Wheaton College Summer Institute Courses

Course Offerings for Summer 2024

Applications for Summer 2024 are now closed

Summer 2025 Applications will open December 1, 2024.

Instructor: Christine Colon | English Literature

Christine Colon“It is a truth universally acknowledged…” that Pride and Prejudice holds a unique place within English literature. Not only is it a novel that literary scholars return to repeatedly as they work to interpret what Jane Austen accomplishes through her artistry, but it is also a story that continues to engage popular audiences through its many film, television, and literary adaptations. In this course, we will, first, look closely at the novel, placing it within its historical context and investigating what Austen is revealing through her unique style and characterization. Then, we will turn to various adaptations, exploring not only how they help us reflect back on the novel in new ways but also how they engage with the cultures from which they were created. (2 credits, ENGL)

Instructor: Mark Jonas | Education and Philosophy

Mark Jonas 2022Do you love the works and worlds of CS Lewis? If so, then come and explore this course where we will examine the relationship between philosophy and imagination in some of the non-fiction and fiction works of C.S. Lewis. Lewis wrote in a variety of genres—philosophy, apologetics, letters, literary criticism, fantasy, mythology, sermons and so on. While his literary works vary in genre, nearly all of them deal with issues of significant philosophical and theological importance. He wanted his writings to transform the way his readers saw and interacted with the world—he wanted his writings to inspire us to be better people who live more flourishing lives. By carefully examining the ways he integrates rational argument and evocative imagery, we will better understand the answers he gives to perennial questions about the nature of human beings and God, and hopefully be transformed by them. (2 credits, PHIL)

Instructors: Ryan Kemp & Adam Wood | Philosophy

Ryan KempAdam Wood Peter's first letter enjoins Christians always to be ready "to make your defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you" (1 Pet. 3:15, ESV). Peter's word "defense" is apologia — so Peter is commending, in some sense, apologetics. But in what sense? Christian theologians and philosophers have differed considerably in their understanding of what it might mean to give a "reason" (logos) for the hope that is in us. Does this mean we should try to prove what we believe by faith? That we should reason about such theological matters such as divine providence or the incarnation? Or is faith something different — say, a trusting "leap" into what might seem by worldly standards irrational (or even absurd!)? This course will introduce students to the ways four great Christian thinkers have approached questions such as these: Thomas Aquinas, Blaise Pascal, Søren Kierkegaard and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Its co-teachers disagree, to some extent, about the "right" answers, so our aim will be partly practical: modeling for students what charitable disagreement and dialogue can look like. (2 credits, PHIL)

Instructor: Ray Phinney | Psychology

Raymond PhinneyThis 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)

Student Testimonial
"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: 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)

Student Testimonial
"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

Instructors: Jeremy Botts & Kaye Patton | Art

Jeremy BottsKay PattonThroughout 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)*

Student Testimonial
"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

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)

Student Testimonial
"Nanoscience has been the most rewarding class that I've ever taken.  The professors and TAs helped me to achieve a new level of understanding, and through this class, I've learned much more about God's incredible creation through the little things He has made."
-Tim, Summer 2023

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)

Student Testimonial
"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

"I participated in the music class 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 Messer, Tom 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.

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.  (2 credits, CFM)

Student Testimonial
"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: 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)

Student Testimonial
"I really enjoyed the course and professor Hunt. He made it extremely fun and interactive, and because of this class I am interested in pursuing the medical field."
-Will, Summer 2023

Instructors: Susan Dunn-Hensley & Ben Weber | English Literature & Kailey Bell | Communication

Susan Dunn-HensleyBen WeberKailey BellIn 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. This course will give students a Shakespearience like no other. (2 credits, ENGL)

Student Testimonial
"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: Nicole Mazzarella & Kim Sasser | English Writing

Nicole MazzarellaKim SasserHow do stories arise? What forms can they take? How do I share my stories with a wider audience? This fiction writing workshop explores writing fiction from the blank page to publication. Participants explore a variety of forms of fiction (flash fiction, short stories, novels, screenplays, & playwriting) through writing their own work. In addition to participating in workshops led by a professional writer, students will hear from those in the publishing industry about the process of publishing. Participants will workshop their project and have one-on-one coaching from the workshop leader. The two weeks will include inspirational writing excursions, an open mic opportunity, and a chance to contribute to the workshop’s online anthology. The session concludes with a reading for family and friends. (2 credits, ENGW)

Student Testimonial
"My time at Wheaton was amazing, and I grew as a writer and as a Christian through Professor Mazarella's guidance and my classmates' support. I love the memories of us writing together, swapping computers to read each other's stories, scrutinizing word choice, and laughing at awkward, first draft sentences. I found a community at Wheaton that heightened my love for writing and stories, and I am so thankful."
-Gracie, Summer 2022

*Professor Hill won an amazing award and unfortunately the award ceremony in Australia conflicts with the WCSI dates.  We hope we can offer this course next summer.

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)

Student Testimonial
"Although, I would not have described myself as a hip hop fan coming into the class, Dr. Hill helped me to really appreciate hip hop's art and culture, while illuminating and allowing discussion of many of the difficult themes the genre addresses. Dr. Hill was a fabulous professor, and I highly recommend his class!"
-Levi, Summer 2023


College Policy

The Wheaton College Summer Institute provides its students with a college education. This comes with certain rules and regulations such as:
(1) You will receive a transcript with a letter grade. You may be required to produce this transcript when applying to colleges.
(2) If you remove yourself from the WCSI after the first day of class and before the withdrawal deadline, you will receive a W (for “withdrawn”) on your transcript. You will be eligible for a partial refund.
(3) If you remove yourself from the program after the withdrawal deadline, you will receive whatever grade you earned, on your transcript and will not be issued a refund. The withdrawal deadline occurs halfway through the WCSI (the first Friday of the program is the final day to withdraw). 

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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