Each spring semester Dr. Matt Benson's CLF 304 Life in Intentional Christian Community class spends 11 days at L'Abri in Greatham, England, about 50 miles southwest of London.  L'Abri (French for "the shelter"), founded in 1955 by Francis and Edith Schaeffer in Switzerland, today has centers in Asia, North and South America, Europe, Korea, and Australia. 

Dr. Benson states that the L'Abri experience
  • Seeks to explore the understanding that Christianity speaks to all areas of life. Spiritual depth and purpose have long been nurtured throughout church history through a variety of intentional Christian communities.  L'Abri, one such vibrant spiritual community, is a great fit for Bryan students because one of Bryan's strengths is its strong sense of community.  
  • Puts a strong emphasis on establishing a healthy rhythm of life that creates space for work, study, rest, and play within community. For American college students, whose lives can be consumed by busy schedules, this rhythm addresses a deep need of the soul by creating space for God to speak, space for us to listen, and space to learn to love others well through contributing into the genuine life of community. 

The Beginnings of L’Abri

Famous twentieth-century theologian Francis Schaeffer moved to Switzerland with his wife Edith and their family in 1947.  After several years in Switzerland, the Schaeffers broke with the mission organization for whom they had worked and began to pursue their vision of providing a “shelter” for the development of relationships and the honest discussion of Christianity and various persons’ objections to it.  Read more here.

A Day in the Life

The average day at L’Abri affords the student countless opportunities to learn. They interact with ideas through study, conversation, work,and many other settings.

Read more about "A Day in the Life" here.  Learn about L'Abri's four main teaching emphases here

Student Testimonials

All L'Abri students choose a topic of personal or philosophical interest to study.  Topic examples include community, the purpose of the Law, and forgiveness.  Many students studied something related to their own relationships with God. Read more here.