Wheaton College Summer Institute Courses

Course Offerings | Summer 2023

George Kalantzis teaching students on Blanchard Lawn

*NEW* to Summer 2023, options for rising Sophomores!

Current Freshman (or students who will be rising Sophomores in the summer) can register for one of two options: The Academic Enrichment Program (Overcoming Unhappiness) or The Music Intensive course.

To be considered for one of the other courses, rising sophomores, during the fall semester of their freshman year, must have taken at least one AP course and received a grade of A, or taken three or more honors courses and received a grade of A in each, or at some point have taken a college course and received a grade of B or higher. Moreover, the student needs to be enrolled in similar high-level courses their spring semester of their freshman year.
For more information please contact us at wcsi@wheaton.edu.

Instructor: Mark Jonas | Education and Philosophy

Mark Jonas 2022Is beauty more than good looks? Is truth more than science? Is love more than romance? As human beings, we have a God-given desire for happiness, but we often don’t know how to find it. In this course, we will examine the nature of beauty, truth, and love, and discover how they can change our lives for the better. This course will be highly interactive, incorporating small and large-group discussions, hilarious stories, deep thinking, outrageous white board drawings, and dynamic guest speakers. It will be an excellent introduction to Wheaton College for rising sophomores who want to experience college-level classes without the pressure of grades or lengthy assignments. (No credit)

"I participated in the music class last summer and I would definitely do this again, no doubt. I loved it!"
-Kay, Summer 2022 

Instructors: Soh-Hyun Park Altino, Leonardo AltinoRose Griffin, Lee Joiner, Jennie BrownMichael Wilder, Deb StevensonDaniel HornSarah Holman, Michael MesserTom Hueber | Music Intensive


In this course (previously known as Summer Music Camp), talented young musicians will study with Wheaton College music faculty in private lesson, master class, and chamber ensemble experiences. The course provides tools to guide young artists as they grow in their faith and understanding of what it means to be a Christian musician. Activities on campus will include faculty recitals, student performances, and repertoire study. Students will explore the arts in the city of Chicago with possible visits to the Art Institute, the Grant Park Symphony, Ravinia Festival, and more.  (2 credits)

If applying for Music Intensive, please apply as usual, but also visit this link to submit the additional audition requirements.

"The experience of creating within the context of being yourself a creation, is sacred. Professor Botts isn’t just about expanding his student’s skillsets with mediums that they aren’t familiar with, but equipping them to see the world in new ways. If you are an artist, I highly recommend taking this course, especially if you’re only familiar with a single medium."
-Joshua, Summer 2022

Instructor: Jeremy Botts | Art

Jeremy BottsThroughout history artists and designers have invented and embraced new technologies, finding new and experimental ways to envision the world. In this studio art course, students will create their own tools and explore ways to reinvent existing methods of making. Personal expression, the visual communication of messages, and collaboration will be encouraged via some of the following: laser cutting, Risograph printing, gestural mark making, digital photography, letterpress printing, spray painting, concrete casting, hand lettering, paper crafting, stop motion animation, book making, and more. (2 credits, ART)*

"I got the opportunity to experience two weeks at Wheaton College, and what an amazing experience it was. From eating my professor's homemade biscuits and discussing the Bible and Theology on the green of Blanchard's lawn to playing sand volleyball outside Fisher Hall, I made memories, met friends, and learned invaluable lessons that I will carry with me for a lifetime."
-Faith, Summer 2022

Instructors: Andrew Abernethy & Keith Johnson | Bible & Theology

Andrew AbernethyKeith JohnsonThis course enables students to think more deeply about God, the Bible, and their life of discipleship. During the first week, students will learn how to read and teach the Bible with clarity and insight. During the second week, students will reflect on important Christian doctrines with the aim growing in love for God and their neighbors. (2 credits, BITH)


"I grew so much in confidence during my time at Wheaton. The Christ-centered encouragement I received from my professor and from my new friends really brought me out of my shell! By the end of two weeks, I was asking questions and offering thoughts in class, meeting new people every day, and even speaking in chapel!"
-Sarah, Summer 2022

Instructor: Greg Anderson | Graduate School Chaplain

Greg AndersonWheaton College has prepared people for ministry since its founding. This course will help young people to consider and explore a calling to a full-time ministry or how to make their marketplace or professional career a ministry. There will be lectures from and discussions with Wheaton professors, Billy Graham Scholars from around the world, pastors, and representatives from mission agencies and para-church organizations.  There will be exercises to help the students know and share their faith and to develop a pastoral and world Christian perspective.  Students will put those ministry skills into practice on each other in the context of a comfortable but challenging classroom community. There will be an opportunity to shadow a Christian worker in either a suburban and urban situation—a mentored mini-mission trip. (2 credits, CFM)

