The Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics (OCCA) is an autonomous study centre based in Oxford, England. Established in 2005, OCCA offers a range of programmes. Students who successfully apply for the Certificate in Theological Studies (CTS) at Wycliffe Hall can also apply to study apologetics at OCCA.
OCCA brings together leading theologians, apologists and scholars in a centre of excellence. OCCA students receive regular teaching from acclaimed lecturers such as John Lennox, Os Guinness, Michael Ramsden, Amy Orr-Ewing, Frog Orr-Ewing, Tom Price, Keith Small, Sharon Dirckx and Tanya Walker as well as teaching from Ravi Zacharias at special functions during the year. Furthermore, students receive mentorship and spiritual formation, evangelistic placements, and the chance to work alongside OCCA faculty at speaking events and on mission weeks. For those with a passion to make Christ known, studying at OCCA can be a life-transforming experience, combining effective evangelism with academic rigour.
Students who successfully apply for the Certificate in Theological Studies (CTS) at Wycliffe Hall can also apply to study apologetics on the OCCA Programme. The CTS is a University of Oxford course taught by the award-winning faculty of Wycliffe Hall and the wider university. CTS students are full members of Wycliffe Hall and its vibrant, evangelical, worshipping community and have the full status and benefits of being University of Oxford students. The CTS provides an opening for people of all ages to receive an excellent framework for both academic theological studies and its practical outworking in Christian service. A prerequisite of acceptance to the OCCA Programme is acceptance to the CTS. (For further information about the CTS and applying to Wycliffe Hall, please see ‘Applying’ below.)
Taking the OCCA Programme alongside the CTS makes for an enriching year of world-class training in theology, evangelism and apologetics within the beautiful environment of Oxford. Students experience an unparalleled opportunity to significantly develop in character, spiritual discipline, intellectual depth and evangelistic ministry through this unique combination of academic and practical training in theology and apologetics.
KEY ATTRACTIONS OF THE OCCA PROGRAMME
- The chance to study many of the key questions of, and objections to, the Christian faith.
- Teaching and training from many leading apologists and scholars, such as John Lennox, Alister McGrath, Ravi Zacharias, Os Guinness, Michael Ramsden, Amy Orr-Ewing, Tom Price, Keith Small, Frog Orr-Ewing and Sharon Dirckx.
- An opportunity to sharpen apologetic and evangelistic skills.
- The opportunity to travel with OCCA on various university mission weeks and other evangelistic speaking engagements.
- A dynamic mix of students, representing many nationalities.
- An intentionally small group of students enabling close and consistent interaction with tutors and lecturers.
- Mentoring in preaching and speaking from experienced and gifted communicators.
- An engaging weekly practical evangelism placement in a local church or team
- ‘Huddles’: weekly discipleship and mentoring groups led by OCCA faculty allowing students to share concerns and successes, and receive ongoing support and encouraging advice.
- Weekly community worship with a challenging devotional message,
- A full academic year in the inspiring surroundings of Oxford.
KEY ATTRACTIONS OF STUDYING IN OXFORD
- Studying in a city where teaching has existed in some form since 1096 and developed rapidly from 1167. Oxford University itself is recognised as the oldest university in the English-speaking world.
- Being a part of a rich heritage of Christian thinkers, scholars and writers, such as C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Wesley, William Tyndale and John Wycliffe.
- The ‘city of dreaming spires’ – strikingly beautiful architecture.
- An ideal base for exploring Europe during the holidays.
Candidates will need to complete two applications – one to Wycliffe Hall for the CTS and one to OCCA for the OCCA Programme. These two admission processes are independent of one another. A prerequisite of acceptance to the OCCA Programme is acceptance to the CTS.
- Applications to Wycliffe Hall for the CTS can be made here. The application process for the CTS is handled exclusively by Wycliffe Hall.
- Applications for the OCCA Programme can be made by clicking ‘Apply Online’ at the top right of this page and then selecting ‘OCCA Programme’ in the drop-down menu. (You will be asked to register an account with a valid email address to make an application).
We welcome applications for the OCCA Programme while you are awaiting the results of your CTS application. Please note, however, that OCCA Programme applications will only be fully reviewed once a candidate is offered a place on the CTS at Wycliffe Hall.
For the OCCA Programme, the majority of students will typically be educated to at least bachelor degree level.
For information on necessary qualifications for the Certificate in Theological Studies, please refer to the University of Oxford website on admissions requirements.
For further information, including details of OCCA Programme fees and scholarship opportunities, please view our FAQ section.
“I am certain that my year in Oxford was life changing. Intellectually I developed in terms of biblical knowledge, church history, and of course current issues in apologetics. Practically I was challenged in terms of public speaking, debating and teaching to seekers and skeptics. But the deepest blessing was to enter into the community in worship and fellowship. The new friendships that developed will be there for a lifetime.”
Bruce Beard, 2005