Community Seminars in Annapolis

Great Books – Great Minds – Great Discussions

What is a St. John’s seminar?

St. John’s community seminars explore fundamental questions of the human condition through open discussion of great, timeless texts. Moderated by faculty members, called tutors,  participants build dialogue together as they share their love of wisdom. No previous knowledge of author, text, or subject is needed. The seminar is exploratory.

Some find their seminars form a small, friendly republic, or seem at their best to be making music together, as if an American jazz improvisation group. Conversation rises to pursue the timeless questions of the good, the true, and the beautiful, inclusive of all views and free from rigidity, dogma, or doctrine.

We offer a range of seminars:

  • A Year of Classics: Once-a-month seminars from September–May, meeting for 90 minutes in-person or online.
  • Summer Classics: Weeklong seminars in July, meeting Monday–Friday for two hours a day on the St. John’s College campus in Santa Fe, NM or online.
  • Winter Classics: Online weeklong seminars in January, meeting Monday–Friday for two hours a day.

You are invited to join us for as many of these seminars as you wish and as your schedule permits. You need not have a previous connection with St. John’s College, although those who do are wholeheartedly welcome.

Levels of Commitment

A Year of Classics

Explore a single theme through a variety of readings. Sessions available online and in the Annapolis area.

Discover a Year of Classics
Winter Classics

This winter, read and discuss great books—online—no travel required. Choose from this year’s catalog of texts or topics. Weeklong daily seminars: January 2–6 and January 9–13, 2023.

Learn About Winter Classics
Summer Classics

Every summer, people from across the country—varying widely in age, academic and professional backgrounds—gather in Santa Fe to read and discuss timeless literary, philosophical, and artistic works.

See Summer Classics Sessions

The Role of the Tutor

At St. John’s, members of the faculty are called tutors. A tutor opens the seminar conversation by asking a question based on the reading. From then on, the tutor keeps the conversation moving, clarifies issues when necessary, and raises questions helpful to the conversation.

The Size of the Seminar

Seminars are made up of 12 to 18 participants, including one or two tutors.

How to Prepare

Read the assigned text in advance. No previous knowledge of the subject or author is required. Outside research is not expected. It is your own ideas that are important in the seminar. If you have time to reread the text, you will find that more ideas present themselves and that ideas from your first reading become clearer.

Refund Policy

A 75 percent refund is provided should you cancel by the deadline stated for each program and no refund is available after the deadline.

Please see the seminar program page for more details on policies.

Should we need to postpone a seminar, you will be notified by email and the seminar will be rescheduled.

We reserve the right to cancel a seminar due to low enrollment.