"I always knew God revealed Himself through the sciences but my experience at the Wheaton Summer Institute showed how God is revealed through economics as well."
-Connor, Summer 2022

Instructor: Enoch Hill | Business & Economics

Enoch HillIn this course, we will study some of the fundamentals of economics, including concepts such as ownership, prices, opportunity cost, supply and demand, and money (just economics). We will then build on our foundational understanding to reflect on normative questions (Just Economics). What should the objective of society be? How do we evaluate whether one outcome is better than another? And how does our faith influence our decisions? Along the way, we will enrich our exploration using real-world examples. How do we allocate limited vaccines? How do I determine what college to attend? How should we determine who gets into a particular class? Who can live in my neighborhood…or my country? (2 credits, ECON)

"After my two weeks at Wheaton, I know without a doubt that this is my dream school. The Shakespearience was absolutely the course for me! From the beautiful campus to the beyond incredible Theater department (woot woot!), I would 100% recommend the Summer Institute."
-Savana, Summer 2022

Instructors: Jeffrey Galbraith & Mark Lewis | English Literature & Communication

Jeffrey Galbraith Mark LewisIn this course, English and Arena Theater faculty will guide students through two of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth, as they become better readers and actors of Shakespeare’s works. As students analyze Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays in the morning sessions, they will ask together: Who was Shakespeare? How can we better understand Shakespeare’s language? How did the historical and cultural events of the Renaissance and the Reformation influence Shakespeare and his work? How does Shakespeare’s work help us ask and answer questions of faith and theology? In the afternoon sessions, students will learn how to speak Shakespeare’s verse effectively and make interpretive choices as actors. Along with classroom sessions, students will have the opportunity to explore the Batson Shakespeare Collection and go to Chicago to see a performance of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. This course will give students a Shakespearience like no other. (2 credits, ENGL)

"Because he is one of my favorite authors, I could think of no better way to spend my time at Wheaton than studying C.S. Lewis. I learned so much about his life and how it influenced his work, and I also forged strong relationships with my classmates and my professor. We would often meet up outside of class to chat both about C.S. Lewis and our own lives, but the highlight was definitely our deep-dish pizza/movie night with the Tolkien class!"
-Bailey, Summer 2022

Instructor: David C. Downing | Marion E. Wade Center

David DowningC. S. Lewis was arguably the most influential Christian writer in the twentieth century, and his legacy continues undiminished in our own time. His works of fiction showcase his unique blend of intellect and imagination, blending Christian theology, otherworldly fantasy, and shrewd psychology. In this course, we will read Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and The Magician’s Nephew to explore how Lewis engages the mind and heart of the reader, in deceptively simply fantasy stories. (2 credits, ENGL)

"I enjoyed my stay at Wheaton, everything from the intriguing discussions in neuroscience, to the wonderful chapel messages, to the incredibly welcoming community. I was blessed to be a part of the program and I encourage people to take it."
-Samuel, Summer 2022

Instructor: William Struthers | Psychology

Bill StruthersThis course explores how neuroscientists study the human brain and the contemporary issues that arise. Lectures and lab experiences will focus on the tools used to study and understand the brain and their impact on understanding human thought, behavior, and emotion.  Morning sessions will include lectures and seminar discussions that examine how the central nervous system is understood and related cultural/philosophical issues. Afternoon sessions will involve work with neural specimens, tissue, and other neuroscience lab techniques. (2 credits, NEUR)

"Taking Ethical Dilemmas in Medical Care was one of the most interesting classes I have ever taken. I really enjoyed learning about different philosophical theories. The professor was so insightful and the whole experience was exceptional."
-Laurel, Summer 2022

Instructor: Robert O’Connor | Philosophy

Robert O'ConnorThis course explores the field of medical ethics, which looks very closely at some of the moral issues that currently confront medical practitioners. It is taught in the philosophy department because, first, philosophers carefully explore the question, what does it mean to be a human being and what makes a human so valuable? This is absolutely critical to decide in order to know how humans ought to be treated. But this raises the second fundamental question: how can we decide what policies and procedures are morally appropriate for treating human beings? As Christians, we’ll strive for answers that reflect Biblical standards. We’ll do so, however, according to those fundamental moral principles that underwrite biblical guidelines. Some of the specific topics we’ll wrestle with include euthanasia and end-of-life care, fertility and genetic engineering, the role of race and gender in a just treatment, and the merits of human and animal experimentation. (2 credits, PHIL)

"I took the Tolkien class at WCSI, which was super fun and extremely enriching! I loved getting to dive into some of my very favorite works of literature and soak in the rich Christian perspective that is imbued in Tolkien’s writing. It was such a joy to be a part of Wheaton’s summer program! I learned so much and made so many friends and memories that I will cherish forever."
-Susanna, Summer 2022

