A Christian College of the Liberal Arts & Sciences

Mayterms in Europe


The art history Mayterms feature a combination of exposure to the greatest works of art of western civilization while traveling across Europe. Students do reading from a novel or other literary collection relevant to the area of focus for the trip. Most Mayterms also include attending a play, opera, or musical performance as well, so students get a multi-disciplinary exposure to the cultural milieu of the trips.

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of what the department does is expose students to the important role that art plays in the long and varied history of Christianity. From the fortified hill towns, to small chapels and major cathedrals, students contemplate and experience the 2,000 year history of their faith directly and visually. The familiar biblical stories come to them across centuries and languages in fabulous paintings, carvings, altarpieces, entryways, and devotional pieces. They are rich with history, symbolism, meaning, and mystery. It is intangible faith made solid in stone, precious metals, and stained glass. Students often return with a profound respect for the ancient church, and a new understanding of the role of visual aids in worship.

Major collections viewed

  • Museo del Prado, Madrid
  • The Louvre, Paris
  • National Gallery, London
  • Uffizi, Florence
  • Musée d'Orsay, Paris
  • Victoria and Albert, London
  • The Vatican, Rome
  • Tate, London
  • Alte Pinakothek, Munich
  • Reina Sophía Madrid
  • Gemaldegalerie, Berlin

Major sites visited

  • Great Britain: London, Canterbury, Cambridge, Oxford, Salisbury, Stonehenge
  • France: Paris, Chartres, Avignon, Versailles, Arles, Les Baux, Nice, Nîmes, Antibes, Pont du Gard
  • Italy: Rome, Florence, Venice, Siena, Lucca, Volterra, Bologna, Padua, Arezzo, San Gimignano
  • Czech Republic: Prague
  • Germany: Berlin, Dresden, Munich, Dachau, Neuschwanstein
  • Spain: Madrid, Toledo

Future sites under consideration

  • Athens: Cradle of Western democracy, the Acropolis
  • Vienna: Kunsthistoriches Museum
  • Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum
  • St. Petersburg: The Hermitage
  • Bruges
  • Brussels