The First Year Foundations seminars enable new students to engage in academically rigorous discussions and develop strong written, oral and teamwork skills in the process. Small classes capped at 30 students help ensure that all students are active participants in discussions and have the opportunity to build relationships with professors early on in their academic career.

These half-credit courses focus on issues, questions and controversies surrounding a particular topic or theme. Taught by some of the Faculty’s leading scholars, the best researchers and teachers at U of T, they are restricted to students newly admitted to university, so don’t miss out.

The Boyle Seminar brings first-year students to the intersection of Celtic and mediaeval cultures. The Seminar, inspired by the work of Fr. Leonard Boyle, an internationally-renowned scholar of manuscripts and long-time figure on St. Michael’s College campus, invites students to investigate layers of history, analyze mediaeval books, and take language instruction in Latin or Irish.

Through lectures, seminars, language instruction, workshops, and guest speakers, students will study texts and their stories in their own times and over the centuries.

The course is taught by University of St. Michael’s College Assistant Professor Alison More.

In May 2022, students in the Boyle Seminar will be invited to travel to Ireland Prof. More for an out-of-course international learning experience.

Travel scholarships will be awarded to successful applicants who are registered at St. Michael’s College.

Scholarships will be awarded to successful applicants.

  • What is the course?

    SMC165H1, the Boyle Seminar in Scripts and Stories, is a half-course worth 0.5 credits. It will be offered in Fall 2021. The course consists of lectures, seminar discussions, language instruction, workshops, and distinguished guest speakers. You will engage with language and material culture and learn how to investigate historical questions and make claims backed by documentary evidence. Through books and textual cultures, you will examine the intellectual, cultural, and spiritual contributions that the Celtic-speaking peoples made to mediaeval Europe.

  • What will I be reading?

    The course will draw on rare books and mediaeval manuscripts from the John M. Kelly Library and Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies’ extensive collections. Irish and Latin language instruction will include reading, lessons in grammar and syntax, and oral and listening activities.

    Some of the other material you’ll be reading could include selections from:

    • Christopher de Hamel’s Scribes and Illuminators, a book about the production of manuscripts and the lives of individual artisans

    • Thomas Cahill’s How the Irish Saved Civilization, the story of Ireland from the fall of Rome to the rise of mediaeval Europe

    • Leonard Boyle’s Integral Paleography, a collection of articles about different approaches to mediaeval writing and how scholars identify authors

  • What about Ireland—what’s the trip? Are there fees?

    Interested students will have the opportunity to travel to Ireland with Professor Alison More in late May 2022.

    The trip is an out-of-course international learning experience and is not for credit. In advance of the trip, you will receive more detailed information as well as safety training and other preparation.

    All students admitted to the Boyle Seminar in Scripts and Stories are responsible for their own airfare and incidentals. The cost of room, board and programming are partially covered by an ancillary fee for this course that is applied to your student account during registration for this course. The fee amount is $1,500.

    If you are registered as St. Michael’s College student and you are accepted into the Boyle Seminar, you are eligible to receive a $1,000 travel scholarship.

    Please note that trip dates are subject to change. The University of St. Michael’s College follows the guidance of government health authorities and the Faculty of Arts and Science when arranging student travel.

  • Why should I apply?

    The Boyle Seminar introduces you to university-level studies on a small scale, with students who share your interest in texts and contexts, language and thought, and historical legacies. You’ll learn to work across disciplines, form stories from fragments, and evaluate historical narratives. As a member of the very first class you will inspire future generations, forge lifelong friendships, and help create exciting new ways for St. Michael’s to flourish as the centre of Catholic intellectual life at the University of Toronto.

St. Mike’s McLuhan Seminar is an exploration of the relationship between creativity and technology. Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), one of the most charismatic and wide-ranging thinkers of the 20th century, taught at St. Mike’s from 1946 until his death in 1980.

The Seminar is inspired by McLuhan’s innovative thinking. First-year students will explore how the humanities relate to other fields of thought in addressing the individual, social, and cultural experiences and effects of technological innovation.

