This blog post is by Deaconess Rachel Mumme. She shares it with us from The Friends of Westfield House website. Deaconess Rachel and her husband, Rev. Dr. des. Jonathan Mumme serve the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in Cambridge, England. Westfield House is the House of Theological Studies of our partner church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of England (ELCE) located in Cambridge, England and supported by the LCMS and The Friends of Westfield House.
Thirteen students joined together on August 27th, 2013, for the first day of Augustine term at Westfield House. Of these students, three are returning students pursuing a Bachelor of Divinity degree through the University of London. The remaining 10 are study abroad students from 7 different partner institutions in the United States: Concordia Seminary St. Louis, Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Wayne, Concordia University Chicago, Concordia College Bronxville, Concordia University Nebraska, Concordia University Irvine, and Wisconsin Lutheran College.
Augustine term, five weeks in length, will allow students to begin their work before the lectures at Cambridge University kick off. Once our next term, Michaelmas, begins, students will also attend lectures at the Divinity Faculty at Cambridge University. The content of those lectures will be discussed both in supervisions with the tutors (professors) at Westfield House, and in larger class settings.
It is the first year that Westfield House has implemented Augustine Term. In past years, Westfield’s schedule more closely followed that of Cambridge University. However now, with students pursuing a Bachelor of Divinity degree that calls for exams in May (a month before the end of Easter Term), and with a larger influx of study-abroad students from North America, it was time for Westfield House to rethink the way the academic year was scheduled.
Tutor Jonathan Mumme writes, “Our first ever Augustine Term marks a number of significant developments. The earlier start to the year gives our BD (Bachelor of Divinity) students more time to prepare for their exams, and we are also now more closely paralleling the academic calendars of North American Partner Institutions, and all this whilst sacrificing nothing of lectures in Cambridge. And it’s a delight to embark on this new academic schedule with this particular group of students, who bring both continuity to our community and some vibrant new sets of skills and interests.”
This new schedule is comprised of two semesters, with two terms each: five weeks of Augustine and 10 weeks of Michaelmas in the fall, then 10 weeks of Lent and five weeks of Easter in the spring. Michaelmas Term and Lent Term parallel the same at Cambridge University, giving students a great deal of exposure to some of the world’s best academic minds. Easter Term in Cambridge is the time when most students are frantically studying for exams, and as a result, there are fewer lectures that take place in that term.
Undergraduate study abroad students are at Westfield House for one semester, while seminary graduate students remain in Cambridge for a full academic year.