The Augustine Collective is a student-driven network of Christian journals on college campuses. Launched in 2010, the Augustine Collective is now run as a program of The Veritas Forum, an international non-profit devoted to elevating thoughtful Christian perspectives and promoting dialogue on campus and in society. The journals seek to reinvigorate thoughtful conversations about faith on campus by publishing student essays, reviews, art, and poetry inspired by the conviction that the Christian Gospel encompasses the whole of life itself.
In 2004, students at Harvard College published the first issue of the Harvard Ichthus. In the inaugural editor’s letter they wrote:
“We at the Ichthus are Christians—we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God; that He died on Good Friday and rose again on Easter Sunday, and that He is the answer to the problems of our broken world. We believe this so strongly that we are not willing to put our faith upon a shelf or take it for granted—we want to think about it critically, and talk about it with whomever will listen. The Ichthus is a journal of Christian thought, written by people who endeavor to apply that faith to every aspect of their lives—to think Christianly about biology, mathematics, physics, history, philosophy, economics, music, literature, film, relationships, careers, beauty, truth, and love. We are not interested in proselytizing; we are interested in discussing, and we hope that people of all faiths, and of none, will join with us in the discussion.”
By 2010, students had started like-minded journals at eight other schools — Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Princeton, University of Maine, Williams, and Yale. That same year, the Augustine Collective was founded by Tim Norton and Andrew Schuman, with strong encouragement and support from the Cecil B. Day Foundation, in an effort to increase collaboration among these journals and to propel the movement forward. In 2017, The Veritas Forum adopted The Augustine Collective (then comprised of 20 student publications) to support and advance its mission and growth into the next season.
The Augustine Collective now consists of journals on twenty-seven schools. The Collective supports an annual conference, personal coaching, online resources, and catalytic funding. Journals frequently publish at least two printed issues annually, host follow-up discussions, sponsor lectures, convene reading groups, foster online conversations, and host conferences. Fueling these activities are weekly meetings where students read classic Christian texts and edit, discuss, and refine their writing. Journals have won awards for their writing, design, and online presence, including multiple awards for “Best Campus Publication,” and mention in major news outlets, including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, for their fresh approach to faith on campus.
We, the member journals of the Augustine Collective, have come together because we believe the Christian Gospel encompasses the whole of life itself; that the brokenness of this world is mirrored in the brokenness of God on the cross; and that the answer to our brokenness is found only in the Resurrection. For us, this means that all things hold together in Christ: art, history, music, philosophy, mathematics, literature, poetry, medicine, law, justice, science. The modern university was founded to pursue these things: Light and Truth, as Yale has it, or simply Veritas, at Harvard.
The Augustine Collective exists to revive Christian thought, dialogue, and imagination in the modern university. We envision a space on college campuses where students and faculty gather to pursue faith and learning together. To facilitate this dialogue we support journals that bring the intellectual riches of the Christian tradition into conversation with the diverse areas of study and narratives of the modern academy. Our vision is to see journals of Christian thought flourish on campuses around the world as hubs of integrated thought and life.
Augustine serves as a guiding light for the Collective because of the breadth of his intellectual projects, his commitment to the unity of truth, and his enduring legacy in many branches of Christianity and in the academy. Augustine famously believed that faith and reason could not ultimately contradict each other because there could be no contradiction in God, the author of truth. We too believe in this unity and seek to emulate the breadth, rigor, and imaginative appeal of his far-reaching vision.
Peter Blair Director of the Augustine Collective
Peter is the Director of the Augustine Collective at the Veritas Forum. At Dartmouth College, Peter was the third editor-in-chief of the The Dartmouth Apologia. After graduating, he served first as a writer and then as an editor at The American Interest and then joined Thomistic Institute as the Campus Program Coordinator. Peter was also the co-founder and the founding editor-in-chief of Fare Forward.
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Jake Casale AC Coach
Jake Casale graduated from Dartmouth College in 2017, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of The Dartmouth Apologia. He is currently working as a business analyst at TruDataRx.
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Aurora Ling AC Coach
Aurora Ling graduated from UC Berkeley in 2018 with a B.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies. She became Christian her sophomore year of college and served as the editor-in-chief of To An Unknown God (TAUG) at Berkeley. After graduating, Aurora spent a year in Chicago, helping start college ministries with her church. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Politics (focusing on International Relations) at Princeton University. Her interests include human rights, religious conflict, international law, and Christian apologetics.
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Luke Foster AC Coach
Luke Foster is a PhD Candidate at the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought, where he studies political philosophy and the philosophy of education. He studied English and history at Columbia University, helping found an Augustine Collective journal, The Crown & Cross in 2013 and graduating in 2015. He was born and raised in Mozambique in a missionary family.
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Noelle Michael AC Coach
Noelle Michael graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2019 with a B.A. in Medicine, Health, and Society concentrating on Health Policy. As a student, Noelle served as Design Editor and later Editor-in-Chief of The Vanderbilt Synesis. She currently works as a communications associate for The White House Writers Group in D.C.
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Kelsey Waddill AC Support
Kelsey Waddill graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2018 with degrees in Writing Seminars and Film & Media Studies. While attending JHU, she was the Chief of Videography for The Hopkins Dialectic. Currently, she lives near Boston, MA and works as an editor, writer, and multimedia producer for an online healthcare publication.
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The Augustine Collective maintains a growing network of engaged alumni. Many of our alumni choose to stay involved with their publications after graduation as well as support journals in their geographical vicinity, offering financial support, mentoring, and seeking to extend the influence of journals into alumni communities. At some of our schools, alumni societies have formed around a journal to expand the level of dialogue on campus and support the publication. For example, in 2008, alumni founded the Wheelock Society at Dartmouth to elevate reason, stimulate discussion, and articulate Christian perspectives.