Collegiate Summer Program

Discover the joy of learning this summer at Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts.

Session 1: July 11-24, 2021
Session 2: August 1-14, 2021

High school students and recent graduates are invited to experience, in miniature form, the academic community and life of Magdalen College. The Collegiate Summer Program introduces students to liberal education through classic texts from philosophy, literature, theology, and political thought. In each of these disciplines, students learn how reflective inquiry can provide answers to the most pressing concerns in life and lead them to encounter the joy and demands of truth.

The Collegiate Summer Program challenges students academically, encourages them in their faith, and leads them to personal excellence.

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For more information, please contact Marci Houle at [email protected] or 603-456-4113.

A Letter to Future Summer Students from the Director of Collegiate Summer Program, Dr. Mary Mumbach

Dear Student,

We are delighted that you are considering our Collegiate Summer Program.

Our Program introduces young people to a unique approach to liberal education that integrates liberal learning in the humanities with prayer, recreation, and community-life ordered to the pursuit of Wisdom.  Our summer students live in the college’s residences, study philosophy, theology, politics, and literature, experience the fine arts, attend daily Mass, and enjoy sports, drama, and social events.

In challenging and interesting courses, summer students discover much to enjoy, consider, and discuss with their fellow students and members of the faculty and staff. Each of our classes features lively and charitable discussion, intellectual freedom, reasoned discourse, and, even, (at times) friendly disagreement.  In our classes we read closely, think deeply, listen carefully, and are grateful for the wisdom we discover.

During these summer courses, as in the academic year, we collaboratively pursue wisdom and seek to integrate it into a larger vision of reality that can guide us toward flourishing in this life and the next.  We do this fearlessly and joyfully, recognizing that the time we spend and the sacrifices we make in this pursuit are steps to a deeper understanding and a richer experience of reality.

Each summer our students come together to form a community connected in intellectual and spiritual friendship, becoming a unique and important part of our larger collegiate community. This means taking up with seriousness and discipline the readings and assignments for the courses, opening ourselves up to new friendships and experiences, and making the most of opportunities for spiritual reflection and growth.

Though the academic courses and liturgies form the heart of the Collegiate Summer Program, there is also substantial time for leisure. Summer students climb Mount Kearsarge, swim and picnic at a nearby lake, dive into Shakespeare’s comedies, take in the local sights (a covered bridge and ice cream at “The Velvet Moose”), participate in a dramatic reading of Plato’s Meno, relax together around bonfires, dine together, enjoy films, swing dance, and more.

And those who are a bit more outgoing have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills by singing, playing instruments, reciting poems, or juggling flaming torches in our Summer Variety Show.

Please consider joining us this summer for an unforgettable two-week journey in liberal education unlike any other.  We hope to see you this summer.


Dr. Mary Mumbach
Director, Collegiate Summer Program
Faculty, Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts

Registration for Collegiate Summer Program

Please note: your spot in the Collegiate Summer Program cannot be held without payment. The registration and payment processes are separate but should be completed at the same time. If paying via check in the mail, please indicate on registration form comments. Thank you!

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Checks can be made out to “Magdalen College” and mailed to: 511 Kearsarge Mountain Road, Warner, NH 03278 or by credit card using the below payment button.


The Literary Tradition

Study of the heroic. Works of the imagination allow us to see the paradoxical quality of our position in the universe: fallen, in need of redemption, yet already bearers of the divine image. The hero, in particular, finds that he cannot live a merely mediocre life. Readings include explorations of the life of charity embodied in codes of courtesy in medieval and modern poetry, along with short stories of William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor. 

American Political Thought

This course examines America’s founding principles and considers them through the broader political and philosophic traditions of Western Civilization. Students examine how the political philosophy of the Founding Fathers created institutions meant to safeguard liberty and challenge future generations to the wisdom required for self-governance. Readings include The Declaration of Independence, selected Federalist Papers, and the Gettysburg Address.


In our philosophy seminar we will take up fundamental philosophical questions and themes through an introduction to the philosophy of Aristotle, the one whom Dante called “the Master of those who know.”  Through concise readings from Aristotle’s key works we will consider questions about the nature of the human person, the basic structures of reality, and the ways that we come to know that reality.


Beginning with a consideration of sacramental and liturgical theology as presented in the magisterial documents of the Church, the discussions in this seminar will be wide-ranging, covering topics both ancient and contemporary.  

Liturgical and Spiritual Activities

During the Collegiate Summer Program, students participate in a rich liturgical life and have many opportunities to learn more about the Catholic faith. The chaplain will celebrate Mass daily, and students are expected to attend. He will explain the details of the liturgy and its role in the life of the Church. Students are encouraged to bring forward whatever questions they may have about the Catholic tradition and their personal faith.

Meanwhile, they will learn to engage the liturgy deeply through sacred music. During these two weeks, even students with no musical background will learn the fundamentals of sacred music, experience beauty in new ways, and discover how they can participate profoundly in the Mass every week.

Dates and Cost

Session 1: July 11-24, 2021
Session 2: August 1 – 14, 2021 


Register Now »

For more information, please contact Marci Houle at [email protected] or 603-456-4113.


The Magdalen College Summer Program is designed for students who have completed at least one year of high school. Sophomores, juniors, seniors, and recent high school graduates are welcome to attend. 

Students should arrive between 12:00 noon and 5:00 p.m. on the first day for orientation, dinner with the faculty, and a social event.  

Further information for registered summer students

Please review the sample schedule below to acquaint yourself with how your two weeks as a summer student might look. There is also an information packet that all summer students must read and complete as soon as possible after registration. The information packet contains necessary forms that summer students are required to complete and return in order to attend the summer program.

Sample Schedule