Values and Purpose of The AKC
The Associateship of King’s College (AKC) is the original award of the university, dating back to its foundation in 1829 and reflecting its first motto: ‘sancte et sapienter’ (with holiness and wisdom). AKC lectures enrich and broaden the academic curriculum at King’s in a unique way.
The 1829 Royal Charter states that the purposes of King’s College are to maintain the connection between ‘sound religion and useful learning’ and to teach the ‘doctrines and duties of Christianity’. The AKC remains faithful to this commitment to taking religion seriously, and aims to promote intelligent, open-minded reflection on theological, philosophical and ethical questions.
The 21st-century AKC offers an inclusive, research-led programme of lectures that give King’s students the opportunity to explore diverse religious and cultural perspectives, alongside their main programme of study. In recent years, AKC lecture series have focused on migration, the religious history of London, and ethics in cultural context.
The AKC is at the heart of the College’s commitment to an international, interdisciplinary, and innovative curriculum: it seeks to foster an understanding of different beliefs and cultures that can be taken into wider society. The programme is unique to King's College London, and is the only course open to all King’s students, as well as to staff and alumni. More than 2000 members of the King’s community now follow the AKC every year.
The AKC Programme offers two series of academic lectures each year, on every campus. It is normally a three-year programme, designed to run alongside students’ main programme of study.
'I have thoroughly enjoyed the AKC. It has been a wonderful way to meet new people and has provided me with a broad range of knowledge and understanding beyond the confines of my degree.'
- Simon Doyle, American Studies student, and winner of the AKC Leathes Prize
'The AKC is exciting and refreshing - it provided the opportunity to explore topics I'd never even considered and brought with it the opportunity for thinking and reflecting beyond any of my science courses.'
- Katie Williams, Molecular Biology and Biophysics student, and winner of the AKC Leathes prize
'The AKC is a very interesting programme that has opened my eyes to different ways of thinking. It has left me with a deeper understanding of life and a willingness to consider broader ideas. I am glad that I took the opportunity for the broadening of my education in a way that will go with me long after my formal studies have finished.'
- Rosemary Greaves, Psychological Medicine student
'The AKC course was amazing. I would leave there feeling challenged in a way my degree course was not able to engage me and yet was able to apply the concepts learnt to my course and to everyday life. Doing the original qualification of King’s College London also made me feel closer to the College’s history and I am proud to be one of many King’s students privileged enough to have taken the AKC course.'
- Michaela Bygrave, Development Geography student
'I very much enjoyed the AKC lectures; they inspired interesting debates between me and my friends that otherwise we would not have considered. The AKC programme required a different way of thinking from my Neuroscience course and broadened my world view significantly.'
- Tamara Buijs, Neuroscience student.