Great Summer 2019
“It was not for small things but for great that God created men, who, knowing the great, are not satisfied with small things. Indeed, it was for the limitless alone that He created men, who are the only beings on earth to have discovered their infinite nature and who are not fully satisfied by anything limited, however great that thing may be.” Marsilio Ficino
Enroll in a week-long study in liberal arts through Great Books Honors at Faulkner University. Designed for rising high school juniors and seniors, students will …
- Enjoy Christian fellowship, service, and scholarship in a community of high school seniors, undergraduate honors students, graduate students, and Faulkner and Jones School of Law faculty.
- Learn the Great Books method of education, with close readings of classical works, interpretive questions, and round-table discussion.
- Experience local Montgomery attractions: Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the Alabama Civil Rights Museum, Montgomery Downtown River Region, and more.
- Earn 3 hours college credit.
Great Books Honors at Faulkner University considers a person as an end in him or herself. The statement means that GB Honors’ main motivation in inviting someone to the Great Summer program is to simply enjoy that person’s company and engage in a charitable discussion of some of the most powerful works of literature from Western Civilization. We believe that God has created us with the desire and ability to know, to learn about Him, each other, and the world around us, and one of the best ways to pursue such enrichment is sitting around a table with a group of friends and a nice, fat book.
Great Summer 2018 FAQs
When will the Great Summer event take place?
Great Summer 2018 will take place from July 2019 (exact date TBD).
Where will the enrichment program take place?
Students will stay the week at Faulkner’s main campus in Montgomery, Alabama. Class will take place in the dedicated Great Books Honors wing, but students will also travel to different locations around the city, including the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and downtown Riverfront Park among other places.
How will one spend one’s time?
Coursework begins a month in advance preparing for the Great Summer week, where students will spend that time reading and discussing selections from various classical works of literature. The curriculum will provide a mini-version of the traditional Great Books course sequence, which means students will focus on authors from the ancient world to the modern period, from Plato and Aristotle to C.S. Lewis, Friedrich Nietzsche, Flannery O’Connor, and Jean-Paul Sartre. The books represent some of the most significant voices of humanity. Students will also spend a great deal of time learning about the liberal arts and what it means to participate in Great Books learning, something far different than many current models. For instance, class sessions will be discussion-driven, not lecture-driven, with instructor taking the role of a guide or mentor. The books and the students’ questions concerning the books take center stage. Students will develop the ability to ask keen interpretive questions of a text and dig deeper into its meaning. Again, the focus is on the reader and the book and not (at least initially) the reader and what someone else has said about the book. The Great Books are linked to the goal of liberal arts, described as the “freeing arts,” which encourage a manner of living that allows us to truly see the world.
In addition to the time spent in the classroom, students will enjoy activities outside the classroom as well, including performances at Alabama Shakespeare Festival and Faulkner’s very own Dinner Theater, trips to the Jones School of Law, Civil Rights Memorial Center, and Riverfront park, and many other fun experiences—science experiments, film reviews, devotionals, and most importantly, a service project. Reading is dear to the heart of the Great Books program, so students will participate in a service project designed to promote reading in the Montgomery community.
What are the program’s benefits?
The program’s benefits are many, with rewards both obvious and subtle. What follows represents a brief description:
- Christ-centered learning: An education is possible without Christ, but it will be an incomplete education. Students will benefit from looking at humanity’s most pressing questions through a Christ-centered lens. The careful reader finds that Christ remains a part of every
- Powerful curriculum: Not all books are created equal. Students will engage some of the most important works in Western Civilization, drawing from each time period. These works say something meaningful.
- Great Books learning: Students will receive training in Great Books education, including an understanding of the emphasis of primary works, the importance of and application of interpretive questions, and a conversation-style classroom setting. The GB method represents an effective remedy for those students who find the traditional lecture model too passive and at times watered down.
- A small, intimate environment: Great Books classes never grow beyond fifteen students, but typically feature multiple faculty members, so participants enjoy more personal attention and interaction. All conversations take place around a small conference table in the Great Books Honors classroom.
- Undergraduate/Graduate interaction: When possible, the GB Great Summer event involves participation from students in Faulkner’s Masters and PhD programs. Students thus benefit from the contribution of graduate-level learners.
- Scholastic achievement: in addition to the intellectual experience the summer program offers, the program will also make students more competitive in their academic and professional careers. Faulkner was ranked among the Top 25 Great Books Programs in the nation.
- College credit: students have the opportunity to earn 3 hours of college credit.
Who is most suited for the Great Books Enrichment Program?
In short: learners, self-confessed book nerds. The Great Summer event is ideal for those students who love to learn, especially those who love to read and discuss any and all books and important ideas. Great Summer is open to high school juniors and seniors, with the following conditions:
- A minimum composite score of ACT 21 or SAT 980 (Reading and math)
- A cumulative high school GPA of 3.0 (on a 4-point scale)
- A letter of recommendation from an English instructor
Total cost for the event is $600, which covers room and board, admission to various evening activities, and three hours of college credit.