University of St. Michael’s College professor Paolo Granata, an expert on McLuhan’s work, will teach the course, which also includes a one-week international learning experience in Silicon Valley, California, during the Fall Reading Week.

Travel scholarships will be awarded to successful applicants who are registered at St. Michael’s College.

  • What is the course?

    SMC155H1, the McLuhan Seminar in Creativity and Technology, is a half-course worth 0.5 credits. It will be offered in Fall 2021. The course consists of lectures, seminar discussions, guest speakers, and a one-week international learning experience in Silicon Valley. You will explore how creativity makes innovation possible and influences our individual and social responses to technological change.

  • What will I be reading?

    Some of the material you’ll be reading could include selections from:

    • Marshall McLuhan’s Laws of Media: The New Science and Take Today: The Executive as Dropout

    • Adam Grant’s Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, a book about recognizing good ideas, facing doubt, and choosing how and when to act

    • Walter Isaacson’s bestselling biography Steve Jobs

    • Ashlee Vance’s Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, a biography that explores the role of inventors and entrepreneurs in the global market

    • Timothy Ferriss’ Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers

    • Silicon Valley (HBO TV series)

  • What about Silicon Valley—when do I go? Are there fees?

    The course includes a one-week international learning experience in Silicon Valley over Fall 2021 Reading Week. You will visit some of the legendary global symbols of world-changing innovation and the creative giants of the world’s tech economy.

    In advance of the trip, you will receive more detailed information as well as safety training and other preparation.

    All students admitted to the McLuhan Seminar in Creativity and Technology are responsible for their own airfare and incidentals. The cost of room, board and programming are partially covered by an ancillary fee for this course that is applied to your student account during registration for this course. The fee amount is $1,500.

    If you are registered as St. Michael’s College student and you are accepted into the McLuhan Seminar, you are eligible to $1,000 travel scholarship.

    Please note that trip dates are subject to change. The University of St. Michael’s College follows the guidance of government health authorities and the Faculty of Arts and Science when arranging student travel.

  • Why should I apply?

    The McLuhan Seminar introduces you to university-level studies on a small scale, with students who share your interest in creativity, technology, and international experience. You will experiment with interdisciplinary and critical thinking, access path-breaking new research, and engage with some of the most popular, profitable, and recognized sources and sites of human connectivity today. As a member of the very first class you will inspire future generations, forge lifelong friendships, and help create exciting new ways for St. Michael’s to flourish as the centre of Catholic intellectual life at the University of Toronto.

Thanks to the generosity of donors, St. Mike’s offers first-year students the chance to join an exclusive seminar that explores the intersection of faith with today’s most important questions.

The Seminar consists of two half-courses, each featuring lectures, small-group discussions, community events, and guest speakers. The Seminar is taught by New York Times contributor and novelist, Professor Randy Boyagoda.

Travel scholarships will be awarded to successful applicants who are registered at St. Michael’s College.

  • Why should I apply?

    The Gilson Seminar introduces you to university-level studies on a small scale, with students who share your interest in faith, ideas, and international experience. Beyond your academic activities in the Seminar, you will have a chance to propose and participate in innovative social justice projects, and in community- and culture-building activities with your fellow students. As a member of the very first class you will inspire future generations, forge lifelong friendships, and help create exciting new ways for St. Michael’s to flourish as the centre of Catholic intellectual life at the University of Toronto.

  • What are the courses?

    Here’s a look at the two half-courses:

    Fall 2021: The Gilson Seminar in Faith and Ideas

    Inspired by the Catholic intellectual tradition and from a variety of perspectives, we will explore questions related to faith and ecology, science, literature and politics. The Seminar features a weekly lecture on a major topic and a small tutorial in which you will have a chance to explore the subject in greater depth. Throughout this course, you will have a chance to read, reflect, discuss and write about timely issues while engaging with timeless ideas. You will receive 0.5 course credits for taking this course, which would be one of normally 5 courses that you would take in the Fall term.

