Our Purpose and CommitmentsFacilitating the thoughtful consideration of a Christian understanding of life and culture in the university community
The Christian Study Center brings together students, faculty, and community members to explore the intellectual and cultural resources of the Christian tradition. Drawing on these resources we engage at the highest levels of scholarship in order to address enduring human questions and respond to challenges created by contemporary culture.
While the center’s guests represent a broad range of viewpoints, the Study Center roots its work in the Christian faith as articulated in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments and as summarized in the early creeds of the Christian Church.
In keeping with its Christian commitment, the Study Center takes a conversational approach to its educational program and promotes academic freedom. We seek to enlarge and extend conversations rather than narrow or end them, and we gladly share our lectern with those who share our questions — whether or not they share our Christian commitments.
The Study Center supports higher education, affirms critical thinking, works collaboratively with the University of Florida, and seeks to contribute to the intellectual life of the university community. In all it does the Study Center promotes human flourishing and serves the common good.
The Christian Study Center was conceptualized by a group of Christian academics in Gainesville, Florida. Representing a spectrum of denominational backgrounds, their desire was to see a center introduced to the university community which would cultivate an on-going conversation about how the Christian tradition might contribute to cultural and human questions that arise within the academic disciplines. Drawing inspiration from a number of other study centers throughout the US, and yet, with a desire to offer something unique to Gainesville, the Center was launched in 2000 when a generous donor made a spacious and beautiful two-story building available just two blocks from the University of Florida campus.
In July of 2001, Richard Horner was hired as the first director of the Christian Study Center. Since then, the academic program of the Center has gradually developed and become more focused, and it has become clear that the Center’s unique role is to offer Christian thought in a scholarly way to the university community. In other words, the Study Center seeks to explore the intersection of Christian thought and academic discourse.