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Only days left until Confident Faith 2024!

Bookings are now closed

Bookings for the OCCA Summer School 2024 are now closed. Bookings are still open for the Confident Faith Conference, our all-day event on Saturday, July 13th in Oxford.

Click here for more information about Confident Faith: Clarity in the Chaos.

Summer School Schedule

If you’ve been in previous years, you might notice some changes this time.

There’s a real sense of camaraderie among our Summer School delegates each year, many of whom come back year are after year.  We recommend that you join in as many of the social activities as possible.

Tuesday | 9th

Welcome Tour

Meet at Gloucester Green at 2pm.
Back by popular demand is our short tour of the city looking at ‘The History of Faith in Oxford’. Spouses are welcome to join us.

Gala Dinner | Rhodes House

Arrive from 6:30pm, Sit down at 7:15pm.
We’re beginning on Tuesday evening with a special dinner at Rhodes House.  This will be a great time to meet the OCCA team and one another, to settle into Oxford and prepare ourselves for the week ahead.

It’s not an Oxford formal dinner, but we do want it to be very special, so do please dress smartly.  But we’re aware that many of our guests are travelling and so will be limited in what clothing they can bring.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday | 10 – 12 July

For three days we will meet at St Ebbes Church for our Summer School.   This will be an intense time of learning and training, where we find intellectual stimulation and spiritual encouragement.

  • Coffee is served from 8.30am.
  • Each day will open with worship and morning devotions at 9am.
  • The mornings will consist of plenary lectures, an interactive session and a Q&A panel.
  • Lunch is provided.
  • During the afternoon there will be a variety of seminars and workshops,
  • We end our day together with gathering thoughts and worship at 4.30pm.
  • From 5pm you are free to enjoy the city of Oxford, take time to reflect on the day or rest.  We are organising various optional social events in the evenings which we’d love you to join with.

Wednesday Evening

Punting | River | 5:30pm

Meet outside St Ebbes Church to walk down to Magdalen Bridge for an hour on the river.

Evensong | Christ Church | 6pm

Join us as we head to the Cathedral for their service of Evensong. Meet outside St Ebbes Church at .

Thursday Evening

Quiz Night | St Aldates Tavern | 7pm

Join us for an evening of trivia in a classic British Pub Quiz.

Saturday | 13 July

Confident Faith Conference

On Saturday we are opening up the event into a day conference at the University Examination Schools.  We will be inviting people from all over, including local churches, to join us for a day of training and encouragement.

We’re very excited about this new development and we hope that it will be a wonderful culmination of our week together.

Visit the specific page on this website to find out more.

Further Enquiries

If you need any additional information, please email us events@theocca.org.

Each day’s lectures and workshops are focused around a theme:

  • Wednesday: How can I know?
  • Thursday: Who am I?
  • Friday: What should I do?

Wednesday to Friday, is our more-intimate Summer School.  In the mornings we will be together for lectures, then you’ll have the opportunity to select 2 workshops each day to go deeper in an area you’re interested in.

Explore the list below and start getting excited about a week of learning at the OCCA Summer School 2024.  If you want to join the two-part ‘Giving A Talk’ workshop track, please let us know (events@theocca.org) so that we can have enough tutors to support you all well.

Saturday is our Confident Faith Conference.  Signing up for our Summer School includes a ticket to this exciting day.

