What We Do
Every semester, we bring highly sought after speakers who are at the top of their fields to Cornell to speak about their work and the role that their faith plays in it. Click to find out what lectures and other events are coming up.learn more
Chesterton House's living-learning community is made up of three beautiful residences and offers male and female students the opportunity to live in intentional Christian community at Cornell. Click to learn more or apply.learn more
Our 8 accredited courses in biblical, theological, cultural, and ethical studies allow Cornell students the chance to earn credit through Gordon College. Click to find out what courses we are offering this semester.learn more
The rationale behind our mission.
Upon graduating from Cornell in 1989, Karl, along with graduate student Ray Zimmerman and a few others, began a small ‘intentional Christian community’ at 201 Stewart Ave. The community was characterized by daily prayer, community meals, and ‘living simply.’ This was not the first such community at Cornell…learn more about our story
We recently purchased the house next door to the men’s facility to be the new women’s residence and built a beautiful patio between the houses to create a unified living-learning campus. We look forward to completing renovations over the next year. Interested in what we’ve done and what we hope to do? Check out our Building for the Future Campaign.learn more about our plans for the future
Learn About Our Founder
See how you can get involved and utilize your time, talents and resources.
In addition to residential facilities, courses, and lectures, Chesterton House offers pre-orientation programs for incoming students. Find links to resources for students below.
Annual Report 2020
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was one of the most brilliant and prolific writers of all time. This British journalist’s 100 books, 200 short stories, and over 4000 newspaper essays include history, philosophy, theology, economics, social commentary, and literary criticism. His best known works include Orthodoxy, The Man Who Was Thursday, and the beloved Father Brown detective stories. Chesterton’s balance of wit and wisdom with humor and humility makes his style as unforgettable as his person. According to one description, Chesterton “weighed about 300 pounds, usually had a cigar in his mouth, and walked around wearing a cape and a crumpled hat, tiny glasses pinched to the end of his nose, swordstick in hand, laughter blowing through his moustache.”* For his ability to make others both think and laugh at the same time, he was greatly admired even among debating opponents such as George Bernard Shaw, who called him a “colossal genius.” One of the most quoted writers in the English language, Chesterton was a defender of the poor, of the amateur, of common sense, and of Christian faith. First a Unitarian, later an Anglican, and finally a Catholic, Chesterton wrote with broad appeal. His works inspired Mohandas Gandhi to challenge British colonial rule in India, and C.S. Lewis to become a Christian. Chesterton attended art school but never went to college. *Dale Ahlquist, American Chesterton Society
Chesterton House celebrates life, learning, and the study of all things in grateful response to the God of all creation—Father, Son, and Spirit. Made in God’s image, we are called to love our God and serve our neighbor. We are also called to conserve and cultivate the world he has made. Whether we study art, engineering, law, literature, philosophy, or physics, we understand that our calling as students and scholars includes discovering what God is disclosing. We seek to be good stewards of our aptitudes and affections for the flourishing of creation and all who live in it; ideally, our work and worship are one.
Tragically, we have not always been good stewards of this calling. By means of ingratitude, exploitation, and fixing our faith on all the wrong objects, we suffer estrangement where God intended harmony. We witness evidence of this in the fragmentation of self and community, and the abuse and idolization of creation. Christians have often failed to sustain serious reflection on the spheres of life that bear the wounds of this estrangement—including family, church, business, government, and education—resulting in a compartmentalization of faith rather than a holistic integration of faith and learning.
We long for a better world. We also dare to hope for a better world—a world of whole persons, of peace and justice, and of harmony in all creation. Our hope is sustained by God who, according to his ancient promises, is at work in the world renewing and reconciling all things to himself through Jesus Christ. We seek to join him in this work. Historically, Christ’s love for the world has inspired his followers to contribute to the founding of hospitals and universities, the articulation of human rights, and the development of modern science. In keeping with such service for the common good, Chesterton House aims to draw upon the Christian tradition and its resources to enrich academic inquiry and professional practice.