The Summer Classics program is recommended by Arthur Frommer as “among the finest summer vacations that you might ever enjoy."
Summer Classics at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico is your chance to explore the perplexing, the rousing, and the compelling. Every summer people from across the country, varying widely in age, academic and professional backgrounds, gather in small seminars on the Santa Fe campus to read and discuss classics of literature, science, history, philosophy and opera.
The Summer Classics Seminar
A Summer Classics seminar is not a lecture, nor is it a book club. At St. John’s, seminars are lively, in depth, highly participatory conversations on the reading at hand. Discussions begin with an opening question presented by a tutor, but can take on a myriad of dimensions. Everyone contributes in some way to the conversation, bringing ideas to the table whether they have expertise in the topic or not. Listening is just as important as speaking. No previous knowledge of the author, text or subject is required; participants should refer only to works the group studies together. Conversations are not debates. Challenging others’ ideas or offering alternative thinking is encouraged as long as the goal is insight, not didacticism. These week-long seminars take place in June and July, and are limited to 18 participants each. Groups are led by two members of the St. John’s College faculty, called tutors. Tuition covers one seminar in a given week. However, participants are welcome to register for a class in both the morning as well as the afternoon sessions. They are also welcome to register for more than one week of seminars.
Summer Classics is an adult education program. Persons under the age of 18 may participate, but a parent or guardian must accompany minors in both the classroom and associated program activities. For persons under the age of 18 who would like to participate in a St. John’s seminar, we invite you to explore our Summer Academy linked above.
When not reading or in class, participants will have time to explore the vibrancy of historic Santa Fe.