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Highlights from Summer School

Session 2017: Small(er) but Mighty (Fun)!

Patty Weishaar
Director of Student Services and Faculty Support

A new schedule adventure dawned on the SOT Summer 2017 session—producing a small(er) gathering of students in Collegeville overall, but making for mighty week-by-week encounters in the month of June. 

The 2017 Summer term launched with the annual Holy Land Studies program, with 13 students traveling to Israel under the able guidance of Fr. Michael Patella, OSB

On-campus Summer sessions have undergone assorted schedule changes in the past 20 years, adapting to meet the needs of changing student and faculty availability for summer studies.  Technology enhancements and successful web learning in the school year academic terms have also been attractive to summer-time learners.  This summer we honored both our tradition of intensive three-week courses in Spiritual Direction, Liturgy, and Scripture, and launched our new Hybrid-Intensives, in which students start and end a course on the web, but come for an intensive week at Saint John’s, amassing classroom contact hours and soaking in the prayer, fun, and community here on campus.  This year we offered Hybrid-Intensives in History of Christianity, New Testament, and Eschatology.  This plus one short course brought 35 students to campus, and another 10 students participated in field education and CPE off site this summer.  Thanks to our summer professors Dr. Kevin Mongrain, Fr. Laszlo Simon, OSB, Dr. Jakob Rinderknecht, Ms. Becky Van Ness, Dr. Ben Durheim, and Dr. Barbara Sutton!

How to fill in those moments of non-study while at Saint John’s?    Mightily!  We started each week with a Sunday Social-Supper to bring together the new and continuing folks week to week, and then balanced the weeks on Tuesdays and Thursdays with a “Tuesday Treasure”:  a tour of the north side of campus and Saint John’s Solar Array, our annual FireHall Cookout, Pizza-and-Fun Supper at Bad Habit Brewery in Saint Joseph, and a Cold Spring Bakery/Grasshopper Chapel Pilgrimage.  Thursdays we gathered for our weekly Mid-Day Prayer and Convivium lunch.  And on Friday June 23 we joined in the SOT and Seminary alumni banquet and awards celebration.  All this, plus walks, talks, prayer, movies, the Feast of John the Baptist and the Pax Christi Award, the youth choir and YTM—a small(er) but MIGHT FULL and fast paced month!

As we look ahead to future summers we will evaluate the 2017 new summer schedule experiment – we will tweak and improve!  Plan to join us as we continue the long tradition of graduate theological study on the shores of Lake Sagatagan—our “resort with a library.”