Great Books

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The Bachelor of Arts in Great Books is a four-year liberal arts program in which students delve into great works of literature from the classical age through to our contemporary era. The core texts are from a diverse range of authors, each examining what it means to be human in our world. Transformative conversations are held in seminar-style classes where students actively drive the focus and faculty serve as mentors. Students complete nine seminar courses and a unit in vocational discernment. Two internships and a career-oriented minor prepare students to take their humanistic education into their chosen profession or pursuit of graduate school.

Come and prepare for your future and career through the “life-giving power of literature” (Maya Angelou).

School of Arts and Sciences
Variety of careers/professions or gain acceptance into graduate programs/professional schools
Program Contacts
“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another's skin, another's voice, another's soul.” ― Joyce Carol Oates

Great Thinkers

Great Mission

The mission of the B.A. in Great Books is to form leaders who understand the human experience and are prepared to serve our world as skilled professionals. Join our mission!

Prepare for your success through a classical and humanistic education that celebrates:

  • Dynamic thinking
  • Diverse perspectives
  • Vibrant dialogue
  • Vocational discernment
  • Meaningful internships
  • Franciscan values

Great Leaders

What do you want to be? Here at FranU, your professors mentor you in exploring your goals for your future:

  • Do you hope to be a health professional who serves your patients?
  • Do you hope to be a lawyer who uses critical-thinking skills to defend your clients?
  • Do you hope to pursue graduate studies?

Whatever your dream, we’re here to help you prepare. We match you with internships in the local community that give you the experience of working in your field. When you graduate as a humanistic leader, you will have a strong network and career path.

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.” ― James Baldwin

“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.” ― Maya Angelou

“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we're reading doesn't wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is my belief.” ― Franz Kafka

“When the Day of Judgment dawns and people, great and small, come marching in to receive their heavenly rewards, the Almighty will gaze upon the mere bookworms and say to Peter, “Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give them. They have loved reading.” ― Virginia Woolf

"And yet we have forgotten how to read: how to pause, liberate ourselves from our worries, return into ourselves, and leave aside our search for subtlety and originality, in order to meditate calmly, ruminate, and let the texts speak to us. This, too, is a spiritual exercise, and one of the most difficult. As Goethe said: 'Ordinary people don't know how much time and effort it takes to learn how to read. I've spent eighty years at it, and I still can't say that I've reached my goal.'" — Pierre Hadot

Meet Your Faculty

Ann-Marie Blanchard, PhD

Ann-Marie Blanchard, Ph.D., is a native of Australia and directs the Great Books Program at FranU. Her teaching specialties are Australian literature, postcolonial studies, world literature, women’s writing, and professional and creative writing. Her poetry and fiction can be found in Meanjin Quarterly, Westerly, Cordite Poetry Review, Australian Poets Anthology, Bat City Review, Sycamore Review, Going Down Swinging and elsewhere. Presently, Ann-Marie is working on a novel and poetry manuscript.


How long will this program take?

4 years

What does a Socratic Seminar look like?

Each class session is a conversational based tutorial, in which students take the lead on textual interpretation, while the professor serves as a mentor. Within our intimate class setting, students tackle big questions that arise from the great texts they engage with their peers. Through thinking on their feet, and guiding and participating in conversation, students prepare to be active young-professionals.

What are my career options?

Humanities graduates are markedly employable in the ever changing twenty-first century workplace. Navigating the contemporary work environment requires flexibility and the ability to master ever changing contexts. Graduates of the great books program have transferable skills that hold their value over time, preparing students for a diversity of careers, including law, medicine, business, and education.

What are experts saying about the employability of humanities graduates?

A Washington Post article highlights data from the National Center for Education Statistics:  “Contrary to popular belief, English majors ages 25 to 29 had a lower unemployment rate in 2017 than math and computer science majors.”

Dr. Nathan Kase in a discussion with NPR in 2015, says:

“The medical school didn’t need more science wonks; it needed more people who could think broadly, see the bigger picture, introduce fresh perspectives, innovate, connect science with the real world, and relate to people of all sorts. In short, it needed people with a background in the liberal arts.”


Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University.