Summer School for Professors

by Sean Fitzpatrick '04

Ever wonder what the professors at APU do during summer? While summer vacation plans often include water skiing, going to the beach, hiking, or traveling to tropical islands, some professors take that time to further their education.

This summer, professors from several APU departments came together for a week to discuss their summer reading, Summa Theologica by Saint Thomas Aquinas. The summer faculty seminar exists to contribute to the pursuit of lifelong learning among the faculty, enrich understanding of great works, enhance teaching effectiveness in the areas of general study, and build an academic community. "This seminar boils down to 24 faculty members broken into two teams discussing a great work," said David Weeks, Ph.D., dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Every year, the faculty votes on which work they want to engage in and discuss. In previous years, they have covered Apology of Socrates, Crito, and Phaedo by Plato; Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle; Confessions and The City of God by Saint Augustine; The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri; Paradise Lost by John Milton; as well as Johann Sebastian Bach's composition St. Matthew Passion, and the Qur’ân.

Their discussion on Summa Theologica ranged from the morality of the law to how the work can be applied to their lives as Christians. "It’s been a lot of heavy reading, but I’m enjoying it thoroughly," said Liz Leahy, M.L.S., associate librarian, theological librarian, and assistant professor for the Haggard School of Theology. "It’s been fascinating hearing the different views of faculty members from different areas of study."