fill out a Trinity College application. The GPA and testing requirements for admitance will be waived for the honors seminar ONLY.   If this option is used, the tuition rate for three hours, normally $1566.00, is reduced by 50% to a special summer tuition rate of $783.00.  This becomes the cost of the week’s seminar, instead of the $500 fee for non-college-credit students.  (For full course requirements before and after the July seminar, consult the course syllabus which is available from Dr. Bargerhuff and Dr. Woodward.)

Location:   Trinity College Campus

  • Commuting daily is one option.
  • Low cost Room and Board is available:  $300 is the charge for the week.  This includes apartment housing adjacent to campus, breakfast and dinner from Sunday evening July 20th to Saturday breakfast on July 26th.  (Lunch is already included in the seminar fee.)

For further questions and inquiries, contact the admissions department, at To fill out a Trinity College application and earn 3 college credits, click here. If you are a non-credit seeking student, please fill out the online application below.


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