Seven reasons you should apply for the Wilberforce Academy

2 April 2020

Ben John, the Wilberforce Academy’s development officer, lists why you should apply to this year’s Wilberforce Academy.

The Wilberforce Academy is a week-long intensive residential programme aimed at students and young professionals with a passion to serve Jesus Christ in a variety of vocations, including law, politics, education, media, arts, healthcare, ministry and business.

Our aim is that delegates will be prepared for servant-hearted, Christ-centred leadership in their communities, churches and workplaces, having been equipped with a robust Biblical framework that guides their thinking, prayers and activity in addressing the issues facing our society.

Here are seven reasons why you should apply to the Wilberforce Academy:

1. World class teaching

The Wilberforce Academy brings together a world-class faculty of leaders and practitioners, who are thought leaders in their respective fields. Speakers include: Andrea Williams, founder and chief executive of Christian Concern and the Christian Legal Centre; Joe Boot, head of public theology for Christian Concern and the founder of the Ezra Institute for Contemporary Christianity; Dr Peter Saunders, chief executive of the International Christian Medical and Dental Association; and Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, former Bishop of Rochester and president of the Oxford Centre for Training, Research, Advocacy and Dialogue (OXTRAD).

What did they say in 2019?

“My Wilberforce Academy experience provided me with a solid foundation of practical biblical teaching delivered by top class speakers which equipped, empowered and inspired me to take action as a soldier for Jesus Christ.” – Joshua, Graduate Planner

“It was truly excellent. I hope I will be able to retain all I learnt.” – Liesl, Legal Advisor

“Bishop Michael’s sermons on Colossians were truly a highlight every morning.” – Carli, Legal Intern

“The genuine Godly characters of the leaders far-surpassed their intellectual capabilities and encouraged me to be a Christian of right belief but also the right practice.” – Sebastian, PPE Student

“EVERY lecture was hugely useful and powerful, and particularly the lectures on Christian Legacy, Biblical Law and Theology of Arts.”– Lydia, Engineering Student

2. Fellowship

Be amongst like-minded Christians, praying and worshipping together. Come together with an amazing group of young Christians and make new friendships united around Christ. Each delegate is placed into an application group with people in similar spheres. In these groups, delegates discuss and apply the teaching of the Wilberforce Academy. I can even say myself that some of the friends I made when I attended in 2016 are some of my closest friends today.

“It was a challenging and fruitful experience which highlighted in a beautiful way how powerful the body of Christ is when we work together.” – Thomas, Operations Executive

“Built connections which will further God’s kingdom on earth.” – Louis, Nursery and Preschool Manager

“The safe and positive environment that was created amongst the group really provided a trust-filled space where people could be real. People really grew over the course of the week.” – Sebastian, PPE Student

“Wow, my application group was a highlight! I learned tremendously from my fellow delegates and could be vulnerable with them. Roger Kiska was our leader and led us with such compassion and wisdom. What an honour!” – Carli, Legal Student

3. Grow closer to God

Whilst the Wilberforce Academy is focussed on equipping emerging Christians for Christ-centred leadership in public life, it also provides an amazing opportunity to draw closer to God and be inspired to bring all areas of life under his Lordship.

“All round life changing experience where I learnt, developed, met with God and became more equipped for His call on my life.” – Nicola, Nurse

“An experience that challenged my mind, heart and spirit. I have come away stronger, more informed and closer to the Holy Spirit than I have ever been before.” – Ndubisi, Economics Student

“An amazing week where I have learnt so much and met so many incredible and inspiring people; I can’t wait to go and delve deeper into what God has been speaking to me about at the Academy.” – Lydia, Engineering Student

“A week encouraging me to live faithfully to Jesus’ teaching and how beautiful society can look when we keep God’s commands and live according to His will; it helped me to begin to see the world through His eyes, helping to break my heart for what breaks His, but with the sure hope that our God is sovereign over all and He loves us so much that He died to rescue us from our sin.” – Claire, Physiotherapy Student

4. Hear from Christian Legal Centre clients and testimonies of people transformed by the love of Christ

Hear first-hand from some of the clients that the Christian Legal Centre have been supporting and be inspired by those bold enough to make a stand for their faith. Last year, delegates heard the powerful testimonies of people such as teaching assistant Kristie Higgs, de-transitioner Pete Benjamin, Felix Ngole, and ex-gay musician Matthew Grech. In 2019 the delegates were hugely inspired by the testimonies:

“SO SO SO GOOD – I absolutely LOVED it!!!! Such a joy and encouragement to hear incredible testimonies and worship our amazing God in response.” – Karis, Medical Student

“Client testimonies are so encouraging and affirm why the work that Christian Concern does is so important.” – Florence, Modern Languages Graduate

“The testimonies makes what we learn about (in the sessions) real.” – Liesl, Legal Advisor

“They were all such an encouragement and was so uplifting to see there are bold bible believing professionals out there who are not afraid to stand for the truth and speak up.” – Nicola, Nurse

5. Powerful worship

A highlight for many is coming together with those from a variety of backgrounds to worship our sovereign creator triune God.

“The worship quality was top notch. The choice of songs was very suitable and always beautiful. I enjoyed that it was a good combination between a bit more traditional and charismatic music. We were truly blessed.”  – Carli, Legal Student

“I loved the worship this week. I loved the variety (both the older hymns to the recent contemporary songs) and felt that everyone was so engaged and this meant the times of worship were a really special part of the day when we would focus on Jesus. Thank you to the worship leaders for leading us in these times of worship.” – Lydia, Engineering Student

6. Be empowered

Come away from the Wilberforce Academy feeling empowered and unashamed about the truth of Jesus Christ, ready to stand and be obedient in a culture where obedience will be increasingly costly. Delegates from the Wilberforce Academy are empowered to stand and speak that Jesus is Lord:

“From being an inert Christian, the Wilberforce Academy has galvanised me into becoming an active Christian! This week commissioned me to follow God’s call on my life!” – Leanna, Law Student

“An invitation to lay down one’s life for the cause of Christ with others in thought and deed.” – Sebastian, PPE Student

“It changed my perspective on the gospel and gave me a new understanding on how to shape culture.” – Simon, Sales Coordinator

“The Wilberforce Academy taught me to see the full scope of the gospel. It convicts the Christian to think practically about how to take the Lordship of Christ to all areas of life, based and centred around how God has revealed himself through his word.” – Barney, Theology Student

7. Be transformed

Ultimately, the Wilberforce Academy is a life changing week, inspiring you to live unashamedly for Jesus Christ wherever it is that God has called.

“The Wilberforce Academy has changed my life and has equipped me with the power of truth to change the world.” – Carli, Law Student

“A life-changing experience, it really changed my perspective and made me realise how big God truly is.”  – Florence, Modern Languages Graduate

“The experience was life changing, intellectually stimulating, thought provoking, empowering and facilitated forming very good relationships.” – Joel, Worship Pastor


To find out more and apply today go to


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