We explore the larger issues of our day
of beauty, truth, justice and duty
We promote thoughtful discussion
mutual respect and the joy of discovery
We invite the intellectually curious student
to think well about the meaning of life

Our Mission, Vision, and Values


Cogito’s mission is to cultivate enduring Christian formation. At Cogito, we believe that, like a seed, faith grows and develops over time, and we work to stimulate that growth while weeding out those things that might impede it. We do so by creating settings that promote thoughtful, honest, and open conversation about faith and lifewith students, with professors, and with community members, and with Christians and non-Christians alike. Whether it’s a conversation over coffee, a discussion group on spiritual formation, a trip to see Mozart’s Requiem, or a lecture on God and the philosophy of time, we are constantly asking what it means to thinkand more importantly, to live—in a manner that takes the words of Jesus and of the scriptures seriously.

We want the foundations we lay to last, so we don’t settle for easy answers. We encourage and expect our students and other participants to spend time and serious effort reflecting on what they believe about some of life’s biggest questions, and we tailor our programming to facilitate students’ genuine engagement and growth both during their time at college and after they leave. We don’t want our alumni to say that their experience with Cogito was just another fun thing they did as undergraduates. We want them to say that it matteredand still mattersfor the paths they have taken and the people they have become, for the life of Christian discipleship that we hope they pursue.


At Cogito, we envision a thriving Christian community on campus where minds and hearts are integrated and lives are transformed. We believe that God calls all creatures to communion with him and that his Spirit is always at work in creation. For this reason, we believe that knowing others is an essential discipline for the human end of knowing God—we see the creator through his works, which are fearfully and wonderfully made. We therefore believe that a Christian community that thrives constantly practices dialogue—both internally, among those who consider themselves followers of Christ, and externally, with those who do not. Though in these dialogues the proclamation of the gospel has an important place, we believe conversations are not overt or covert attempts to manipulate others but genuine attempts to learn and understand, to know one another, made in the confident hope that, by God’s grace, others will in turn reach out to find their creator, for indeed he is not far off (cf. Acts 17:27). Thus for us, a thriving Christian community is one that both speaks and listens well.

It is also involved in a constant process of transformation. At Cogito, we believe dialogue comprises just one of many ways in which the Spirit transforms us, reforming our habits, our desires, our emotions, our perceptions, our imaginations, and our relationships. The Spirit’s work is constant and all-encompassing, and so we believe that members of a thriving Christian community are always growing: coming to know one another, seeing those parts of ourselves that they have dismembered healed, learning and relearning how to think and feel and see, and in short growing into the image of Christ. Thriving Christian communities do not believe they exist simply for the transmission of some abstract set of theological truths; rather, they are themselves constantly experiencing growth and renewal.


While many think being humble means having a low opinion of oneself, at Cogito we value humility as a form of self-knowledge that enables learning and growth. Humble people assess themselves accurately, knowing and accepting their strengths as well as their limitations and weaknesses. As a result, they can learn from one another, accept help and criticism, see what in their lives need changing, and choose appropriate paths for their own development. For these reasons, we believe humility a necessary first step for spiritual, intellectual, and moral transformation.

Curiosity consists in a persistent and wide-ranging interest outside oneself, the confidence that there is always more to learn and that learning is worthwhile. Curious people see the world as full of possibility, and this attitude results in open-mindedness, an increased ability to face fears, a willingness to try new things, an earnest desire to grow, and sincere engagement with the beliefs and perspectives of others. At Cogito, we therefore strive to cultivate curiosity, believing that it will consistently stimulate its possessors to learn and to grow.

At Cogito, we value the habit of reflection. To reflect well requires purposefulness, attentiveness, carefulness, thoroughness, and imagination. People who reflect deliberately take time to recall their everyday lives—their habits, their relationships, their blessings, their mistakes, what they are learning, who they want to be—and attend to them, asking what they indicate about the kind of person they are, the way the world is, and the lives and needs of the people around them. Reflection not only leads to a heightened sense of identity and engagement in the world but also can give direction, revealing the need for repentance and change. In a community, reflection can lead to understanding of and compassion for one another and allow deeper discernment than any individual can accomplish alone. For these reasons, we believe reflection is invaluable to the continual formation of our spiritual, moral and intellectual lives, and we seek to make it a regular practice.

Cogito’s final value is hospitality. After the disciples met the risen Christ on the road to Emmaus, they only knew him once they invited him in and broke bread with him (cf. Luke 24). We take this passage and others like it as paradigmatic in showing us that we come to know Christ and to be transformed when we welcome others. This means that fellowship, communion is central in what we do. Whether over a meal, coffee, a game night, or in service to the community we seek to welcome others, thereby creating a space for genuine dialogue, the deepening of relationships, the fostering of a community, and ultimately growth in Christ.