What does it mean for a man to be free? How does a man use his freedom well? These questions address the heart of the classical distinction between the liberal arts (Latin liber = free) and the servile or mechanical arts. A “liberal” education refers to the steps that lead away (e-ducere = to lead out) from the default, easy, servile starting point of our unrefined nature (erudition = being shaped and refined, i.e. not being rudus or “unformed”) to the full life befitting a free man. In this course, we will explore the tradition of liberal learning from Plato to Karl Marx, examining these questions from all sides. We will ask what it means to be truly educated, what education is for, and what kind of freedom is desirable for man. Hopefully, this will lay a foundation for your other courses at Memoria College as you establish a basic understanding of what all these classes are about. 

Instructor: Dr. Sheffler
Dates: May 30 - August 15, 2024 (ten sessions; no class July 4 or July 11)
Time: Thursdays, 2:00 - 5:00 PM ET
Credits: Core | 3 credits

A five-week summer seminar course designed to assist students in addressing the question "What is classical education?" In answering this question, 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, and the relationship of classical education to religious belief. We will address questions that are often asked about classical education such as:

  • Is Dorothy Sayers' definition of education an adequate one?
  • Should Christians read the pagan classics?
  • How essential is the study of classical languages like Latin and Greek to a true classical education?
  • Is classical education relevant in the age of STEM? 
  • Does classical education assume a particular world view, and, if so, what is it?
  • What are the arguments against classical education and how are they best answered?

Instructors: Martin Cothran
Term: May 27 - June 24, 2024 (five sessions).
Time: Mondays, 7:00 - 9:00 PM ET.
Credits: Elective | 1 credit

This five-week summer seminar course will offer an overview of teaching through the reading of classic texts on how best to teach and learn. Participants will be guided through a selection of readings covering the three modes of teaching, their origins in Aristotle's rhetoric and their modern manifestation in Mortimer Adler's "Three Columns," which includes didactic teaching (lecture), coaching, and Socratic teaching. 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 gain a basic knowledge of important pedagogical debates such as the content/process debate, the phonics/whole language debate, the competing strategies of reading instruction, and issues in the debate between traditional education and progressivism. Certain popular contemporary pedagogies will be critically analyzed as well as certain approaches to subjects such as "whole word" reading strategies and versions of the "new math" in mathematics instruction.

Students not taking this course for masters credit or who are taking it for professional development purposes are encouraged to read the shorter readings linked below. For-credit masters students should read the shorter readings as well as the assigned reading indicated.

Instructor: Martin Cothran
Term: July 15 –  August 18, 2024
Time: Mondays, 7 – 9 pm ET
Credit Hours: Elective | 1 credit

Five Great Supreme Court Cases on State and Religion

In this 5-week course, we will read and discuss five seminal cases involving the relationship between church, the believer, and the state. These cases will most likely be: 

(1) Reynolds v. United States; 
(2) Epperson v. Arkansas; 
(3) Zelman v. Simmons-Harris; 
(4) Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado; and 
(5) Kennedy v. Bremerton School District. 

We will discuss these cases from multiple perspectives, including the doctrinal and historical perspectives.

Instructor: Prof. Paul Salamanca
Term: July 16 - August 13, 2024 (five sessions).
Tuesdays, 6:00 - 8:00 PM ET.
Credits: Elective | 1 credit

This is a course specifically designed for those teaching classical mythology and classic literature like Homer, Vergil, and Dante in order to give them the resources to understand the subject and its relevance for the modern student. In addition to readings from D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths, we will read C.S. Lewis on the nature of myth along with some primary source material that is excerpted in Morford and Lenardon’s Classical Mythology. We will also discuss ways to introduce students of all ages to the influence of classical mythology on art, music, and culture. 

Dr. Lesley-Anne Williams
Term: July 20 - August 17, 2024 (five sessions).
Time: Saturdays, 1:30 - 3:30 PM ET.
Credits: Elective | 1 credit

Art appreciation is a necessary and joyful component of a Classical Education. To this end, Memoria Press has created publications on art for both younger and older students. Among these are three series of “Art Cards” designed for use in grades Kindergarten through Second, as well as other pedagogical titles. 

Still, how does one implement such materials? What should the students be gleaning and at what ages? What approaches aid a teacher in transmitting the content and significance of artistic masterpieces and their influence in Western culture?  Most importantly, what helps to develop an understanding and love of art in a child? 

In this five-week course, Professor Carol Reynolds will take participants through these materials, focusing particularly on the Art Cards. She will make broad sweeps through Western art history and suggest a multiplicity of specific approaches to help bring art to life. 

Instructor: Prof. Carol Reynolds
Term: July 16 - August 13, 2024 (five sessions).
Tuesdays, 7:00 - 9:00 PM ET.
Credits: Elective | 1 credit

The Brothers Karamazov

I taught The Brothers Karamazov in the college classroom for forty years, more than any other book aside from the Bible. But I left it behind some eight years ago upon retiring. I have missed it. So, this class is my way of returning to Dostoevsky’s extraordinary novel, his masterpiece. Here is my invitation to join with me in a reading. 

Instructor: Prof. Vigen Guroian
Term: May 29 - June 26, 2024 (five sessions).
Wednesdays, 7:00 - 9:00 PM ET.
Credits: Elective | 1 credit

Traditional Logic 

This 5-week introduction will cover the basics of the Aristotelian system of formal logic. Ideal for teachers or students using or intending to use Martin Cothran's Traditional Logic Books I and II, as well as students or non-professionals interested in simply learning formal logic, the course will cover the two major types of arguments and their subdivisions. The course will give students a familiarity with the material in Chs. 4-13 of Traditional Logic I, and Chs. 1-3 and 6-9 of Traditional Logic II. Material covered will include the entire theory of categorical syllogisms, including the practice of syllogism reduction, and hypothetical, disjunctive and conjunctive syllogisms, which together constitute almost all of the basic argument forms. 

Instructor: Martin Cothran
Term: May 28 - June 25, 2024 (five sessions).
Tuesdays, 5:00 - 7:00 PM ET.
Credits: Elective | 1 credit

Material Logic 

This 5-week introduction will cover the basics of the Aristotelian system of material logic. Ideal for teachers or students using or intending to use Martin Cothran's Material Logic, as well as students or non-professionals interested in learning the "other branch" of logic. While formal logic of the kind studied in the Traditional Logic texts explains the structure of reasoning, material logic is focused on the nature and content of reasoning. Students will discuss the metaphysical basis of logic, the ten ways something can exist (the "Ten Categories"), the five kinds of categorical statements (the "Five Predicables"), the four methods of defining something (the "Four Causes"), and the two ways to divide an idea (basically, how to outline). The course can serve as a study of the logical aspect of language or as an introduction to Aristotelian and scholastic philosophy. 

Instructor: Martin Cothran
Term: July 16 - August 13, 2024 (five sessions).
Tuesdays, 5:00 - 7:00 PM ET.
Credits: Elective | 1 credit

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Mr. Kyle Janke
Term: May 30 - June 27 (five sessions).
Time: Thursdays, 7:00 - 9:00 PM ET.
Credits: Elective | 1 credit