    Winter 2022: The Gilson Seminar in Faith and Rome

    This course includes a two-week international learning experience in Rome, Italy, in May 2022, that explores the roles that the Catholic Church and Vatican have played in ecology, science, literature and politics. The Seminar features daily lectures and site-specific talks and tours in and around Rome. You will have a chance to immerse yourself in the living history of one of the world’s great centres of belief and culture and in turn to reflect on, discuss, and write about this experience. You will receive 0.5 course credits for taking this course, which runs in the Winter term.

  • What will I be reading?

    Some of the material you’ll be reading could include selections from:

    • St. Augustine’s Confessions, an autobiography about what it means to search for truth and to believe in God when not very many people think there’s a point to it, and Dorothy Day’s The Long Loneliness, an autobiography about committing your life to social justice activism out of your belief in God

    • Laudato si’, Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment and what it means to care for each other and the Earth out of our highest aspirations and commitments

    • Gerard Manley Hopkins’s poems about creation and beauty, which were inspired by his life and travels as someone with vocations to both art and religious life

    • Gene Luen Yang’s Boxers and Saints, graphic novels about xenophobia and Christianity in early twentieth-century China

    • Louise Erdrich and Sherman Alexie’s reflections and poetry about the relationship between Catholicism, indigenous experience, and the life of the mind

    • Gyorgy Spiro’s Captivity, a novel about Jewish community life in first century Rome, where responding to God’s presence can have dramatic personal and political consequences

  • What about Rome—when do I go? Are there fees?

    The travel portion of the Gilson Seminar in Faith and Rome takes place in Rome, Italy, in May 2020.

    The Faith and Rome Seminar is based at the Villa Palazzola, a lakeside residence just outside the city. In advance of the trip, you will receive more detailed information and also safety training and other preparation.

    All students admitted to the Gilson Seminar in Faith and Rome are responsible for their own airfare and incidentals. The cost of room, board and programming are partially covered by an ancillary fee for this course that is applied to your student account during registration for this course. The fee amount is $2,000.

    If you are registered as St. Michael’s College student and you are accepted into the Gilson Seminar, you are eligible to $2,000 travel scholarship.

    Please note that trip dates are subject to change. The University of St. Michael’s College follows the guidance of government health authorities and the Faculty of Arts and Science when arranging student travel.

Mediaeval Studies is an interdisciplinary program encompassing all aspects of European culture from the fall of Rome to the fall of Constantinople. Students examine the mediaeval foundations of modern culture through history, thought, literature, and art.

St. Michael’s College has a long tradition of teaching and research in mediaeval disciplines and its library has rich resources in the field.

Mediaeval Studies provides a useful background for studies in law or theology. The Specialist program, with its Latin requirements, is excellent preparation for graduate work at U of T’s Centre for Medieval Studies.

The Christianity and Culture Program offers students an opportunity to study Christianity from a variety of perspectives, including its self-understanding, history, and interaction with various facets of western and world culture. The program also explores how Christian experience continues to develop in its encounter with contemporary culture and issues.

Individual courses focus on art, literature, science, philosophy, theology, ritual, law, and social and institutional history. The program addresses the broad range of Christian experience, with a particular emphasis on the Catholic tradition.

Christianity and Culture is a good preparation for a career in education, journalism, arts and entertainment, or communications. Many of our students proceed to graduate work in theology and religious studies.

For students anticipating teaching careers in Ontario Catholic schools, certain of the Christianity and Culture courses have been judged by the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association as providing equivalent standing in ministry courses required for permanent teachers’ contracts.

  • Special to our Program

    C&C Social Club

    A social club for students, faculty, staff and alumni associated with the program which sponsors a range of enjoyable events that encourage members to consider the place of Christianity in cultures past and present, including lectures, discussion, films, and cultural outings.

    Saeculum

    Saeculum is an undergraduate journal for the study of Christianity and Culture edited, produced, and published by the students in the program.

