Spring Hill College to offer

Spring Hill College’s Summer Institute of Christian Spirituality will offer a course on Walker Percy’s “Tarnished Woman of Grace” during our first session (June 5-9) on the campus in Mobile. The course will focus on Percy’s later book, “The Second Coming,” a book about suicide, testing God, faith and redemption (through the grace of a woman escaped from an insane asylum). The course will be 5 days, each morning from 9-11 a.m.

Walker Percy, born in Alabama, growing up in Mississippi, and living and writing in Louisiana, is one of the great Southern Catholic writers (He was an adult convert to Catholicism). He became known as a “Southern Catholic writer” when he wrote the essay “Stoicism in the South” in 1956 for Commonweal, condemning southern segregation and advocating a new kind of Christian philosophy in Southern life.

His most famous book, “The Moviegoer,” published in 1960 won the National Book Award. In 1989, the University of Notre Dame awarded Percy its Laetare Medal, which is bestowed annually to a Catholic “whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated the ideals of the Church, and enriched the heritage of humanity.” Walker Percy was buried on the grounds of St. Joseph Benedictine Abbey in St. Benedict, LA.

About the course, Dr. Katherine Abernathy says, “I would say that Christians in the South should read Percy because they will find a fresh look at their faith. He is irreverent and hilarious, yet his response to spiritual despair is Catholic at its depth.”

Dr. Katherine Abernathy is an associate professor of English at the University of Mobile where she has taught since 1997. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Dallas in 2000. Her research interests have focused on Southern literature, especially Walker Percy and Caroline Gordon, and she is currently working on a study of the works of the modern Norwegian novelist Sigrid Undset.

For more information on the Summer Institute of Christian Spirituality at Spring Hill College go to www.shc.edu/sics or call (877) 857-6742.


New Format for Spring Hill College Master of Theology

050115springhillMOBILE, Ala. – Spring Hill College (SHC) has redesigned its Master of Theological Studies, (MTS) Master of Pastoral Studies (MPS) and Master of Arts (MA) degrees in a new blended format of on-line courses and in-classroom experiences.  More than 30 years ago Spring Hill College offered its first graduate degree program in the Diocese of Jackson and since then numerous Mississippians have earned Master of Theology degrees from SHC.  The school also offers extension classes in Atlanta and Birmingham.
Spring Hill is still committed to this mission. In response to a desire from students not near the centers of Jackson, Birmingham, Mobile and Atlanta, Spring Hill has redesigned its graduate theology programs to be accessible to more people in more areas. The new program will require students entering the program to take at least three Level I courses, which are hybrid courses requiring just one six-hour in-classroom session on a Saturday in either Mobile or Atlanta.
After completing these courses, the student will take fully on-line Level II courses. While taking Level II courses, and before completing their program, students will be required to attend three graduate seminars. These seminars will meet in Mobile and Atlanta for one overnight stay from Friday evening to Saturday afternoon or Saturday noon through Sunday noon.
Students from anywhere in the southeastern U.S. would only have to travel to Mobile or to Atlanta six times in total during the course of the entire program. Both the MTS and MPS require a total of 33 credit hours.  The MA requires 48 and builds on the MTS degree.
This new blended program allows students to earn an academically rigorous theology degree in the convenience of their own home and time schedule. At the same time, the program provides targeted in-classroom meetings for the students in the program to build a learning community with other students and with the faculty.