In this short course, we will overview what you can expect from the Great Books curriculum established by Mortimer Adler that you will use at Memoria College.  We will discuss the ideas of a "Great Tradition" or a "Great Conversation," and critically examine how these approaches to classical material might interact with a purely Christian education.  We will also examine Adler's division and selection of texts and his enumeration of "Great Ideas" or themes that we will trace throughout these texts.  Finally, we will discuss ways that you may profitably supplement Adler's canon and follow up texts or authors that you find of particular interest.

All other questions in philosophy rest on our answers to the ultimate question: What lies at the foundation of being? God or nothingness? A personal someone or a blind force? Many take for granted a particular answer to these questions and construct their whole conception of the world on the basis of this faith. Others are plagued by doubts. In this class we will examine some of the classical arguments for the existence of God and carefully evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. We will focus our reading on Anselm, Thomas Aquinas, and David Hume.

C. S. Lewis is perhaps the most powerful Christian apologist of the past century. He is also the author of some of the bestselling children’s fiction of all time. This five-week course on the adult fiction of C. S. Lewis will enable students to go further up and further into the genius of Lewis and the deep truths that he shows us. Each two-hour session will focus on the deeper theological, philosophical and inter-textual dimensions of Lewis’s adult fiction.

G. K. Chesterton wrote his great work Orthodoxy on a dare. He had written Heretics, his great criticism of contemporary thinkers, and a prominent journalist asked him, now that he had made clear what he was against, to write about what it was he was for. The result was one of the great critiques of modern secularism--and one of the great defenses of Christian belief. Join us as we step through Chesterton's arguments, pausing to marvel, not only at their logical force, but at their poetic brilliance.  

In this course, we will read and discuss five units of critical cases decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. These will be: (1) McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) and the constitutionality of the Bank of the United States; (2) Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer (1952) and the constitutionality of President Truman’s seizure of the steel mills; (3) Roe v. Wade (1973), Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992), Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2022) and the constitutionality of restrictions on abortion; (4) Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) and the constitutionality of limitations of marriage to heterosexual couples; (5)(a) Lynch v. Donnelly (1984) and the constitutionality of governmental displays of creches; and (5)(b) Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002) and the constitutionality of educational vouchers. Our twin goals will be to explore these cases on their own merits and to explore how they fit into a larger understanding of the role that the Supreme Court has played in our governmental system. Students will be asked to read edited versions of these cases before class, along with brief notes. The instructor will use the Socratic Method to conduct the class, calling on students randomly and by name to elucidate the key facts and analytical points of each case. The final examination will consist of several essay questions.

In this short course we will learn some of the practical studying and writing skills that will help you to get the most out of your courses with Memoria College.  We will discuss methods of reading, taking notes, and annotating great texts.  We will practice strategies for fruitful conversations both in class and in our online discussion forums.  Most importantly, however, we will reflect on the kinds of mindset and character that produce a flourishing intellectual life.

This course will address the question "What is classical education?" We will discuss what education itself consists of, how classical education differs from other, modern definitions of education, how classical education fits in to the history of education, the relevance of classical education to STEM education, and the relationship of classical education to religious belief.

This course will offer an overview of teaching through the reading of classic texts on how best to teach and learn. It will cover the three modes of teaching, their origins in Aristotle's rhetoric and their modern manifestation in Mortimer Adler's "Three Columns." The student will also learn the best method of approach to the teaching of certain specific subjects such as the basic skills of reading, mathematics, and penmanship; classical languages; the trivium subjects of grammar, logic, and rhetoric; as well as the proper teaching of the humanities and the natural sciences. Participants will also gain a basic knowledge of important modern pedagogical debates, with an emphasis on the debate between traditional education and modern progressivism.