    Christianity and the Arts Lecture

    The Christianity and the Arts Lecture is an annual public lecture, held in April, by a scholar or practitioner in the field of Christianity and literature, music, poetry. The 2017 lecture on The Church and Contemporary Art was given by Bishop Paul Tighe, Adjunct Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Rome.

    Previous lecturers include Pier Giorgio di Cicco (poet), John Bentley Mays (art and architecture critic), Philip Marchand (literary critic), the late Richard Bradshaw (conductor and general director of the Canadian Opera Company), Ted Rettig (sculptor), James MacMillan (composer), Sarah Hall (stained glass artist), Claire Keegan (writer), Peter Togni (musician and broadcaster), Thomas Dilworth (University of Windsor), Katharine Lochnan (curator at the AGO), Rev. Dan Donovan (St. Michael’s College), Sr. Rose Pacatte (film critic and Director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies, and Marianne McKenna (architect).

  • Program Requirements

    Major

    The Christianity and Culture Major is a Type 1 Program. Enrolment is open to students who have completed 4.0 credits.

    To complete the Major, students must complete 6.0 credits, including at least 2.0 credits at the 300+ level, 0.5 of which must be at the 400-level. These include:

    1. SMC203Y1
    2. 1.5 FCEs from SMC200H1/​ SMC215H1/​ SMC218H1/​ SMC232H1
    3. 3.0 additional FCEs from the Christianity and Culture courses, with at least 2.0 FCEs from the following courses with an SMC designator. Students can choose courses from all course groups. Courses from other departments may be accepted on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the Program Coordinator, preferably before taking the course. It will help to have a syllabus for the course being considered.
      Christianity and Society:
      SMC120H1/​ SMC188H1/​ SMC189H1/​ SMC210H1/​ SMC212H1/​ SMC215H1/​ SMC240H1/​ SMC241H1/​ SMC303H1/​ SMC304H1/​ SMC308H1/​ SMC309H1/​ SMC322H1/​ SMC361H1/​ SMC362H1/​ SMC368H1/​ SMC372H1/​ SMC379H1/​ SMC397H1/​ SMC413H1/​ SMC456H1/​ NMC270H1

      Christianity and the Arts:
      SMC165H1/​ SMC200H1/​ SMC213H1/​ SMC222H1/​ SMC305H1/​ SMC323H1/​ SMC326H1/​ SMC328H1/​ SMC343H1/​ SMC364H1/​ SMC365H1/​ SMC367H1/​ SMC369H1/​ SMC382H1/​ SMC384H1/​ SMC464H1 / ITA311H1

      Christianity and Science:
      SMC232H1/​ SMC370H1/​ SMC371H1/​ SMC383H1

      Christianity and Education:
      SMC218H1/​ SMC306H1/​ SMC307H1/​ SMC311H1/​ SMC312H1/​ SMC313H1/​ SMC324H1/​ SMC327H1/​ SMC330H1/​ SMC350H1/​ SMC358H1/​ SMC359H1

      Independent Study and Seminar Courses:
      SMC390Y1/​ SMC391H1/​ SMC406H1/​ SMC407H1/​ SMC433Y1/​ SMC434H1/​ SMC436H1/​ SMC457H1/​ SMC472H1

    4. 0.5 FCE from SMC232H1/​ SMC370H1/​ SMC371H1/​ SMC383H1/​ SMC385H1 or any 0.5 FCE 200+ level course from Breadth Requirement Category 5: The Physical and Mathematical Universes

    For the most up-to-date requirements and current course offerings, please see the University of Toronto Faculty of Arts & Science 2020-2021 Timetable and Faculty of Arts & Science Calendar.

    Minor

    The Christianity and Culture Minor is a Type 1 Program. Enrolment is open to students who have completed 4.0 credits.

