About Summer Programs

50 YEARS OF SUMMER

On July 21, 1969, while Neil Armstrong took his first steps amongst the craters of the moon, fifty-six eager students and seven professors were on a different (but still momentous) kind of journey. In a rented room on UBC campus, they were neck-deep in week three of the first ever Regent Summer Programs. One small step for theological education!

Like a moon landing, Regent Summer has always been an exploration of frontiers. A number of features from that first class stood out starkly in the landscape of theological education: There was the unique combination of world-class scholarship with deep-rooted evangelicalism; there was the diversity of disciplines—theology, history, psychology, literature, and more; but most unique of all—and most central to the founders’ vision—was this: These graduate-level courses weren’t just for pastors and academics. They were for all people from all walks of life. 

This decision to welcome ordinary believers was unorthodox. But did it ever work. Dr. Ward Gasque, the unofficial Dean of that first summer school, spoke glowingly of the first class: “Far from lowering the level of discussions, the nonacademics brought a freshness to the classroom which was as rare of Academe as it was invigorating.” Any of our regular Summer students will tell you: The diverse perspectives at Summer Programs remains as invigorating now as then.

50 years since Regent’s (and Neil’s) bold first steps, our vision of no-holds-barred, vigorous theological study for all Christians is stronger than ever. This brings us abundant joy, and we’re celebrating with maybe our most exciting line-up of summer professors yet. We hope you’ll join us!