The C.S. Lewis Institute of Northeast Ohio

to Articulate, defend, share, and live the faith

Learn About the Fellows Program

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Our Story

The C.S. Lewis Institute (CSLI) was founded in 1976 in the Washington, D.C. metro area and now has branches across the United States and Globally. Since its inception, the Institute has been interdenominational, has worked closely with a variety of churches and sees itself as a servant ministry, assisting churches and pastors in making disciples of Jesus Christ. This takes the form of discipleship programs, area-wide conferences and workshops, pastor fellowships and resources in print and on the web.

The Northeast Ohio branch was founded by Bruce and Phyllis Beard in 2013, and its first City Director was Dan Osborn.

OUR MISSION: The C.S. Lewis Institute endeavors, in the spirit of C.S. Lewis, to develop wholehearted disciples of Jesus Christ who will articulate, defend, share, and live their faith in personal and public life.


Our Ongoing Programs

Fellows Program

The Fellows Program offers a year of intensive training, including Bible study, classic readings, lectures, group processing, personal spiritual mentoring and accountability—all in the context of a small group of likeminded believers.


We host area-wide conferences and seminars featuring nationally and regionally respected teachers and speakers who address important issues of the day from the perspective of classic, Christian Faith.

Inklings groups

C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein, and friends gathered to read each other’s writings and build friendships through the pursuit of truth. They called themselves the “Inklings” so we’ve named our reading group in their honor. 


We publish a monthly newsletter for Northeast Ohio and distribute a quarterly magazine titled Knowing & Doing, as well as Reflections, a monthly, one-page reflection  on topics of interest from the writings of C.S. Lewis. 

Vision & Values

Vision – We aim to foster Christian communities characterized by theological literacy, practical wisdom, spiritual discernment, and effective witness. We envision Christian families, churches, schools, as well as business and community leaders better equipped to navigate these confused times with Christian wisdom and moral integrity. We want to help churches make disciples who can make disciples. 

Values – Our approach is both ecumenical and orthodox, and our theological orientation is captured by what C.S. Lewis described as “mere Christianity.” We will promote the spiritual substance of (to use another phrase from Lewis) a “deep church.”




 The Northeast Ohio branch of the C.S. Lewis Institute was founded in 2013 and has operated continuously since that time, earning widespread trust. 

Pastoral Events

Hosting Dr. Kevin Vanhoozer,  Dr. Ralph Wood, Tish Harrison Warren, Dr. Holly Ordway and many others, we offer exceptional learning opportunities for area pastors. 

Community Events

Featuring highly regarded scholars and public intellectuals like Carl Trueman, Nabeel Qureshi, Andy Bannister, Wes Hill and others, our community events are well attended.

Public Forums

Our own highly qualified staff have given more than 25 public presentations on theological and apologetic issues of interest to contemporary Christians. 

Fellows Graduated

 Since 2013, 130 men and women have completed our Fellows Program. These graduates are now ministering in various ways throughout Northeast Ohio. 

People served

We have hosted over 3800 people at our community events, pastoral workshops, matters that matter lectures, and apologetic forums both in Youngstown and in the Canton area.

What Do Alumni Say About the Fellows Program?

Through these studies I learned that it’s okay to stop in your tracks, even in your good service as a bible study leader, and go away with Him, and not feel guilty that you did. He will accomplish His will and brings others about to step in. …. It’s been rich!

Maria Fuentes

I wanted to take my relationship with Christ to a new level. The month of Humility hit home with me greatly … it was a crucible moment in my life and it opened up many doors and provided me with endless opportunities to better myself through Christ.

Tim Harrington

My favorite theme in Year Two was “Knowing the Depth of My Sin,” hands down. Our sin must be always before us, not to hinder us, but to keep our focus and reliance on Christ. Without this attitude, self-righteousness can so easily slip in. 

Jo Anne Brashen

A Letter from our City Director



“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, is of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important,” C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock. 

We live in a noisy, distracted, and anxious time. As if the 24-hour news cycle weren’t enough, we now contend with Facebook and Twitter where a never-ending stream of shrill and angry voices threaten to drown out everything good, true, and beautiful. This is a time of moral outrage and self-righteous activism. We fear that our political and ideological opponents represent the faces of tyranny and growing threats of fascism, socialism, or something worse. It’s hard to imagine a way forward that won’t widen ideological divisions and further enflame hostilities.  So where is the church in all of this? Have our voices been swallowed up by the culture wars raging all around us? Do we have anything distinctive to say, perhaps a message of good news for all people, or must we align ourselves for or against the reigning secular ideologies and those who embrace them? There is great danger, by the way, in knowing what we are against more clearly than what we are for. Do we know the “faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3) well enough to distinguish it from false, secular alternatives? Can we state it clearly, and contend for it boldly? Will we pass it along to our children?  These are age-old questions, and the church in every generation must answer them. How will we answer them?

In Matthew 6:33, Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God,” and “all these things will be added to you.” C.S. Lewis modified our Savior’s words only slightly when he wrote, “Put first things first and we get second things thrown in: put second things first & we lose both first and second things.”  Of this we can be sure – our first priority during these confusing times must be to seek the kingdom of God above all else. The C.S. Lewis Institute is prepared for such a time as this. Focused on First Things, we will encourage and equip mature Christians to seek God’s Kingdom above all else through a life of faithful discipleship, as stated in our mission:

The C.S. Lewis Institute (CSLI) endeavors to develop wholehearted disciples of Jesus Christ who will articulate, defend, share, and live their faith in personal and public life.

If you believe that Jesus Christ and his Kingdom can bring healing and hope in these confused times, then please join us as we focus on First Things, so that all the secondary things can fall into place.  

Soli Deo Gloria,

Bryan Hollon

Bryan Hollon, Ph.D. 

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