Wednesday – Friday Lectures & Workshops

09:30 Lecture: Setting the Scene

  • 5 Things our Culture Believes about Knowledge – Alanzo Paul

10:15 Interactive Session

  • Knowing in Culture – Tom Price & Sara Stevenson

11:30 Lecture: A Christian Response

  • Rebuilding Trust in a time of Uncertainty – John Lennox

12:15 Question and Response Panel

09:30 Lecture: Setting the Scene

  • 5 Promises of Disney about Who You Are – Charlie Styles

10:15 Interactive Session

  • Identity: Internal/External – Sara Stevenson & Tom Price

11:30 Lecture: A Christian Response

  • Reconstructing Identity in a Time of Fluidity

12:15 Question and Response Panel

09:30 Lecture: Setting the Scene

  • 5 Moral Questions of Our Time – Max Jeganathan

10:15 Interactive Session

  • Issues to Consider – Sara Stevenson & Tom Price

11:30 Lecture: A Christian Response

  • Engaging with the World in a Time of Unrest – Sam Allberry

12:15 Question and Response Panel

Wednesday Session 1 Thursday Session 1 Friday Session 1
Why trust the Bible? Lara Buchanan Business, Work & Meaning Max Jeganathan Suffering and War Max Jeganathan
Leading Someone to Christ Alanzo Paul How to Answer Questions Charlie and Lara Sharing Faith despite Apathy and Disinterest Dan Lacich
Stop asking Christian questions to Hindus! Rahil Patel Make Them Wish it were True Simon Edwards Hope for Gen Z Clare Williams
Broken Planet Sharon Dirckx The Problem of Fragility Alanzo Paul AI and Transhumanism John Lennox
Wednesday Session 2 Thursday Session 2 Friday Session 2
God and Science Sharon Dirckx Gender and Identity Ben Thomas Sexuality and Identity Sam Allberry
Giving a Talk,
Part 1
Tom Price and various tutors Giving a Talk,
Part 2
Tom Price and various tutors How to be a digital Christian? Clare Williams
Women and Bible Sara Stevenson Was Jesus a real person? Sara Stevenson Can we trust the church? Charlie Styles
Doubt, Certainty and Truth Max Baker-Hytch The Hiddenness of God Max Baker-Hytch Juggernaut of Judgement or Gentle Jesus: Are there two Gods in the Bible? Alanzo Paul

Cost 

We’re aware that it can be expensive to spend a week in Oxford and so we work hard to keep the cost down. The OCCA Dinner, lunches and refreshments are included, but delegates will need to find their own accommodation and evening meals.

The ticket price this year is: £625 (£200 less than last year), which includes a ticket to the Day Conference on Saturday.

We want this conference to be available to anyone. If the cost is barrier for you, please get in touch about a bursary.


Accommodations

Summer School attendees will need to  source their own accommodation. Below are some options that you may find helpful.

Accommodation Options – 2024


Locations

Tuesday: Rhodes House for dinner | S Parks Rd, Oxford OX1 3RG

Wednesday – Friday: St. Ebbes Church | Penny Farthing Pl, Oxford OX1 1QF

Saturday: University Examination Schools | 75 – 81 High St, Oxford OX1 4BG

 

OCCA Summer School 2024 Speakers

More speakers announced soon…

Photo of Alanzo Paul
Alanzo Paul
Alanzo is passionate about literature, philosophy and theology. His work primarily focuses on questions such as, ‘Why does God allow suffering and injustice?’ and ‘What is the meaning of life?’. Additionally, he enjoys exploring topics such as the Occult, identity, Gen Z, difficult passages in the Old Testament, and the case for the historical Jesus.
Photo of Ben Thomas
Ben Thomas
Ben qualified as a doctor in 2003, and worked full-time in the medical field outside of the one year he took to pursue training in Theology and Apologetics at the University of Oxford and OCCA. In 2016, he became a consultant in Neurosciences Intensive Care Medicine and Anaesthesia unit, but now works as a consultant part-time alongside his role as a speaker at the OCCA.
Ben has interests in the intersection of faith and sexuality, gender, medical ethics, and psychology. He has spoken numerous times to the younger generations and adults in churches, conferences, and mission events across the UK and Australia. In his attempts to work out what it looks like to follow Jesus well, he is also a keen runner (Forrest Gump style!), musician, chef, and loves spending time with his family, friends, and Godchildren.
Photo of Charlie Styles
Charlie Styles
Revd. Charlie Styles currently leads OCCA’s team, after spending 12 years in church leadership.  He loves teaching the Bible and is responsible for setting the direction and culture of OCCA.
Photo of Clare Williams
Clare Williams
Clare's work focuses upon questions of race, justice and culture, and what the Christian message has to offer these contested issues. She studied English Language and Literature at Oxford University, and has Masters degrees in Leadership, Culture, Diaspora and Ethnicity.
Photo of John Lennox
John Lennox
John is the President of the OCCA The Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. He is an Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University and speaks on the interface of science, and religion, and is a well-known biblical teacher. He has debated the likes of Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Peter Singer, and has lectured extensively in North America, Eastern and Western Europe, and Australasia on mathematics, the philosophy of science and the intellectual defence of Christianity.
John is also an Emeritus Fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford University. In addition, he is a Senior Fellow with the Trinity Forum, and has written a number of books exploring the relationship between science and Christianity, among them: Where is God in a Coronavirus World? (2020), 2084: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity (2021), and Cosmic Chemistry: Do God and Science Mix? (2021). Most recently, Lennox has produced a biblical exposition, Friend of God: The Inspiration of Abraham in an Age of Doubt.
He gained his MA, MMath, and PhD at Emmanuel College, Cambridge University. He also holds an MA and DPhil from Oxford University (by incorporation), an MA in Bioethics from the University of Surrey, and a DSc from the University of Wales.
John lives near Oxford and is married to Sally. They have three grown up children and ten grandchildren.
Photo of Lara Buchanan
Lara Buchanan

