Students in the Warrior Leadership Academy traveled to London, Normandy and Oxford to experience Student Leadership University 301 last week. The goal of our student leadership program is to give our students a decade head start on their peers across the world by the time they graduate high school. This group of rising juniors and seniors began SLU 301 by navigating London in the CCS version of The Amazing Race of London! Navigating a major European city via various means of public transportation as a 17 or 18-year-old is an amazing experience…and they did a great job, culminating in a meeting for dinner at the famous Dickens Inn at historic St Katherine’s Dock.
To begin the week, our students crossed the English Channel and had the privilege of visiting the hallowed grounds of the American Cemetery at Normandy, France. CCS students took part in a somber wreath-laying ceremony honoring our brave warriors who secured freedom for the West and beyond. On the same day, the group had lunch and heard a leadership lecture on Omaha Beach. Each participant was able to gather a small vial of sand off of the beach to take home to keep in remembrance of the day.
The following day began with visiting the Victoria & Albert Museum in London where they saw artifacts and religious sculptures dating back as far as 300 A.D. up to the 18th century. It was very affirming to see the massive impact of our God in the lives of the ancients they were studying. The best artwork was, without question, the art depicting the Word of God and His power. The group then had lunch in the famed Piccadilly Circle in London, a very impressive cultural setting drowning in history in every direction.
After lunch, they attended a great lecture in John Wesley’s home church, highlighting the leadership lessons from his life of awesome impact. The old chapel was classic and beautiful. They began with prayer and singing a few lines from classic hymns. They were also able to visit the final resting places of several giants of the faith, including Wesley, his brother Charles, their mother and John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim’s Progress.
They ended a great day by walking across Westminster Bridge over the River Thames past Big Ben and the Eye of London, finally ending up at the Imperial War Museum. The museum was closed to the public and booked exclusively for CCS as the group was treated to a tour and special program.
On Friday, students had an all-day excursion to beautiful Oxford, England. They began the morning with a very rare opportunity. First, they visited and had an event at The Holy Trinity Church, the home church of C.S. Lewis. Students sat in the same beautiful wooden pews where Lewis and many other impactful Christian leaders spent Sunday after Sunday.
As an educational opportunity, students listened live and in person to a living legend, Dr. John Lennox. Because it would be impossible to list his credentials, work history and impact for the Kingdom of God and in the lives of so many people across the globe here, you make click here for your information. The lecture was recorded and is part of a series for a course to be used at several Christian universities. He was gracious, eloquent and logically flawless. Students experienced a modern-day hero of the faith.
Students spent the rest of the day in town, and around the University of Oxford, where they were free to participate in any number of activities, attractions and lots of shopping. The differences in what students decided to do were broad, funny and a good testimony to the uniqueness of each and every person! Everyone hit the bus probably over-caffeinated, yet exhausted!
The group finished the evening with a great meal, a leadership lecture and a graduation ceremony. The ceremony included a recognition of the completion of the SLU conference series and a time when the President and Vice President of SLU prayed over the students. It was a beautiful culmination of a fantastic day.