    To complete the Minor, students must complete 4.0 FCE, including at least 1.0 credits from 300+ series courses. These include:

    1. SMC203Y1
    2. 1.0 credits from SMC200H1/​ SMC215H1/​ SMC218H1/​ SMC232H1
    3. 2.0 FCEs from the Christianity and Culture courses listed in Requirement 3 of the Christianity and Culture Major, with at least 1.5 credits from courses with an SMC designator. Students can choose courses from all course groups. Courses from other departments may be accepted on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the Program Coordinator, preferably before taking the course. It will help to have a syllabus for the course being considered.

    For the most up-to-date requirements and current course offerings, please see the University of Toronto Faculty of Arts & Science 2020-2021 Timetable and Faculty of Arts & Science Calendar.

    Minor in Christianity & Education

    This is an open enrolment program. A student who has completed 4.0 credits may enrol in the program.

    To complete the Minor, students must complete 4.0 FCE, including at least 1.0 credits from 300+ series courses. These include:

    1. SMC203Y1
    2. SMC218H1SMC312H1 and SMC313H1
    3. 1.5 FCEs from the Christianity and Culture courses listed in Requirement 3 of the Christianity and Culture Major, with at least 1.0 FCE from courses with an SMC designator. Students can choose courses from all course groups. Courses from other departments may be accepted on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the Program Coordinator, preferably before taking the course. It will help to have a syllabus for the course being considered.

    For the most up-to-date requirements and current course offerings, please see the University of Toronto Faculty of Arts & Science 2020-2021 Timetable and Faculty of Arts & Science Calendar.

  • Program Contacts

    Faculty

    Michael O’Connor, Associate Professor, Program Coordinator

    Odette Hall, room 123

    michael.oconnor@utoronto.ca

     

    Rev. Daniel Donovan, Professor Emeritus

    Odette Hall, room 028

    daniel.donovan@utoronto.ca

     

    Giulio Silano, Professor

    Odette Hall, room 118

    gsilano@chass.utoronto.ca

     

    Reid Locklin, Associate Professor

    Odette Hall, room 130

    reid.locklin@utoronto.ca

     

    Jean-Olivier Richard, Assistant Professor

    Queens Park Building (PIMS), room 48

    jeanolivier.richard@utoronto.ca

     

    Stephen Tardif, Assistant Professor

    Queens Park Building (PIMS), room 49

    stephen.tardif@utoronto.ca

     

    Kelly Library Liaison

    Noel McFerran
    Kelly Library, room 208C
    416-926-1300 ext. 3472
    noel.mcferran@utoronto.ca

    Contact Noel with any library-related questions, including using online resources, arranging library instruction, ordering new titles, and getting help with research.

    SMC Programs

    For more information about the program, including queries about enrollment and completion, contact smc.programs@utoronto.ca.

The Celtic Studies Program offers a wide variety of undergraduate courses on the languages, literature, history, music, folklore, art and archaeology of the peoples of Ireland, Scotland and Wales. We examine Celtic identities in the modern as well as the ancient and medieval world, and explore the transmission of these traditions to Canada and the United States.

Our program attracts visiting professors from Ireland, organizes conferences with international scholars, and offers summer scholarships for students to study across the Atlantic. We provide intellectually stimulating courses in a personal, student-friendly learning environment.

The Celtic Studies program is a good preparation for a career in education, journalism, arts and entertainment, or communications. Many of our students proceed to graduate work in the fields of history, mediaeval studies, literature, archaeology, folklore, and library science.

The Book and Media Studies program is an interdisciplinary and historical investigation of the role of printing, books, reading, and electronic and digital media in cultures past and present. It includes both print and electronic media, covering topics like manuscript and book production, internet publishing, book illustrations, advertising, censorship, and reading and entertainment alongside the development of mass media, the advent of radio, the emergence of television, global telecommunications, social media, and the World Wide Web.

The program prepares students for vocations in journalism, publishing, editing, communications and graduate programs in information and library science. The program also introduces them to topics in the Book History and Print Culture Graduate program at the University of Toronto.