Our Gap Year
Why a Gap Year?
We offer a program at the Center for students who would like to take a year off from college, either before or during, in which to accomplish one or more of the following:
• Get a better grasp of a Christian view of the ideas of our civilization.
• Get a better grasp of how ideas are transmitted through literature, art, and history.
• Grow into college-level work by way of one-on-one tutorials with college professors.
• Work part-time while studying to get some experience in the working world before finalizing college studies.
• Just get a little more life experience before going to college to get the most out of college studies.
Books, Study and Travel
After a preliminary book by CS Lewis entitled The Abolition of Man, our book list for the year begins with the ancient Greeks and works its way through a few of the most influential works of Western culture. Beginning with Homer’s Odyssey, which formed the Greek mind by defining the difference between civilization and barbarism. In addition to Homer, we will read some works from the Golden Age of Greece: Aeschylus’ Orestia, and dialogues of Plato. From the Middle Ages we will read Augustine, Boethius, Dante, and Thomas Aquinas. We include works by Shakespeare, Erasmus, Luther, and Calvin from the Northern Renaissance; and works by Pope, Swift, Shelley, Keats, Wordsworth, and Coleridge the 18th and 19th centuries; and works by Conrad, GK Chesterton, Eliot, Russell Kirk, and CS Lewis from the 20th century. In addition to these great books, Center faculty will teach about the art, architecture, and music of the periods as well. This literature and art pass on some of the ways our ancestors regarded life, and specifically how they connected belief with action. Some ideas are worth holding still, some are not, but at every turn our students have a professor who approaches these works with a Christian mind, committed to discerning the Truth wherever it might be found, preparing solid foundations on which to build our students’ further education.
In addition to our studies in Memphis, Center students, led by our Director, travel to Paris and London.