About Us

Since 2003 University in the Community has offered free  non-credit university–level courses in the liberal arts to people who would not  ordinarily consider attending university. This program was inspired by the Clemente Course in the Humanities.

The two main purposes of University in the Community are to tackle the systemic causes of poverty through the liberating power of a humanities education and to enrich the participants’ lives:

  • By learning how philosophers, writers and artists through the ages have tried to answer the “big questions” of life:
  • By reflecting upon and gaining perspective about their own lives
  • By reasoning about their problems and negotiating solutions rather than reacting instinctively
  • By expressing their thoughts and feelings in a respectful environment
  • By gaining confidence in their ability to participate as informed citizens.

What are the Humanities?

The Humanities try to answer the big questions of life.

  • What is the meaning of life?
  • How should we live our lives?
  • What is a moral life?
  • What is the best route to a happy life?
  • What do I owe myself?
  • What do I owe others?

In studying the humanities, we learn how philosophers, poets, artists and historians through the centuries have tried to answer these questions and we try to discover what we ourselves think the answers are.