Classes explore central questions of human experience through classic literature

The Masterworks Program at Christ College, sponsored by Valparaiso University’s interdisciplinary honors college as well as the Graduate School, offers exciting continuing education opportunities for members of the larger Valparaiso community.

An opportunity to discover and re-visit classic texts, the Masterworks Program offers an intellectual, discussion-based atmosphere rooted in the Christ College tradition of intimate, dynamic seminars. The program, which successfully launched in fall 2014 with participants from across Valparaiso and Northwest Indiana, is now beginning its second year and will offer two courses for the fall semester.

Key aspects of the Masterworks Program include:

  • The program consists of a two-semester sequence of courses (Masterworks I and II), both of which reflect on and explore the central questions of human experience (What does it mean to be human? How do we pursue a good life? How do we make sense of our place in the modern world?) through the great literary works of Plato, Aeschylus, William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Frederick Douglass, and many others.
  • Classes begin in the fall and spring semesters.
  • In addition to weekly class meetings, Masterworks participants are invited to attend Christ College’s Symposia and take part in Christ College’s annual Shakespeare Week.
  • Upon completion of Masterworks I and II, continuing education students will earn a certificate from Christ College.
  • Beyond the two-semester sequence of Masterworks I and II, the program offers topics seminars that focus on particular authors or themes, such as the Russian novel or modern poetry.
  • Community members have the opportunity to sign up for two different courses this fall:
    • Masterworks I spans great literature from ancient Athens through the Renaissance. The class may be taken on Wednesday evenings or Saturday mornings during fall 2015.
    • A special Masterworks seminar on Dante will explore his great, three-part masterpiece of medieval literature, “The Divine Comedy.” This class meets on Saturday mornings (following the Masterworks I class meetings).
  • These courses meet weekly for one and a half hours and may be taken for personal enrichment, continuing education or graduate credit.

Regardless of participants’ individual goals and motivations, this program offers intellectual engagement and lively discussions, building a dynamic community around great books and great conversations.

Visit valpo.edu/christcollege for additional information about the Masterworks Program, including registration and course offerings.

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