PLS in the Community

Community Extensions

photo of Professor Steve Fallon teaching class

One of the aims of the Great Books movement is to reach beyond the walls of the University to the world of working class adults. In recent years, the Program of Liberal Studies has created a variety of community extension activities, which fulfill its responsibilities both to the movement and to Catholic Social Teaching. To get involved, contact the PLS office.

World Masterpieces Seminar

South Bend Center for the Homeless

"The good person rests content with Goodness; the one that is merely wise pursues Goodness, in the belief that it pays to do so." — Confucius

In 1998, Professors Stephen Fallon and Clark Power began offering the World Masterpieces Seminar in conjunction with the South Bend Center for the Homeless.

Each semester, guests from the Center are invited to sign up for the seminar course, which is organized according to themes such as "Justice and Tyranny," "Self-Discovery," and "God and Nature." Seminar participants are required to complete the assigned reading for each class and to join discussion. Upon the completion of the course, they receive one credit from Notre Dame.

The World Masterpieces Seminar has received national and international media coverage, with pieces appearing in The New York Times, The London Times, USA Today, The South Bend Tribune, and Princeton Alumni Weekly. Over 35 universities have modeled programs after the World Masterpieces Seminar.

Junior Great Books Program

South Bend Area Schools

The enthusiasm of PLS undergraduates for the adult seminars led to the institution of several Junior Great Books programs. PLS majors volunteer to lead courses in South Bend area public and parochial schools. Schools which currently offer Junior Great Books classes include: Juvenile Justice Center, Clay Middle School, Hamilton Jr. High School, Hamilton Sr. High School, and St. Joseph Grade School.