Lara Buchanan holds degrees in History, English Literature, and a PGCE in Secondary Education from the University of Cape Town. She also has a Certificate in Apologetics through the OCCA The Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics, and Theology from Oxford University. Previously, Lara worked for several years as an English and History secondary school teacher, before going on to run the internship and theological training program for St Aldates Church, Oxford.

Lara has a specific interest in studying the impact of Jesus’ life for the individual and for the community. Lara has spoken in various academic and corporate settings in Africa, Europe, Asia, North America, and across the UK. Her hope is to develop meaningful connections with people from other cultures, faiths, and worldviews in order to explore the deep questions of life together within the context of friendship.

 

Photo of Max Baker-Hytch
Max Baker-Hytch

Dr. Max Baker-Hytch is the Academic Consultant at OCCA. He received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Oxford in 2014. Afterwards, he held two postdoctoral research fellowships, one at Oxford (2014-15), and one at the University of Notre Dame. Separately to his role at OCCA, he is a member of the Faculty at Oxford University and Lecturer in Philosophy at Wycliffe Hall.

Photo of Sam Allberry
Sam Allberry
Sam Allberry is a pastor, apologist, and speaker. He has authored a number of books, including Is God Anti-Gay?, What God Has to Say About Our Bodies, Why Does God Care Who I Sleep With?, and 7 Myths about Singleness. He is the co-host of the popular podcast You’re Not Crazy: Gospel Sanity for Young Pastors.
He currently serves as an Associate Pastor at Immanuel Nashville and is a canon theologian for the Anglican Church in North America.
Sam has written extensively for numerous organizations, including regular articles for The Gospel Coalition, Desiring God, and Living out.
Photo of Sara Stevenson
Sara Stevenson
Sara is passionate about exploring questions raised by Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. She has an MSc in Philosophy of Science and Religion from the University of Edinburgh, and an Education Degree in Religious Studies.
Photo of Sharon Dirckx
Sharon Dirckx
Dr. Sharon Dirckx is a speaker, author, and an Associate Lecturer at the OCCA The Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. Her interests include questions of meaning, purpose, and identity, and how they relate to Christian belief.
Over the last 10 years, Sharon has been invited to speak internationally in a variety of contexts such as schools, universities, medical colleges, churches, workplaces, and conferences.
Her first book, Why?: Looking at God, Evil and Personal Suffering (2014) interweaves the stories of people who have suffered and our practical questions about suffering. Sharon’s latest book, Am I Just My Brain? (2019), examines human identity from the perspectives of neuroscience, philosophy, and theology. She is also a contributor to best-selling author, Lee Strobel’s latest book, The Case for Heaven (2021).
Sharon holds a Ph.D. in brain imaging from the University of Cambridge and held research positions at the University of Oxford and the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Photo of Tom Price
Tom Price
Tom Price studied Philosophy at university and later completed an MA in Christian Apologetics, and is currently undertaking doctoral research in theology, philosophy and film.

Bookings for Summer School are now closed but are still open for our all-day conference on Saturday, July 13th