Summer Teachers Institute

St. John’s is the preeminent Great Books college in the United States and has a long history of preparing teachers at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

About Summer Teachers Institute

The St. John’s College Teachers Institute is a week-long program held each summer for educators that is made possible by the St. John’s Graduate Institute and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The support for the NEH comes in the form of their We the People program, which is designed to encourage and enhance the teaching, study, and understanding of American history, culture, and democratic principles.

In addition to providing a thoughtful examination of important texts and ideas, both sessions provide excellent opportunities for teachers to experience the discussion-based learning engaged in at St. John’s, and to exchange ideas with one another in an informal though serious context.

Program Descriptions

This year the Teachers Institute will be offering two seminars:

  • Freedom of Conscience and the American Experiment
  • Life of the Mind in a Digital World

Freedom of Conscience and the American Experiment

Session 1: June 29-July 2, Collegiate School in New York City

Session 2: July 27-31, St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland

Sponsored by the Hodson Trust and the We the People initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities this program features readings from the works of John Locke, the American Founders, Mary Wollstonecraft, Thoreau, Martin Luther King Jr., and others, all addressing the fundamental tension between the legitimate rights of individual conscience and the legitimate need for societal cohesion.

Life of the Mind in a Digital World

Session 3: July 27-31, St. John’s College in Annapolis

Sponsored by a grant from the Mellon Foundation, this course will address the impact of contemporary digital technology on thinking and learning. Readings for this seminar will include works by Lewis Mumford, Hans Jonas, Sherry Turkle, Alan Turing, Naomi Baron, and others.

Our Method

As with all instruction at St. John’s, the Teachers Institute explores readings from original texts with all classes as seminar-style discussions. The Teachers Institute is part of St. John’s Graduate Institute, which has a long history of preparing teachers at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In particular, the Graduate Institute allows educators to complete the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts degree through classes taken in four consecutive summers, or our new Liberal Arts Education Certificate in an accredited two-summer program. Specific scholarships are available for educators, which can make the Graduate Institute tuition-free.

Location, Dates, and Costs

Session 1: Freedom of Conscience and the American Experiment

Collegiate School in New York City (June 29-July 2)

The June session will be hosted by the Collegiate School in New York City. Seminars taught by St. John’s faculty will meet on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday morning.

Participants in the New York event will also have time to explore the City during their time at Collegiate. Tuition for the session at the Collegiate School is $200 and includes all texts and the final luncheon. Housing is not provided.

Session 2: Freedom of Conscience and the American Experiment

St. John’s College in Annapolis (July 27- 31)

The July 27- 31 session will be hosted at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland.  Seminars taught by St. John’s College faculty will meet Tuesday through Thursday, with a final seminar on Friday morning. See sample schedule.

At sessions on the St. John’s College campus in Annapolis, time will be available to explore the historic city of Annapolis, the Chesapeake Bay, and nearby Washington, DC. Tuition, books, on-campus housing, and breakfast and lunch for the session is provide free-of-charge. Funding may be available for travel; please reach out for more information.

Session 3: Life of the Mind in a Digital World

St. John’s College in Annapolis (July 27- 31)

Session 3 will run concurrently with session 2 at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. Seminars will be taught by St. John’s College faculty and meet Tuesday through Thursday, with a final seminar on Friday morning. See sample schedule.

At sessions on the St. John’s College campus in Annapolis, time will be available to explore the historic city of Annapolis, the Chesapeake Bay, and nearby Washington, DC. Tuition, books, on-campus housing, and breakfast and lunch for the session is provide free-of-charge. Funding may be available for travel; please reach out for more information.

How to Apply to the Teachers Institute

St. John’s accepts applications from all high school educators for the teachers Institute. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and space is limited.

Complete Application Form Upload an Essay

For further information or questions, please contact annapolis.gradadmissions(at)sjc.edu.