Martin Luteran '02

Leadership development for Eastern Europe.

Current Position and Location

Founder of the Collegium of Anton Neuwirth, Kosice, Slovakia

John Jay Institute Alumnus

Witherspoon Fellow

Graduated

2002

Undergraduate Degree

M.Jur., Commenius University

Graduate Degrees

M.Phil, D.Phil, Oxford University

The overwhelming tide of secularism has swept Central and Eastern Europe, with its concomitant disdain for the institution of marriage, the sanctity of life, and the fundamentals of a free and flourishing society. In 2002, Martin Luteran, a young man from Kosice, Slovakia, experienced the Witherspoon Fellowship in the United States. During his time there, Martin began to dream of beginning a leadership development program for Christians in his native Slovakia. He wanted to build the infrastructure that could stem the tide and create a brighter future of human flourishing in his native land and beyond.

Martin’s dream initially came to life in the form of the Ladislav Hanus Fellowship, which he founded in 2002. The Hanus Fellowship began as a volunteer-based network of Christian professionals in Slovakia. But Martin had yet bigger dreams—dreams of helping Slovak students develop into principled leaders. He founded the Collegium of Anton Neuwirth in 2009. The Collegium is a year-long residential program for undergraduate university students founded for the “educating and forming [of] young Christian leaders.” The program is designed to be undertaken concurrently with the students’ university studies. The purpose of the rigorous program, Martin says, “is to help Christians learn more about the Christian intellectual and spiritual heritage and better prepare them for serving the common good.”  In the face of what would otherwise be a moral vacuum, it is crucial to develop European leaders, Martin says, “who know their faith, can reason well, and live lives that are attractive to others.”

Collegium students are already making a noticeable public impact. This year, they organized the second annual Bratislava March for Life––where 9,000 young people descended upon downtown Bratislava to peacefully demonstrate their commitment to protecting life. Also, each spring, these young leaders organize the “Bratislava Hanus Days,” in which they welcome the community of the greater Bratislava area for a week long urban academic festival. Thousands come together for lectures, workshops, and discussions of God, philosophy, and culture.

“It is crucial to develop European leaders who know their faith, can reason well, and live lives that are attractive to others.”