The University of St. Thomas Center for Senior Citizens’ Education again will offer six short courses this spring, and has expanded its offerings to include mini-programs, evening lectures and lunch and dinner discussions.

The popular programs are designed especially for those 50 and older and are taught by college professors and experts from the community.

Short courses  The six short courses meet once per week for six or seven weeks. The cost for each course is $60. Scheduled this spring are:

  • “The Message of the Book of Revelation for Today’s Believers” will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursdays, Feb. 4 to March 11, at Lumen Christi Catholic Community in St. Paul’s Highland Park. Dr. Cathy Cory, a longtime member of the St. Thomas Theology Department, will explore what some consider to be the strangest and most often misunderstood book of the New Testament. 
  • “Remembering Ireland” will be offered from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Mondays from March 15 to May 3  in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium on the university’s St. Paul campus.  Nick Hayes from St. John’s University, Jim Rogers, from St. Thomas’ Center for Irish Studies, and others will discuss Irish history and culture.
  • “War and Peace: A Survey of American Military History” will be offered from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays from March 16 to April 27 in Thornton Auditorium on the downtown Minneapolis campus. Noted military historian Dr. Joseph Fitzharris of St. Thomas’ History Department will survey American military history from the Revolutionary War to current conflicts.
  • “More Conversations About Jazz” will be offered from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays from March 10 to April 28 in the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium on the St. Paul campus.  Joan Griffith, who heads the jazz studies program at St. Thomas, will interview some of the big names from the Twin Cities’ jazz scene.  Each interview will end with a jazz performance with Griffith and her guest. The final program will feature a concert with Joan and some of her friends.
  • “Religion and Technology: Remaining Human in a Co-Created World” will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesdays, March 10 to May 5, in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium on the St. Paul campus. Dr. Noreen Herzfeld, a professor of theology and computer science at St. John’s University,  will discuss how technology has changed our world.
  • “For All Time: Shakespeare’s Unflagging Popularity and Significance” will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. on Mondays from March 15 to May 3 in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium on the St. Paul campus. Dr. Michael Allen Mikolajczak will explore why a 16th century playwright still commands attention in the 21st century.

Mini-Series   These three-session programs are new this semester. The Tuesday afternoon programs are held in Thornton Auditorium on the Minneapolis campus and cost $30. They are:

  • “Challenges in the Third Chapter of Life: Finding Balance and Renewed Meaning” will be led by three retired or former social work professors from March 16 to April 6.
  • “Minnesota History in Three Bites” will be led by Annette Atkins, a St. John’s history professor whose books include Creating Minnesota, from April 13 to April 27.

Lunch ‘n Explore  Returning this spring are three “Lunch ‘n Explore” programs. Each Friday program runs from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and costs $25.

  • Dr. Tim Scully of the St. Thomas Communication and Journalism Department will discuss “Your News in a Digital World” on March 12 in Murray-Herrick Campus Center on the St. Paul campus.
  • Father David Smith of the St. Thomas Theology Department will discuss “Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls” on April 16 in Opus Hall on the Minneapolis campus.
  • Peter Heegaard will discuss “Heroes Among Us,” a talk about 11 Minnesota social entrepreneurs who started nonprofit organizations on May 14 in Opus Hall on the Minneapolis campus.

Dinner Discourse  New this year is a Dinner Discourse,  “Living in the Moment: Lessons From the Journey,” with two former journalists and professors who are retired … sort of: Marcia Fluer and Dave Nimmer. The dinner and conversation will run from 5:30 to 7:15  p.m. Wednesday, April 28, in the third-floor lounge of Murray-Herrick Campus Center on the St. Paul campus. The cost is $29 and the program is open to all ages.

Conversations With Minnesota Authors  Also new this year is a program that features four authors from Minnesota who will reflect on their work and the impact it has had on their lives and the lives of others.  The authors are Biloine (Billie) Whiting Young, Mary Rose O’Reilley, Susan Davis Price and Charles Pilon.

The conversations will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays from March 9 to April 6 in the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium on the St. Paul campus. The fee for the series is $40.

The Center for Senior Citizens’ Education also offers one-to-one peer consultation services, on-line short courses dealing with music and theology, and a program that allows senior citizens to attend regular undergraduate academic courses on a space-available basis.  The fee is $25 per course.

For more information about the short courses or other programs, call the center at (651) 962-5188 or visit the center’s Web site.