L'Abri 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.  Here are some of their testimonials about their study experience:

How did you go about studying that topic? What did you learn?

Hannah Fleming: My study was split pretty evenly between lectures and reading.

Katlyn Levi: Initially, I studied by reading, but primarily, I thought through and processed my own worship experiences.  I thought about the questions that arose from that and then wrestled through those questions.

Chloe Pool: I went through the lecture catalog and made a list of things that resonated with me, what had been on my mind… then I had the opportunity to study those subjects.

Luke Lillard: In order to study community, I read a book recommended by my tutor (Marsh Moyle) about self-sufficient communities espousing various worldviews.  Other than that, I just spent the week observing how a self sufficient community lives.

What was the highlight of the week for you?

Stephen Green: For me, the highlight of the week was talking with my tutors and advisors.  I got a lot out of those conversations.

Hannah Fleming: I loved the opportunity to have conversations with the workers there, as well as conversations within our own group in which we examined questions from our study times.  We all had the chance to voice our questions and discuss the implications with each other.

Jesse Murray: I enjoyed taking walks–walking with people, and walking alone.  I did most of my thinking and processing while walking.  It was very helpful to have a really good environment to walk in–England is full of footpaths.

What advice would you give someone considering spending time at L’Abri?

Katlyn Levi: People experience L’Abri differently depending on where they are in life.  For instance, I enjoyed the week; but it wasn’t just a life-changing experience for me like it has been for a lot of people.  For people who really are struggling with questions, it can be a life-changing experience. I don’t think that should make or break whether you decide to go, but you should consider that it isn’t just a flippant trip to England—some people really need to go, and some people may not.

Chloe Pool: While I was at L’Abri, I struggled with the fact that it seemed like the people there never rested from challenging themselves and each other, or from asking questions.  It made me feel almost guilty when I just wanted to read a book or NOT think.  It was good to realize that it was okay to take breaks from really deep conversations.

Jesse Murray: I think it is valuable to go just to see another way to live.  Most students who would go wouldn’t understand the L’Abri lifestyle, and I think an exposure to that, even if it’s only for a week and a half, is life-changing.  So go!

Hannah Fleming: Both the experience at L’Abri and the experience of life here are extremely important.  Neither would have meant as much without the other.

How has the L’Abri experience influenced your semester?

Hannah Fleming: The L’Abri experience shaped my entire semester.

Jesse Murray: It’s been like a park bench.  It was a place to rest, but it has also gone far beyond rest for me.  It has been a structure; it’s been something that has welcomed me in each week to rest but has also sent me back out.  It’s been a lot of things—it has encouraged rest and reflection at the same time.

Stephen Green: L’Abri has been a freeing element in my life.  It provided rest from all this stuff that was going on.  But apart from that, I was really challenged by the class as a whole—it really pushed me to ask more questions when I was going through the rest of my classes.  It shaped my semester, the way I formed conversations, and the way I engaged with people.  It has pushed me into another stage in my life, just through the way it challenged me to think about my life.

Katlyn Levi: It taught me a lot about how I deal with ideas and how I process and think about things.  It taught me about my own perspective.

Jessalyn Huffman: I really enjoyed the group!  We didn’t all know each other because we have a variety of friend groups at Bryan. We all got along really well, and I’ve learned from what everyone had to say.

Hannah Fleming: I’ve enjoyed getting to explore questions in this context of a group because we can only go so far by ourselves.  You can go a lot farther with other people.  It helped me deal with questions that were too big to untangle by myself.

Chloe Pool: I’ve appreciated the honesty within our group.  It has given me the freedom to talk about things that have confused me.  I’ve also really appreciated realizing how many different perspectives there are about things within the Christian faith.  I’ve always had such a narrow view of God, and there was a night after discussion when I thought, “Do I really want to open this box?  Wouldn’t I be happier if I just didn’t think about everything so I could feel in control?”  I realized that that was not the right response, or even the response I wanted, because choosing a smaller, more comfortable God would be choosing a lie about him.  It’s been good to realize how big God is, and how many questions there are in that bigness.