Kingdom, nation, people: Titus Walker's summer program at St. Andrews

Posted by Patrick Henry College on 7/11/24 8:31 AM

Titus Walker studies abroad in Scotland

How do PHC students spend their summers? Rising senior Titus Walker (SI, '25) just returned from a month in Scotland, where he completed a summer program at the University of St. Andrews. We asked him to share about his trip!

How did you find out about this program, and what did you study?

Dr. Habeck spoke with me last fall about graduate school opportunities. She recommended that I should look overseas, particularly in the UK. So, going into the spring semester, I started praying about it, asking the Lord to open doors if that was His will. And the Lord really worked it all together because as I was applying for the St. Andrews program, I started getting friends, family, and professors encouraging me to take the opportunity. 

Titus at St. Andrews in Scotland

The actual program was called "Scotland’s History: Kingdom, Nation, People." I arrived in mid-May and left in mid-June. It was taught by five professors who specialized in a range of historical topics, from the Middle Ages to the Great War. Our class was held Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Part of the reason for the minimal class time was that the professors really wanted us to experience the history for ourselves.

What did you do day-to-day?

We were encouraged to travel and experience as much of the people and culture as possible. Part of the program was designated to weekly excursions. We went to Dunnottar Castle, Falkland Palace, Lindors Abbey, and the Black Watch Castle. The excursions are intended to familiarize students with the parts of Scotland that you wouldn’t normally see on vacations. The excursions were all tied to the material we were studying, which really made the history come alive. 

In addition to these weekday excursions, the university also set up weekend trips. We went to Edinburgh and Glasgow and got to do more of the traditional vacation/sightseeing things. One of the best parts of the program was how it developed great bonding experiences for the students in the class. They set up trips, hosted trivia competitions, and held weekly dinners as a way for us to get to know our fellow classmates. What made this trip worth it was having an amazing group of people that I could hang out with and connect with during the program. 


Did you get connected with a local church while you were there?

I was so blessed to get connected with a wonderful church in St. Andrews. In fact, I was made aware of the church before I even got to Scotland. When I told Dr. Spinney about my trip, he connected me with Elizabeth Shannon, a PHC graduate who is currently working on her Ph.D. at St. Andrews. It was great having someone in Scotland who kind of knows what I’m going through and could help me acclimate to the new environment.

I went to St. Andrews Free Church. The people there were so kind and welcoming to me right out of the gate. It was great knowing that I could go around the world and still find brothers and sisters in Christ with whom I could worship. 

What has been your favorite part of the trip?

Titus at St. Andrews in ScotlandMy favorite part about St. Andrews has got to be the people and the town! For the most part, St. Andrews has been maintained as a relic of Scottish history. The ruins of a 12th-century cathedral stand as the epicenter of the city. It makes me appreciate the aspect of worship found in the physical building itself.

There is a beautiful part of glorifying God that comes from building a place of worship. I think you see this throughout Scripture with Solomon building the temple and the exiles returning to Jerusalem to do the same. Being in St. Andrews also gave me the opportunity to work on my golf game, as it is home to the oldest golf course in the world. Now I can’t say that my game was ever any good while I was there, but it gave me a great opportunity to meet new people and genuinely make friends in Scotland. 

What have you taken away from the program?

Titus at St. Andrews in ScotlandWhat I am taking away from this program is the value of experiencing new communities. Part of why I did this study abroad was to see if I would want to possibly come back for grad school. After being part of this program, getting some great advice from the university professors, and really just experiencing the community of St. Andrews, I can definitely say that this is a place I want to return to. So I would encourage anyone who is even thinking about graduate school overseas to take advantage of these opportunities you have while still an undergrad. It really gives you an eye-opening experience that can also open some doors later on in your life.Explore PHC's study abroad opportunities

How has this program intersected with your major and career aspirations?

This program was right up my alley in terms of my major and career aspirations. So at PHC, I’m studying SI and minoring in History, and this program gave me the chance to really delve into the latter. Also, talking with some of the professors at St. Andrews really showed me how I can combine SI and history in graduate studies. More than anything, this program has given me excitement about the possibilities that I have in extending what I have learned at PHC. 

Closing thoughts?

Another reason I loved this opportunity to go to St. Andrews was that it connected me with my Scottish roots. On my mother’s side, my family is part of the Morrison clan, which is a Highland clan in Scotland. I got the opportunity to learn a bit more about my family and where we come from. So, in addition to coming away from St. Andrews with a clearer sense of what I want to do academically, I also came away with great pride and love for my family heritage. I got the opportunity to really show that while I was in Scotland by wearing my family kilt, which can I say is one of the most comfortable things ever.  😊 

Major in History at PHC!


 Patrick Henry College exists to glorify God by challenging the status quo in higher education, lifting high both faith and reason within a rigorous academic environment; thereby preserving for posterity the ideals behind the "noble experiment in ordered liberty" that is the foundation of America.


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