Our Pedagogy

“It doesn’t matter what our backgrounds are, or how old we are, or what our previous education has been: When we sit around the table together, we’re simply human beings grappling with ideas, posing questions, and responding to the material. The collective bond we form around the great books is profound. St. John’s isn’t about competing, it’s about students and tutors becoming comrades on a remarkable journey.” — Shelley Mason, MALA & MAEC

Why Great Books?

Because they express most originally and most deeply the ideas that have shaped civilization. These books are both timeless and timely; they illuminate the persisting questions of human existence that bear directly on the problems we face today. Although they span many subjects, these books transcend genres. Plato’s Republic, for example, is both a profound work of philosophy and a brilliant literary work. Euclid’s Elements is a mathematical text with deep philosophical implications. Emily Dickinson’s poems are both great literature and a way of looking into the deepest philosophical, theological, and experiential questions. These authors change our minds, move our hearts, and touch our spirits.

Meet Your Tutors