Foster to Share Insights on T.S. Eliot with Washington Parish

For more information, contact Barb Steadman - 843.857.4199

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – July 8, 2011 – Coker College English Professor John Foster III has been appointed to serve as a Fellow-in-Residence at Saint Paul’s Parish in Washington D.C. from July 15 through Aug. 15.

The Fellows-in-Residence Program provides an opportunity for clergy and laity to live and work temporarily as part of the St. Paul’s community.  The program was developed to facilitate sharing of the church’s rich liturgical, musical, human and pastoral resources with clergy and lay colleagues, who, in return, offer their service, talents and expertise to the church community.

During his residency, Foster will offer four lectures on the life and works of T.S. Eliot, exploring, in particular, some of the ways that Eliot’s faith journey – a transition that drew him away from the Unitarian traditions of his family to the orthodox doctrine and rigorous regimes of Anglo-Catholicism – informed his writing.

“I look forward to serving in whatever capacity is needed during my residency,” said Foster. “I am grateful for the invitation and especially appreciative of the honor it is to serve in the parish as a Fellow-in-Residence.”

In addition to serving on the faculty at Coker College, Foster is a postulant for Holy Orders for the Vocational Diaconate in the Diocese of South Carolina and a member of St. Bartholomew Episcopal Parish in Hartsville.

As a postulant for Holy Orders for the Vocational Diaconate, Foster’s primary focus is establishing an active college ministry at Coker College.  As part of this outreach, Foster has worked with Coker’s Students In Free Enterprise team to develop, refine and offer a low-cost SAT preparation course for high school students in Darlington County and the surrounding region.

“Considering the complex socio-economic challenges that students and their families face in Darlington County, an area sometimes derided as the “Corridor or Shame,” we know that the ministry’s SAT prep course offers much needed support for over-extended teachers and parents.” said Foster.  “Partnering with our SIFE team this year allowed the ministry to reach more students than would have been otherwise possible.”

This spring the ministry’s collaboration with SIFE was recognized at SIFE’s national exposition in Minneapolis, where the team earned a top-60 spot in the nation.

As a parishioner at St. Bartholomew, Foster is active in parish life. He serves as a chalice bearer and a Lay Eucharistic Minister. He accompanies Father Ridgill on pastoral visits. He serves as Warden of the Order of St. Vincent and is a member of the Order of St. Luke and the Altar Guild. In addition, Foster is founder and discussion leader for the St. Bartholomew Book club and teaches one of the Adult Faith Formation classes.

Foster and Ridgill established the C.S. Lewis Student Center, which is open to all Coker Students and dedicated to facilitating the study of the life and works of C.S. Lewis in a friendly and relaxed environment.

Foster will offer insights about the literature of T.S. Eliot and share experiences from his residency at St. Paul’s parish in a public lecture at Coker College at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11.



Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach. For more information contact Barb Steadman: 843-397-9959 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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