In Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, the main character finds himself on an island paradise with the promise of immortality from Calypso, a goddess who loves him. With so much to appreciate, what could possibly be missing? Nevertheless, Odysseus cannot shake a deeper longing—the longing to return home to his familiar kingdom and family.
Great books like this help to initiate us into the deep dynamics of being human. They're great because they ring true.
Five years ago I came to Australia to help advance the cause of Christ-centred liberal arts education. For the past three years, I’ve had the wonderful privilege of designing and launching the Millis Institute at Christian Heritage College. There is so much I appreciate about this community of learning—the students, the staff, the conversations about the big issues of life, the commitment to faith, the books, and the friendships. And yet there’s also the longing for home and a family that we get to see too rarely.
Given that our original intent was to spend five years in Australia, we sense it's time to return to the States, where I've accepted a job in Christian liberal arts education near my family.
I'm thrilled to announce that I’ll be handing the leadership baton of the Millis Institute to Dr Ben Myers. Dr Myers is a leading scholar from Sydney who resonates deeply with the liberal arts. Not only is he a CHC graduate, but he also studied personally with Dr Brian Millis, the Institute's namesake. This will be somewhat of a homecoming for him, too.
For nine years Dr Myers has been lecturing at the School of Theology at Charles Sturt University, and he has also completed a one-year research fellowship at the Center for Theological Inquiry at Princeton University in the States. Specialising in theology, ethics, and literature, Dr Myers has published four books and numerous book chapters and articles, engaging thinkers from Milton to Bonhoeffer and topics from the Apostle’s Creed to the Trinity.
I'm very excited that Dr Myers also shares an appreciation for Socratic questioning, and will safeguard the round-table, conversational approach to learning that marks all Millis Institute subjects. He will also continue to oversee the thoughtful exploration of the Christian faith in all subjects in the curriculum, as well as the development of the communal life among students and staff.
With strong anticipated enrolments for 2018 and a newly accredited Graduate Diploma in the Liberal Arts, the Millis Institute is poised to continue to grow and flourish. I look forward to supporting Dr Myers and the Institute students as much as I can. Moreover, I trust God’s faithfulness in completing the good work that He has only just begun here on this little liberal arts island in Queensland. It has truly felt like an epic journey for me—one for which I am immensely grateful!
September at the Millis Institute
Below are some highlights of the learning and fun that we've enjoyed this month at the Millis Institute.
Millis Institute students square off in a debate at our recent Formal Hall dinner. Here teams "Aristotle" and "C.S. Lewis" do battle over the proposition that smooth peanut butter is superior to crunchy.
Students prepare to engage not only their minds but also their hands in the Science and Astronomy class. While studying anatomy, they explore a pig's head, a lamb's brain, and a cow's heart and kidney. Meanwhile, in the Trinity class, a student tabled something much more appealing: cupcakes that spell "PERICHORESIS"!
In the annual soccer match between CHC staff and Australian Studies Centre students, the staff secured a convincing victory. Unfortunately, the Director of Student Services issued the innocent Millis Institute Director a yellow card (even though the unjust judge should have received one himself for wearing those socks with sneakers)!
Our recent Informal Hall featured Mexican food and dancing lessons.
Millis students entered Spring Break on a high note by attending the annual CHC Ball, whose theme was "A Night at the Oscars." Held at Rydges South Bank Hotel, the Ball was organised by a terrific Student Representative Council, including Millis students Johan Taljaard (President), Kim Noronha (Secretary), and Jessica Kolbe (Academic Board Rep).