About Oxford

Oxford has been an important English town since the 10th century. Today, it is one of the world’s most well- known cities and has a long tradition as a centre of intellectual and philosophical debate.

It has a particular historical significance for Christian belief as the place where the monastic tradition began to become scholastic; where Wycliffe and Tyndale began to translate the Bible; where Cranmer, Latimer and Ridley were burnt at the stake as Protestant martyrs in the 16th century; the place where the Wesley brothers and George Whitefield met and founded the Methodist church; the home of the Oxford Movement in the 19th century; and the place where CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien discussed the place of Christian allegory in the fantasy genre over a pint of beer in the Eagle and Child pub in the 1950s.

Today the tradition continues, as Oxford is the centre of the debate between the ‘New Atheism’ of Richard Dawkins and Philip Pullman and leading Christian apologists such as John Lennox and Ard Louis.

In addition, Oxford has long been a centre for Christian mission and social action. It is home to organisations such as the Church Mission Society (CMS), Oxfam, Viva, the Zacharias Trust, Opportunity International, Open Doors, the International Federation of Evangelical Students (IFES) and Innovista.

The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world and lays claim to nine centuries of continuous existence. Academic teaching existed here in some form in 1096 and developed rapidly from 1167. The University is comprised of 39 self-governing colleges and seven Permanent Private Halls, of which Wycliffe Hall is one.

Throughout its history, Oxford has produced gifted men and women in every speciality. Among these are kings, queens, princes, prime ministers, presidents, archbishops and Nobel prize-winners. Since 1355, when Edward III paid tribute to the University for its invaluable contribution to learning, Oxford has continued to be praised for its unique and crucial role as a centre of excellence in teaching and research.

Oxford has excellent facilities and resources for learning. The University’s and city’s history has been built upon books being read, written, published, studied and debated. The central library of the University—the Bodleian—is a copyright deposit library and so entitled to request one free copy of every book published in the UK. The Bodleian’s collections of books and manuscripts are used by scholars around the world and it is planned that all OCCG students will be permitted access to the library.

To find out more about Oxford, please visit our Useful Links section.