The Elzinga Residential Scholars Program, named after UVA economics professor and former Study Center board member Ken Elzinga, was established in the early 2000s, and continues today under the guidance of the Study Center’s Directors of Undergraduate Ministries, Ethan and Katie Hightower. There are four primary components of the Elzinga Residential Scholars Program: live in community, grow in faith and knowledge, worship God, and serve others.
Live in Community
The residents live in intentional Christian community during their program year. The eight male participants live together at the Study Center and the twelve female students live in the “Yellow House” next door. They have regular house meetings for sharing and prayer, gather on a weekly basis for Thursday dinners, and participate in a community retreat.
Grow in Faith and Knowledge
Residents are encouraged to grow in their knowledge of Scripture and their faith in God in a variety of ways during the year. These opportunities include auditing a class on biblical theology taught by Bill Wilder during the fall semester, participating in lectures hosted by the Study Center, being mentored by an older Christian, and discussing the integration of Christian faith and life during the spring semester.
The residents meet together for a time of worship and prayer prior to their program dinner on Thursday nights. They are also encouraged to connect with a campus ministry at UVA, as well as a local church body.
Residents are asked to put their faith into practice by serving throughout the program year. These opportunities include preparing and cleaning up Thursday dinners, volunteering at Study Center events, and partnering with the Center's hospitality and outreach ministries.
Program Elements for 2019-20
Connection with other residents and the program directors (mid-August).
Meals prepared by residents on a rotating basis and shared together (Thursdays, 5:30 p.m.)
Fall Course: God and Vocation
Spring Discussions: Faith and Life
Weekly reading assignments and discussions of a biblical worldview and the Christian life (Thursdays during the spring semester, 6:30-8:00 p.m.)
Regular meetings with an older Christian from the Charlottesville community (arranged with mentor)
Times for sharing and praying together as a household (weekly)
Study Center Lectures & Seminars
Attendance at educational events hosted by the Center for Christian Study (one per semester)
Program Fee: $450 (payable in 9 monthly payments of $50). Covers Thursday dinners and other program activities and materials.
Housing (males): $475 per month rent (including utilities)
Housing (females): $510 per month rent (including utilities)
“This program left me encountering mercy and joy. In each Thursday night conversation, we debated complicated issues in our personal lives and in the world today. Each question gave us an answer that defined the relationship between man and God. Over and over, I came to the conclusion that the mercy of God is the only solution to working out the problems of man. Forming an intentional community requires a joyful disposition that can only be fueled by a relationship with Christ. I was blessed to see the hope, kindness, and smiles that my roommates carried. Their joy in the gospel rubbed off on me and encouraged me to continue to seek Christ. This program has made me see the importance of intentional, Christ-centered community. I am hoping to find this beyond college now that I understand how important it is to build each other up!” -Matt Baron, ENGR '16