Without question, among the 100+ summer schools/programs/conferences, etc. that I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED, the Tertio Millennio Seminar ranks among the top five.
The three-week, fully-funded seminar centred on Catholic social teaching takes place annually in Poland. The seminar includes: basking in the beauty of Poland’s churches, grappling with the difficult history of the twentieth century, learning from stellar American professors and Polish Dominicans, meeting phenomenal Catholic young adults from across North America and central Europe, praying, singing, and learning in a convivial setting, enjoying amazing meals, meeting many persons who knew John Paul II, and so much more.
Here’s a brief description of the program from the website:
The Tertio Millennio Seminar on the Free Society was founded in 1992 by Michael Novak, Rocco Buttiglione, Father Richard John Neuhaus, Father Maciej Zieba, OP, and George Weigel to deepen the dialogue on Catholic social doctrine between North American students and students from the new democracies of central and eastern Europe.
The annual seminar in Kraków, Poland is built around an intense study of John Paul II’s 1991 encyclical Centesimus Annus, supplemented by wider readings from the Church’s social magisterium and contemporary essays on relevant topics. Following the lead of Centesimus Annus, the seminar explores the “free society” as composed of three interlocking systems: a democratic polity, a free economy, and a vibrant public moral-culture. With Pope John Paul II, we lay the greatest stress on the third system, the moral-cultural system, taking up such issues as religious freedom, ecumenism, Christian-Jewish dialogue, and the “culture of life.”
Each year’s seminar class includes 10-12 North American students and 20-25 students from Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Ukraine, and other new democracies. While the North American contingent has normally been composed of graduate students and young professionals, accomplished juniors and seniors working on bachelor’s degrees relevant to the purposes of the seminar may also apply. The program is conducted in English.
And here’s a video of highlights that one of the participants from my year made:
Applications are open now until March 30th. If you are a Catholic student or young professional interested in spending three weeks in a country of saints, heroes, and martyrs, I cannot recommend this program to you highly enough. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about it.