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Littlemore College Preparatory Program

St. Henry Newman

About the Littlemore College Preparatory Program

The Littlemore College Preparatory Program at Newman University is a virtual gap year program designed to provide a rich immersion in Catholic thought and the great works of Western culture. Our four course program is flexible, affordable, and interactive. Students will leave the program prepared to bring an informed Catholic perspective to any future studies.

Our program is founded on the life and work of St. John Henry Newman and the Integrated Humanities Program created by John Senior and his colleagues here in Kansas several decades ago. Our goals are to inspire wonder and equip students with the critical reading and writing skills that will ensure success in their college careers and prepare them for a lifetime of learning.

Affordable and Flexible

The tuition for each 3-credit course is $750, which means that the entire four-course program can be completed for only $3000 tuition plus fees. The courses are also designed to maximize flexibility while still allowing for meaningful interactions with instructors and other students. For each course there is one 75 minute required Zoom session per week, and the other weekly course work can be arranged around students' schedules. We also welcome students of any age who want the benefit of the material and discussions but do not need college credit. Each course can be audited for only $330.

If you were unable to participate in the Fall 2020 courses, you are welcome to join us for Spring 2021. You can complete the program next fall, or just take one or two courses this spring.

Courses for Spring 2021 

Contemporary Great Books (Meets Thursdays 2:25-3:40, January 21 to May 6, 2021)

The nineteenth and twentieth centuries were times of rapid transformation across all sectors of society. Scholars, authors, and poets sought new ways of describing the Good, True, and Beautiful and means of applying them to modern questions and problems. Stretching from St. John Henry Newman to Flannery O'Connor, this course will survey great essays, poetry, and works of fiction.

Course Texts: George Bernanos, The Diary of a Country Priest; Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited; Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man; Shusaku Endo, Silence; and Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; In addition to those required texts, we will study a range of short stories, poems, and essays from figures like Jane Austen, Hopkins, Tolkein, and more.

Cultivation of Mind (Meets Wednesdays 2:00-3:15, January 20 to May 5, 2021)

Benedict XVI, the day before John Paul II died, declared that "to live a faith that comes from the Logos, from creative reason, [is to be] also open to all that is truly rational.” This course focuses on the cultivation of the mind by unifying all that is truly rational from the various intellectual disciplines that make up a student's education and the university as a whole. This interior process will be reinforced through the exploration of examples and counter-examples of prolific thinkers and writers in a multitude of fields.

Course Texts:  Simon Leys, Halls of Uselessness;;Simone Weil, Love in the Void; Joseph Pieper, "The Silence of St. Thomas"; Etienne Gilson, The Unity of Philosophical Experience; Gertrude von le Fort, The Song at the Scaffold; Annie Dillard, The Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. In addition to those required texts, we will study a range of other works by St. John Henry Newman, Wendell Berry, Tolkein, and more.

Courses for Fall 2020

Renaissance Great Books (Meets Thursdays 2:25-3:40, August 27 to December 10, 2020)

At the beginning of the fifteenth century, the intellectual life of Europe found a new home in Italy among the Christian humanists. This effectively brought the Middle Ages to an end, and initiated a rebirth of learning. Renewed contact with ancient Greek classics, as well as new political realities prompted the emergence of the “liberal arts.” In the early sixteenth century, the Protestant Reformation broke on the scene, and the Catholic Church responded with a number of initiatives known as the Counter-Reformation. Concurrent with this, experimental science offered new methods for explaining reality and defining truth. These three world-shaking developments, the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Scientific Method produced an age of tension and genius. During these centuries St. Teresa D’Avila reformed the Carmelite order and the Jesuits rose up to re-evangelize Europe and lead missions into the East and the Americas. They also gave rise to some of our most cherished literary masterpieces by the likes of Shakespeare and Cervantes. As Pope Benedict XVI has said of the great figures of the Renaissance, “[Such individuals played] an active role in affirming that concept of man which left its mark on the history of Europe, drawing strength from Christian values.”

In this course, students will participate in the potent ideas that fueled the Renaissance and Early Modern Period. They will contemplate how the Church continued her mission even after her unity was threatened, and other institutions had emerged as her rivals. This course is the third in a series that progresses through the historical development of Catholic culture.

Course Texts: Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe, Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 by William Shakespeare, Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes, Pensées by Blaise Pascal, Paradise Lost and Samson Agonistes by John Milton, The Lusiads by Luís Vaz de Camões, The Hind and the Panther by John Dryden, "All Hallowstide" by Jonathan Edwards, and the Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila.

Philosophical Habit of Mind (Meets Wednesdays 2:00-3:15, August 26 to December 9, 2020)

John Paul II, in his encyclical Fides et Ratio, states: “Without wonder, men and women would lapse into deadening routine and little by little would become incapable of a life which is genuinely personal.” This course attempts to introduce this relationship between the personal and the wonderful through an introduction and immersion into what St. John Henry Newman calls “The Philosophical Habit of Mind". It will do so by paying attention to how thinkers describe the cast of intellect necessary to engage in broad modes of inquiry native to philosophical thought, and examining the lives that provide demonstration of such exemplary thought. The beginning of the course will be laid by exploring foundational texts regarding the relationship between thought and biography, and will move on to works that focus on the lives of various philosophers, Saints, and thinkers. The class will finish by looking into the habit of mind being exemplified in the work of selected contemporary thinkers and culminate in a research project completed by each student into the life and work of a selected thinker.

Course Texts: Leisure the Basis of Culture by Josef Pieper, The Lives of the Philosophers by Diogenes Laertius, The Dialogues by St. Gregory the Great, Stages on the Road by Sigrid Undset, My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass, and Edith Stein: A Philosophical Life by Alasdair MacIntyre.

If you'd like to be contacted by one of our faculty members to learn more about the Littlemore College Preparatory Program, submit the form below and we'll reach out to you soon.