Education and the Life Worth Living

February 14, 2017

Last semester Matt Croasmun and Ryan McAnnally-Linz taught the first ever “Education and the Life Worth Living” – a seminar for freshmen seeking to help them determine how college education relates to the life worth living. The course examined Confucian, Christian and various modern answers to questions of “What is a human being? What does it mean for a human being to flourish? What is education’s contribution to human flourishing?” The final paper for the course asked: “What sort of person do you want to become and how will your college education help you to become this person?”

Student response was incredibly enthusiastic:

“This was one of my favorite classes of the semester.”

“Every discussion tied back to how we can shape our college education to enable us to become the kind of people we want to become”

“This class unlike many others was less about the grade or learning the material and more about figuring what we should value in life as human beings.”

The freshmen seminar has concluded for this year, but we look forward to teaching it again next year.

This semester we’re also teaching “Life Worth Living” for students from all years – and it is more popular than ever. The “Life Worth Living” class received applications from over 200 undergraduate students from over 30 countries, from a range of over 40 academic majors, and from religious traditions including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sikhism, as well as those with no religious background.

We have an exciting semester ahead, including a class retreat to foster community among the students and lectures from distinguished scholars and practitioners of different faith traditions, including Dean of Yale College Jonathan Holloway, and Sgt. Shafiq Abdussabur of the New Haven Police Department. Check out the YCFC YouTube channel for videos of previous lectures and student reactions to the course.