Come to the French Rhineland!


For more than twenty-five years, Dr Montgomery has provided opportunities to study theology and related subjects in Strasbourg, France-the heart of the Alsatian Rhineland. After receiving his theological doctorate from the University of Strasbourg in 1964, he organised a term-abroad programme for the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in cooperation with the University's Faculty of Protestant Theology. Later, when founding the Simon Greenleaf School of Law (now a division of Trinity International University), he created a Christian human rights programme which benefited from the summer offerings at the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg. That programme continued under the auspices of the University of Luton, England, during Dr Montgomery's professorship there.

In 1997, a new summer study programme came into existence-one focusing on the defence of Christian truth: the International Academy of Apologetics, Evangelism and Human Rights. Its reason for existence? To provide "a unique opportunity to learn to defend historic biblical faith in an increasingly secular age devoid of a solid basis for human rights." For two weeks in mid-July, a maximum of 20 students benefit from the instruction of the world's foremost apologists, who teach in nine areas:

The Apologetic Task Today
Philosophical Apologetics
Scientific Apologetics
Historical Apologetics
Biblical Authority Today
Legal Apologetics
Human Rights and the Defence of the Faith
Cults, Sects, and the World's Religions
Apologetics and Medical Issues

The faculty and advisory board include over twenty apologists, including such notables as Josh McDowell, Michael Horton, J. P. Moreland, Gary Habermas, Harold O. J. Brown, Rod Rosenbladt, Frank Beckwith, Craig Hazen, and John Ankerberg-two of whom teach each summer, together with the American director, Craig Parton (author of The Defense Never Rests) and Dr Montgomery. The Academy is the world's only "institute of advance studies" in apologetic evangelism!

Students benefit from subsidised rates at the University of Strasbourg. They stay at the University's Protestant residence hall and eat at the student cafeterias of the University. Social activities are an integral part of the experience. These include an evening in a restaurant which was once the wine cellar of the Strasbourg cathedral; social time in the Montgomery's Strasbourg flat, with harp demonstratios by Mrs M accompanied by glorious Alsatian desserts; and a full day's bus excursion in the Alsace, including Albert Schweizer's birthplace; a medieval walled village; the only surviving personal library of a Renaissance scholar, who was a friend of Erasmus; and the museum containing the greatest of all paintings of our Lord's crucifixion and resurrection (the Grunewald altarpiece in Colmar).

The opportunity to spend two weeks in Strasbourg would alone justify the experience. As the Academy brochure puts it: "Strasbourg, enchanting capital city of the Alsace, on the Rhine River dividing France and Germany; at once ancient (with its still inhabited medieval quarter and its university founded by John Calvin) and modern (the seat of the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights); only one-half hour from the Black Forest, one hour from Heidelberg, two hours from the Swiss Alps, three hours from Luxembourg, and four hours from Paris."

The official deadline for registration is February1 for the July programme, but over half the places for July, 2005 were taken before the 2005 brochure was even printed (in September, 2004)! It thus behoves interested persons to contact the American director very early in order to secure a place: Registration consists of sending a non-refundable cheque for $US 300, made out to "M. le Pr J. W. Montgomery" and airmailed to:

M. le Pr J. W. Montgomery
Apologetics Academy
2, rue de Rome
67000 Strasbourg

The remainder (for 2011, $US 2,695) is due in two equal payments. The dates for these non-refundable payment are February 1 and March 15. The cost of the programme covers registration, all tuition and instructional fees, lodging throughout the session, and most meals. Only transportation to/from Strasbourg is not included, but low-cost flights are always available, using the London, Paris, or Frankfurt airports and the train from there to Strasbourg.

Not so incidentally, 6-9 semester hours of academic credit are available on completion of the programme; these are provided for undergraduates by Patrick Henry College and for graduate students by the Academy itself. Attendance at a second session can lead to Fellow's status at the Academy (on passing an oral examination) and/or the Diploma of the Academy (on successfully defending a thesis on an apologetics topic).

To give a bit of the flavour of the Academy experience, here are some photos from past summers . . .

 For current information on the coming summer's Apologetics Academy programme, please go to