An Honorary Trustee Joins the Board

In December 2015 the Board of Trustees announced that the philosopher and academic Dr Alice von Hildebrand had accepted the invitation to become an Honorary Trustee of Benedictus. A recognised philosopher and academic, she has published numerous books including Man and Woman: A Divine Invention (2010); The Privilege of Being a Woman (2002) and Soul of a Lion: Dietrich Von Hildebrand, a Biography (2000). In recognition of her lifelong contributions to the Church she was made a Dame of the Grand Cross of the Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great by Pope Francis in 2013. She has won numerous academic accolades and awards as a university professor.

Dr. Alice von Hildebrand is the widow of the famous German philosopher and theologian Dietrich von Hildebrand (1889–1977).

Dr Hildebrand commented: "I am delighted to become formally associated with Benedictus as an Honorary Trustee. This marvellous initiative - to create the first liberal arts university in the United Kingdom founded in the Catholic tradition since the Reformation - comes at a critical time. I lend it my fullest support. Nothing is more important today than forming young minds to animate the soul. The search for truth, beauty and meaningfulness is at the very heart of Benedictus's mission. As such, Benedictus embodies everything that my husband stood for.


The origins of Benedictus

The Benedictus project started life in 2010. Dr Clare Hornsby, now Acting Director of Benedictus, whose academic background lies in art and cultural history, initiated the project with academic colleagues and the fruit of discussions between them resulted in the drafting of the Matters of Principle in early 2011. This document owes much to The Idea of a University by the great 19th century educator John Henry Newman and acknowledges the "Blue Book", the foundation text of Thomas Aquinas College, California.

They were inspired by the idea of creating a truly meaningful interdisciplinarity in education, where Christianity is given its rightful place as the unifying factor in the development of European civilisation. Benedictus is also a response to the challenge of Pope Benedict XVI's call for a "New Evangelisation" in Europe through education. With fellow Founding Trustees Keith Stanfield and Timothy O'Callaghan and alongside colleagues and educators, they worked on the strategy and the direction of the project from its inception.


Benedictus Trust

In early 2012 Benedictus Trust was formed as a charity registered in England and Wales and a non-profit company. The current Board of Trustees comprises Clare Hornsby, Timothy O'Callaghan, Uwe Michael Lang, Thomas D'Andrea and Jean Pierre Casey. The Trust exists to safeguard the founding principles of Benedictus.


Our Activities

The members of the Trust have undertaken several strands of activity over the last five years; building a network of academic and other contacts across the UK, Europe and the USA, spreading awareness and fundraising, speaking at academic conferences and making presentations to schools. The Academic Team (now the Academic Advisory Committee) created the curriculum and the structural documents necessary for the eventual accreditation of the course and recognition of Benedictus by the UK government.