Instructor: Jim Beitler | English Literature & Writing

Jim BeitlerSpeak, friend, and enter! This course journeys to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth to explore the doctrine of creation, issues of stewardship and creation care, and human creativity. During our time together, we’ll discuss Tolkien’s creation story alongside the biblical account, influences on his writing and his processes of world-building, his meditations on fairy-stories and sub-creation, and his concern for nature and the environment. We’ll also watch selections from Peter Jackson’s LOTR films, considering how Jackson creatively adapted Tolkien’s world to the screen. At the end of the course, we’ll turn to “the end of all things,” reflecting on the topic of new creation and looking to the Alpha and Omega who declares, “Behold! I am making all things new!” (2 credits, ENGL)

Instructors: Dan Burden & Lisa Burden | Chemistry

Dan BurdenLisa BurdenBig things happen in tiny spaces! Themes of nanoscience and nanotechnology span the news cycle, the natural sciences, and other applied areas of STEM, all to the glory of God! This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the field by engaging students in hands-on laboratory learning, while making specific connection to foundational ideas in biology, chemistry, and physics. Classroom learning sessions include, “What is Nanoscience and Nanotechnology?,” “Nanoscale Biology,” “Nanoscale Chemistry,” and “Nanoscale Physics,” as well as “Philosophical and Ethical Issues within Nanoscience.” Laboratory sessions will allow students to investigate the brilliant nanoscale features of butterfly wings, unveil size-dependent phenomena in Qdots, and participate in the latest government-sponsored research concerning biologically inspired nanovalves. Successful completion of a high school chemistry, biology, or physics course is recommended prior to taking this course.  (2 credits, CHEM)

Instructor: Brian Hunt | Applied Health Science

Brian HuntThis course explores how the human body responds to exercise. Lectures and lab experiences will focus on basic cardiovascular, respiratory, and muscular responses. Morning sessions will include lectures and seminar discussions while afternoon sessions will primarily involve laboratory experiences where students will serve as their own study subjects! These labs will allow students to get a better sense of their own cardiovascular, respiratory and muscular health. (2 credits, BHS)

Instructor: Stephen Lovett | Mathematics

Stephen-LovettThe strength of mathematics stems from the completely rigorous deductive reasoning (proof) that supports it claims (theorems). Consequently, proofs play a central role in all advanced mathematics.  After an introduction to logic and set theory, this course introduces proof techniques: direct proofs, proofs by contradiction, algorithm proofs, proofs by induction, that together provide a rigorous foundation for mathematics.”  Successful completion of a high school pre-calculus course is recommended prior to taking this course.  (2 credits, MATH)

Instructor: Theon Hill | Communications

Theon HillOn August 11, 1973, a Jamaican-American named Clive Campbell hosted a house party at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx with little more than a couple of turntables and amplifiers. Music and cultural historians often regard Campbell’s party as the founding event for what has come to be known as hip-hop. Almost fifty years later, hip-hop thrives as one of the most popular, yet controversial, forms of cultural expression in contemporary society with footholds in music, fashion, art, business, activism, and politics around the globe.

In our time together this summer, we will consider the history, themes, and messages of hip-hop using a rhetorical lens. Through this course, students will gain valuable skill in engaging and evaluating popular forms of cultural expression with academic rigor and Biblical principles.  (2 credits, COMM)

Instructor: Alexander Massad | World Religions

Alexander Massad“I attest that there is only one God and Muhammad is God’s messenger.” These words have resonated in in the hearts and minds of Muslims for over one thousand years. It is likely that in the near future Islam will be the largest religion in the world, with Christianity coming in at second. As Christians we are called to love our neighbors and live the Gospel, especially with those who we see as particularly different from us. Yet, in order to fulfill our Christian calling we must understand our neighbor. What do Muslims believe? Why do Muslims have these beliefs? What is the history of Christian-Muslim relations and how does this history affect us today? What do Muslims think about Christianity and Christians. This course gives students a foundation for understanding the beliefs, practices, and lived experiences of Muslims from around the world in order to become better global citizens and faithful followers of Jesus.”  (2 credits, RELI)


Accessible Education

Wheaton College is committed to providing access and inclusion for all persons with disabilities, inside and outside the classroom. Students are encouraged to discuss with the WCSI staff if they foresee any disability-related barriers in a course. Students who need accommodations in order to fully access this course’s content or any part of the learning experience should connect with their faculty about those requirements. Learning and Accessibility Services (LAS) is available to help facilitate those accommodations or communicate with faculty as needed. LAS is also available to provide information about the accommodations process in the college setting. Please visit: http://wheaton.edu/las or email las@wheaton.edu to schedule an appointment.

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