Educating a diverse population in the liberal arts

For personal, professional and global responsibility

In the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame

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Seminar FAQs

Repeatedly, alumni and others tell us the part of their college education they valued the most (or, maybe more accurately, came to value as they advanced in their careers and lives) was the liberal arts courses where they confronted great questions—what constitutes the good life and what is my responsibility to myself, to my professional peers and those who work with me, to others and to society.

Issues like these are at the core of the seminar series—though the intent is not to provide pat answers, but to provoke deep thinking about core issues that continue to confront our society through the lens of some of the greatest works in our philosophical, political and literary heritage.

These books literally “change the world.” The authors vary; the publish dates span centuries. Some are classics; some are likely becoming classics. You may have read some of these books long ago in high school or college classes. You may now sit down alone with many of these books and selected readings as a pleasant pastime, but more is to be gained studying them with a group of peers who offer interpretations and ideas that you may not have considered. Even if you have already read some of these books or seen the selected film, see if you don’t agree that this is a unique opportunity for those who appreciate fine literature to meet on a regular basis with members of our esteemed faculty to discuss what sets these specific readings apart and how these works shape the world.

Much time and effort went into this selection with the thought of how they relate to the conditions faced in lives today. The ideas, concepts and situations these works present are as relevant to today’s challenges and opportunities as when they were first penned.

You’ve probably heard people refer to these books but may not have been comfortable joining in conversations because you lack familiarity with them and their insights.

Here is your opportunity to become acquainted or reacquainted with this powerful literature. By attending this seminar, you’ll be able to discuss and reflect on key aspects of the works because you know them. You will be “well-read.”

Seminars anchored in the “great books tradition” draw leaders into thought-provoking analyses of contemporary issues through the medium of timeless literature and are among the most eagerly sought-after personal enrichment and professional development experiences.

The College invites organizational or community leaders, or people who are passionate about great books and lifelong learning, to participate in “Books that Change the World” and join peers in stimulating discussions about fine literature.

In addition, Notre Dame faculty presenters featured are Kenneth Palko, M.A., is associate professor of philosophy, and Sr. Eileen Quinlan, Ph.D., SND, is professor of English/communication and a published author.

For more information about the seminar series, contact Tina Jurcisin at 216.373.6520 or