Great Books Summer Seminar Weekends

Great Books Summer Seminar Weekends

Summer Seminars 2016
Suffering: The Christian Response
June 24-26 and July 15-17


Each summer the president of Thomas Aquinas College hosts two Great Books Summer Seminar Weekends. These weekends take place on the College’s Southern California campus, nestled in the foothills of the Topatopa Mountains, at the entrance to Los Padres National Forest just outside of Santa Paula. Attendees gain an inside look at the unique education the College provides its students. These weekends also occasion good fellowship and lifelong friendships.

Under the guidance of the president, the dean, and senior faculty members, guests participate in a series of classroom discussions about texts taken from the great books. Between seminars they enjoy delicious meals, served both indoors and outdoors. In addition, the College’s chaplains offer daily Mass and confession in Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel. First held in 1992, the Summer Seminar Weekends have focused on a wide range of topics, including the meaning of the natural law, the compatibility of faith and reason, the relationship between hope and prayer, the nature of happiness, and the importance of religious liberty.

The theme for the 2016 Summer Seminars is “Suffering: The Christian Response,” for which participants will closely examine the following readings:

  • The Death of Ivan Ilyich, by Leo Tolstoy — a wonderfully evocative story of a man’s suffering and death
  • On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering (Salvifici Doloris) — Pope St. John Paul II’s magnificent 1984 Apostolic Letter
  • Summa Theologiae, III, selections — St. Thomas Aquinas’ profound meditation on Christ’s passion and resurrection

Summer Seminar weekends offer a relaxing retreat from every day cares. They also provide a rare opportunity for a deeper understanding of topics and issues of vital interest to tutors and participants alike, both as Catholics and as Americans.

Cost: $750 per person or $1,200 per couple; includes meals, lodging, seminar fees, and reading materials. For more information or to inquire about this year’s Great Books Seminar Weekends, please e-mail Patti Harmonson, Special Events Coordinator, or call 805-421-5929. Priority will be given to members of the President’s Council.