Moral Life and the Classical Tradition Seminar

June 18-24 (Women) and June 25- July 1 (Men)
Princeton, New Jersey

The Moral Life and the Classical Tradition Seminar is a week-long program for rising high school juniors and seniors interested in the ancient philosophical tradition and its influence in the Christian moral life. The seminar is offered to both young men and young women, although their seminars take place separately (see dates above). Both the young men and the young women study two tracks:

Classical Moral Philosophy. This course explores Plato’s Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Euthyphro, and Meno as well as selections from Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and Politics.

Contemporary Issues in Moral Thought. This course consists of discussions and readings on the foundations of Judeo-Christian moral tradition, including the relationship of faith and reason, the Judeo-Christian tradition and scientific inquiry, sexual ethics, marriage and family, and biomedical ethics.

Both courses will consist of a great deal of discussion and interaction between the students and the teacher; therefore, students are expected to be well prepared by reading and understanding beforehand the assigned readings. Readings for the seminar will be provided about one month in advance of the seminar. Classes will be supplemented with quiet time for study and with extracurricular activities such as sports, cultural outings, and opportunities for spiritual reflection.

The Moral Life and the Classical Tradition Seminar is a challenging intellectual experience that brings high school students into direct contact with serious scholars of the humanities. As one student wrote,

I write this e-mail to express my gratitude to you for teaching the seminar. Your teaching of the Socratic Method and the various philosophies of Socrates has truly opened my eyes. I am thinking about things I never even considered before, and for the first time in far too long I feel wholly intellectually stimulated. What is more, I am now so interested in Plato and Socrates that I am actually pursuing the subject outside of class, which is something that – I will admit! – I have not done in a long time.

Students live for the week in the dormitories of Princeton University under the supervision of Residential Advisors (RAs). Various recreational activities are organized in the Princeton area after seminar sessions.

Click here to view the seminar flyer.

Women’s Faculty
Ana Samuel, The Witherspoon Institute
Janice Chik Breidenbach, Ave Maria University

Men’s Faculty
Micah Watson, Calvin College
John Rose, PhD Candidate, Princeton Theological Seminary

Those who will be juniors or seniors in high school in the fall of 2017 may apply to the seminar.

Registration Fee, Lodging, and Board
This seminar is hosted on the campus of Princeton University; men’s and women’s sessions are held separately. A non-refundable $400 registration fee will be required of all accepted applicants to reserve a place in the seminar. This fee covers tuition, room, board, and books. It does not include travel expenses. 

Application Requirements and Instructions
Click here for information on how to apply to the 2017 Moral Life and the Classical Tradition Seminar. Applications will be considered until April 2, 2017.

Email Felix Miller at