Summer 2019 Seminar

Seminars at the Study Center offer great opportunities for weekly thought-provoking, small group discussions about topics relevant to life in the university and beyond. Read more about this summer’s offering and past seminars below! Seminars are led by NC Study Center staff in partnership with ministry partners, visiting teachers and UNC faculty members.

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Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age

Wednesdays • 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM • The Battle House

What does it mean to say that we live in a secular age? Almost everyone would agree that we — in the West, at least — largely do. And clearly the place of religion in our societies has changed profoundly in the last few centuries. In what has become a defining book for our time, Charles Taylor takes up the question of what these changes mean—of what, precisely, happens when a society in which it is virtually impossible not to believe in God becomes one in which faith, even for the staunchest believer, is only one human possibility among others.

Reading will be kept at-or-under 20 pages each week, consisting of key sections of Taylor as well as selections from James KA Smith's helpful companion guide, How (Not) to be Secular.  

Starting May 22nd, we will meet Wednesdays from 12:00 - 1:15 pm (B.Y.O. lunch) at the Battle House.

For updates or questions, send an email to

Past Seminars

Spring 2019

Devil’s Advocate: Evil, Suffering & the Goodness of God

Fridays • 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM • The Battle House

How could an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God create a world that contains evil and suffering? For many, this question is at once both philosophically puzzling and personally troubling. In fact, this question is considered by many to be the single greatest challenge to the credibility of the Christian faith.

Starting Friday, Jan. 25th, this 5-week seminar addressed the hard questions head-on and will introduce students both to the ‘problem of evil’ in its most compelling formulation, and to several of the most thoughtful responses offered by Christian thinkers. The group will be co-led by Matt Hoehn (Study Center staff) and Sam Schmitt (UNC PhD Student), with Sam taking on the role of ‘devil’s advocate’ some weeks to present counter- arguments. Students of all levels and backgrounds are welcome!

Led by Matt Hoehn and Sam Schmitt, UNC PhD student in Political Theory

For updates or questions, send an email to

One Nation Under God?: Christian Identity and American Politics

Thursdays • 5:00 PM – 6:15 PM • The Battle house

Democrat. Republican. Progressive Liberal. Traditional Conservative. Tea-Partier. Antifa.

Our political discourse is filled with these types of labels that Americans invoke both to identify themselves and to dismiss others. For those who see Christian as their most fundamental identity, how should we think about politics, partisanship, justice, and participating in our democratic processes?

Starting Thursday, Jan. 24th, this 6-week seminar explored the intellectual history underlying our notions of ‘politics’ and ‘justice’ and challenge you to reflect on how these concepts properly apply to real issues being discussed and debated today. It will also introduce you to the biblical and theological frameworks that Christians have used throughout the years for thinking about and engaging with politics.

Led by Study Center staff and visiting faculty.

For the Love: A Biblical Approach to Singleness, Dating and Marriage

Wednesdays • 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM • The Battle house

“Not everybody is called to romantic relationship, not everyone is called to marriage… But everybody’s called to relationships — that what it means to be human.”
Kerry Cronin, Professor of Philosophy, Boston College

Human beings are inherently relational.  We live our lives not primarily as lone individuals (as Jim or Sally), but more fundamentally through a web of relationships (as son, granddaughter, roommate, friend).  To be in relationships, to love and to be loved, is fundamental to our humanity.

At the same time, many of us experience severe confusion and frustration with regards to relationships, especially during college: What qualities should I look for in a friend?  Should I date during college?  If so, who should I date and how seriously should I date?  Is hookup culture a liberating norm to be embraced, or rather a problematic status quo to questioned?

Starting Wednesday, Jan. 30th, this 6-week seminar explored what Scripture and the wisdom of the Christian tradition have to say about singleness, dating, sex and marriage, in dialogue with contemporary culture.  Discussion material will range from the Bible to The Atlantic and from C.S. Lewis to documentaries about online dating.

Led by Study Center staff and visiting teachers.

Fall 2018

Summer 2018

Spring 2017

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Fall 2017


Summer 2017


Past Programming

2016-17 Calendar