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St. John’s College Summer Academy

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Summer Academy Sessions 2024

Sessions are hosted on both St. John’s campus locations, in Annapolis, MD and Santa Fe, NM, and online. Scroll through the different summer academy sessions happening next June and July, 2024.

Santa Fe

Beginnings: Inquiring into the Origins of Politics, Poetry, and Mathematics

July 7–13, 2024 | During this week of Summer Academy, we will encounter a range of classic “beginnings” in an effort to understand the diverse ways that they shape our experience of the world. From beginnings in time, politics and religion, to timeless elements such as mathematical and philosophical Principles; we will also dive into creative and imaginative powers of poetry as well. Join us as we use a multidisciplinary approach to explore the elements that help us understand the origin and beginning of time.

Beginnings Session
Civil Disobedience: Understanding the relationship between the one and the many

July 14–20, 2024 | This week we will read a range of texts and speeches, literary, philosophic, political, and scientific, as well as film and scientific experimentation to answer some of our greatest questions about civil disobedience. Our goal is to come to a deeper understanding of the relationship between the one and the many in our modern society. Spend a week with your peers seeking out truth, understanding, and defining for yourself what liberty, freedom, and civility means.

Civil Disobedience Session
Love and Friendship: Austen and Aristotle; human goodness, virtue, and the relationships that bind us together

July 21–27, 2024 | Love and friendship seem essential to our existence. No human being would choose to be without them, and our happiness seems importantly to depend upon them. We will take time this week to reflect upon these vital relationships that move the human soul and bind us together.

Love & Friendship Session


A Week with Socrates

June 23-29, 2024 | A pesky gadfly. A numbing torpedo-fish. A seductive satyr. These are only three of the many images found in Plato’s dialogues that are used to describe Socrates. During this week of Summer Academy, we will have an opportunity to encounter this many-sided and much-debated figure for ourselves.

Socrates Session
Consciousness and Mind: Examination of the mind in works of literature, philosophy, and science

June 30–July 6, 2024 | As conscious beings, it can be difficult for us to step back from the workings of our own minds to ask what it is that our minds actually do. Fortunately, many great thinkers have attempted to take that step back and examine the conscious mind in works of literature, philosophy, and science. We’ll rise to the challenge along with them, questioning the nature of the conscious mind and the many forms of its activity.

Consciousness & Mind Session
Order & Disorder: Patterns in mathematics, systems of government, laws of nature

July 7–13, 2024 | There are many indications that we live in a well-ordered world that operates in accordance with discoverable principles. But do such patterns, systems, and laws tell the whole story? Foundational works of poetry, philosophy, and mathematics will offer us an opportunity to examine the various sources of order in our world—and also to question them and consider their limits.

Order & Disorder Session

Online Sessions 2024

Hamlet, by William Shakespeare

June 24–28, 2024

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The Odyssey, by Homer

June 24–28, 2024

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Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen

June 24-28, 2024

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The Symposium, by Plato

June 24-28, 2024

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What is the Great Books Reading Program?

We take great pride in our great books curriculum, which was adopted in 1937. The tradition of all students reading fundamental texts of Western civilization is the foundation of our education. Our Great Books Reading List includes classic works by Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Cervantes and more.

Our goal with the Summer Academy is to introduce high school students to the world of critical thinking and discussion while reading great books in subjects like philosophy, literature, psychology, history, religion, economics, science, astronomy, language, and more.


Summer Classics for Adults

Spend a week of your summer among fellow lovers of intellectual inquiry examining great works, either in Santa Fe or online! Our seminar offerings are lively, in-depth, and highly participatory conversations on enduring works that span fiction and nonfiction, math and science, poetry and philosophy, as well as visual, cinematic, and performing arts.