Course I – Socrates on Trial: Examining the Examined Life

  • At his trial Socrates announced that the unexamined life is not worth living. But why? The ideal of a liberal arts education goes back nearly three thousand years. The design was simple. Young adults should take time to step away from the affairs of the world and devote themselves to extended study alongside their peers. The purpose was not to prepare them for a trade or a job by imparting technical skills. The liberal arts were designed to prepare these young adults for life itself by helping them to launch out on an exploration of what is good, what is true, and what is beautiful. Lacking a devotion to these things how could someone live a good life let alone hope to be of any value to society? Thus the liberal arts were designed as an essential public good. As Christians, liberal learning takes on an additional valence. We speak of freedom from sin, guilt, and death or freedom for Christ, the Church, and the Kingdom of God. So what is a Christian liberal arts education for?

    As high school students explore where to pursue undergraduate studies, one inevitable decision will be whether or not to attend a liberal arts college. This course will explore some of the early history of liberal learning, its nature and purpose, what to expect from it, and why it has been so critical in the origins of Western Civilization. Students will read several key ancient works that explore the purpose of learning, of friendship, and how to know what to study, including works by Plato, Aristotle, Roman authors, as well as biblical texts.

  • Dates: July 7-15, 2017 (9 days, 8 nights)
  • Total Credits: 3
  • Tuition & Fees (Total): $1,799

Course II – Divorcing the Devil: C.S. Lewis’s Moral Vision

  • Two of the most memorable of Lewis’s short imaginative writings are The Great Divorce and The Screwtape Letters. Each book frames a moral vision of the Good, but the former invites us to look from the perspective of God or of Heaven, while the latter intentionally adopts the perspective of sinful humanity or of Hell. The result in both books is an extended consideration of perennial moral questions: What is it to be a free moral agent, in a world governed by a moral Lawgiver? How are Heaven and Hell related to each other? Does God create Hell? How does moral knowledge work? What is the relationship between the Good and rational argument? How do we save our lives by losing them, or lose them by saving them? How does the work of God in the incarnation transform our vision of the Good?

    This is a course in moral theology, in which students will be guided not just by Lewis’s own winsome imagination, but also by some of the writings that inspired him: Milton’s portrait of Satan in Paradise Lost; excerpts from Dante’s Inferno and Paradiso; stories of ancient heroes traveling to the underworld (Odysseus and Aeneas). The aim is a coherent Christian vision of ourselves, our world, and our responsibilities in light of the comprehensive supremacy of God in Christ.

  • Dates: July 17-24, 2017 (8 days, 7 nights)
  • Total Credits: 2
  • Tuition & Fees (Total): $1,499

Past Courses:

  • The Examined Life: Knowledge, Wisdom, Virtue, Calling (Western Civilization)
  • The Mystery of the Infinite (Discrete Mathematics)
  • Citizenship: On Earth as it is in Heaven? (Western Civilization)
  • Hope in Dark Times: How Goodness Prevails in The Lord of the Rings (Theology/Literature)

If you wish to be kept up to date regarding Summer Scholars, please fill in our Information Request Form and indicate your interest in Summer Scholars. We will e-mail you when course fees are available and deadlines are approaching.