Reading/Writing Seminars

A man’s life lieth not in the abundance of what he possesseth, nor does his wisdom lie in the number of facts that he can relate. Our seminars are a place to grow by encountering literary texts in an environment conducive to becoming a deeper human and a better Christian, focusing on contending with the text and the author rather than learning an instructor’s perspective.

Our seminars are discussion-based courses where you and fellow participants will seek to understand the meaning of a text and respond to each text with an original poem, story, or essay. These original works will be discussed by your class in context of the work of literature which inspired the responses. What qualifies as a response? See below.

Through these courses, participants will

  • Read key texts and tease out their important topics in discussion with fellow participants.
  • Think through what it is to be a human and a Christian in light of these literary texts.
  • Write original poetic, fictional, and nonfiction works and give and receive constructive criticism of these projects.
  • Dialogue with thoughtful people, both dead and alive, on subjects central to Anabaptism, the Kingdom of God, and the arts.
  • Receive opportunities for personal growth and transformation through literature.

Class offerings and schedule

Tuition for current courses is $99 per attendee. You’re welcome to inquire for group rates. Sign up for a seminar here! You will receive an email with further information.

Meeting Times
Application Deadline
Overview of English LiteratureClaudia Lehman and Lynn MartinSaturdays Jan 30–May 29, 9:00–10:30 AM EST
Syllabus and readingsApply by Jan 27

Potential classes

When enough people have expressed interest in the seminar, we will plan the class schedule and reach out with more details. Speed up the process by inviting your friends! Express interest or suggest a topic. We will try to plan the class to fit potential participants’ schedules.

Dostoevsky and TolstoyTBDTBD
Chesterton, Lewis, and SayersTBDTBD
George MacDonald’s Novels and FantasyLynn MartinTBD, late summer or fall 2021

Course descriptions

Overview of English Literature—Read through eight book-length literary texts spanning the major eras of English-language literature, from the Anglo-Saxon era to the present. Respond in some written form to each text and workshop your original works with other participants.

Dostoevsky and Tolstoy—Read the major works of the great Russian novelists and engage with their analysis of cultural Christianity. Respond in some written form to each text and workshop your original works with other participants.

Chesterton, Lewis, and Sayers—Read and discuss the ideas of these key modern Christian thinkers. Respond in some written form to each text and workshop your original works with other participants.

George MacDonald’s Novels and Fantasy—This covers the major works of the author who defined the more famous 20th-century Christian fantasy of such as Lewis and Tolkien. Through the class, you will create works set in fantastic worlds.

Costs and Refunds

If you aren’t sure a seminar will be a good fit for you, try it out. Up to the third week of a class, we will provide a full refund, and up to halfway through, we offer a half refund.

How Much Time Does It Take?

Plan to dedicate between 4–8 hours per week to a seminar, including class meetings, readings, and assignments.

What’s a Response?

Different courses will have different expectations for response assignments. In general, though, here’s what you can expect.

Responses can be in the form of poetry, story, or nonfiction argument. The class may have a requirement as to which best fits the aims of the course. The teacher will be available to help you brainstorm or hone your piece.

What it means to respond is very broad. You can take issue with something, write a parody, develop an idea from the work, write something in its style, imagine the inner life of a character, depict a particular scene, or something else not mentioned here.


Contact us for any questions and clarifications.