Facebook Instagram Youtube LinkedIn Twitter

LETU Faculty, Students Study Russia at Inaugural Guild Retreat



LeTourneau University’s Liberal Arts Guild hosted an inaugural retreat March 6-7 at Caplin Ranch in Athens, Texas, to unite faculty and students in a community interested in reading the great books and engaging with life’s big questions.

LETU’s Guild history and literature classes this year focused on an immersive educational of world cultures by reading together the great Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “The Brothers Karamazov.”  

Students attending the retreat heard an interdisciplinary introduction to Dostoevsky’s work with a lecture on 19th century Russian history by LETU professor emeritus Paul Kubricht, a lecture on Russian orthodoxy and icons by LETU theology professor Viktor Roudkovski, and a lecture on Dostoevsky’s life by author and literary scholar Ralph Wood of Baylor University, who led an intensive discussion on the “Brothers Karamazov” the following day.

Wood discussed what makes the book a great Russian novel, applying it to how students could be inspired to live out their Christian faith today. Roudkovski shared his own experience as a youth growing up in communist Russia at a time when the author’s Christian faith was downplayed at school.   

Students learned to cook the 19th century bistro dish beef stroganoff with Dr. Lesley-Anne Williams, and tasted a variety of Russian foods, including caviar and borscht. Morning and evening worship was led by Dr. Will Williams.

Next year’s Liberal Arts Guild retreat will feature “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.”

Baylor history professor Dr. Thomas Kidd, who recently wrote a book on Benjamin Franklin's faith, will be the guest speaker. Kidd is the author of a new American history textbook being used in LETU Guild classes next year.

The LETU Guild’s Liberal Arts Scholars are students who volunteer to take the Guild’s rigorous courses, similar to, but separate from the LETU Honors Program, which is invitation only. The inaugural retreat was jointly sponsored by the Honors Program and the Humanities Department at LeTourneau University.

LETU’s Liberal Arts Guild is currently accepting applications for its new class of Guild Scholars. More information can be found on the LETU website at   and search “The Guild.”

Guild Scholars get special scholarships and opportunities, however, anyone can take Guild classes and participate in certain activities.  Some Guild courses are offered as dual credit and can count as composition, speech, literature, and civic engagement college credits.

Anyone interested in learning more about the LETU Guild are encouraged to email or follow the Guild Facebook page at

LeTourneau University is the Christian polytechnic university in the nation where educators engage students to nurture Christian virtue, develop competency and ingenuity in their professional fields, integrate faith and work, and serve the local and global community. LETU offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs across a range of disciplines and delivery models at LETU’s residential campus in Longview, Texas, hybrid options at centers in the Dallas and Houston areas and fully online programs. For additional information, visit

Categories: TheGuild