McDonald Center for America’s Founding Principles Offering Second Annual Summer Seminar Abroad in Athens, Greece for High School Teachers

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MACON, Ga. – Mercer University's Thomas C. and Ramona E. McDonald Center for America's Founding Principles is offering high school teachers the opportunity to travel to Athens, Greece, June 16-28, for a seminar that teaches the University's innovative Great Books Program.

The theme of the seminar is “Ancient Athens and the Invention of Democracy.” Participants will have the opportunity to stay in the heart of Athens and take daily excursions to Greece's most important cultural sites. This time spent in the birthplace of democracy will allow for consideration of the ancient Athenian experiment in self-governance and its stunning fruits in politics, philosophy, history, poetry, art and architecture.

The purpose of the seminar is to model for high school teachers how the Great Books texts and distinctive discussion-based pedagogy might be used to enrich the academic experience of high school students.

The cost is $2,200 plus airfare, which includes lodging, food, ground transportation, reading materials and museum entrance fees. Additionally, participants are eligible for up to four Professional Learning Units through the Georgia Department of Education, and will have perpetual access to the program's website and teaching materials.

Participants will begin each day with a briefing on the day's sites and activities, after which the group will spend the morning visiting the sites of Athens, including the Acropolis, Agora and Keramikos. After lunch, the group will participate in a seminar to discuss the sites visited and course readings. The instructor will model the Great Books pedagogical approach and discuss strategies for bringing that approach into the classroom. Participants will have evenings and weekends free, though there will be optional group activities.

Teachers of history, literature, government, economics, art, philosophy, theology and related disciplines are encouraged to apply by the deadline of April 1.

Applications may be submitted by mail to Dr. Charlotte Thomas, Department of Philosophy, Mercer University, 1400 Coleman Ave., Macon, GA 31207; or by email to

To download an application or for more information on the program, click here.

About the Thomas C. and Ramona E. McDonald Center

The Thomas C. and Ramona E. McDonald Center for America's Founding Principles exists to supplement Mercer University's excellent liberal arts program with a redoubled commitment to the foundational texts and ideas that have shaped Western Civilization and the American political order. This focus on the core texts of the Western tradition helps to revitalize a cross-centuries dialogue about citizenship, human rights, and political, economic and religious freedom, thereby deepening the moral imagination and fostering civic and cultural literacy.

The McDonald Center's programming includes an annual lecture series, high school teacher workshops, post-doctoral teaching fellowships and undergraduate research fellowships. All programming is designed to enhance Mercer's longstanding role as a distinctive home of liberal learning, a place where serious students come to live the life of the mind and emerge more thoughtful and engaged citizens.

Kyle Sears
Kyle is the director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he coordinates hometown and university news releases and serves as editor of the News@Mercer e-newsletter and Reach magazine.​