The Oxford Character Project
October 1, 2017 - September 30, 2020
Core Funding Area:
Character Virtue Development
Director: Jonathan David BrantInstitution: The Oxford Evangelical Pastorate
How can we create the good leaders and wise thinkers our world needs? The Oxford Character Project (OCP) asserts that strong leadership results from cultivating virtues in postgraduate students. Doing so encourages them to promote these positive values as they move into their careers.
In this project, the OCP looks to expand its reach and increase public recognition of the importance of character development for postgraduates, specifically Wisdom, Honesty, Vocation, Service, Humility, and Gratitude. To accomplish these goals, the investigators will increase the number of their year-long formation groups from the current three to four groups per year. Over the course of the three-year grant, these formation groups will provide intensive character virtue development programming for up to 168 postgraduate students. Because the formation groups are resource-intensive, this project also introduces a new and more resource-effective model of engagement with students, in the form of larger “Learning Communities.”
The project team will use personal contacts, group webinars, and content and resources from the project website to support alumni as they continue to cultivate character virtues, leadership, and intellectual capacities.
- Three additional formation groups
- Quantitative and qualitative research reports on the effectiveness of the programs
- Events including 9 conferences, 18 seminars, and 23 lectures and conversation forums
- A new website with online resources, curricula, reading lists, and practical exercises to support alumni character virtue development
- 36 blog articles and 9 op-eds / articles written for university, local, national, web, and print publications
Through their mixed-method questionnaires, the project leaders expect to measure a small but significant increase in the presences of the focal virtues across the intervention period. The goal is to uncover at least 10 case studies of alumni making career choices influenced by character virtues, and to see demonstrable examples of leadership as a result of the project's ongoing support via online resources.
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