SummaryThe Guilds at Thomas More College are rooted in the belief that developing practical skills is essential to a well-rounded education and a flourishing life.
Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, located in Merrimack, New Hampshire, is a unique institution that emphasizes the study of the Great Books, seminar-style discussions, and a close-knit community of students and faculty.
One of the distinctive features of the college is its Guild Program, which provides students with opportunities to pursue interests outside of the classroom and develop practical skills through hands-on learning.
Our Guilds offer a unique balance of intellectual inquiry and practical application, enabling students to engage fully in the life of the mind while also putting their knowledge into action.
The Guilds at Thomas More College are designed to help students cultivate the virtues that are essential to living a flourishing life, emphasizing the importance of the incarnational nature of practical skills learned in the Guilds.
The Guilds program at Thomas More College is rooted in the belief that practical skills, such as woodworking, painting, and music, are essential components of a well-rounded education.
These skills are not just means to an end but are valuable in themselves, as they allow us to engage with the world in a tangible way and develop a deeper appreciation for the beauty and complexity of God’s creation.
The Focus of the Guilds
The Guilds focus on activities such as woodworking, sacred art, folk music, and poetry. The Woodworking Guild, for example, provides students with the opportunity to learn traditional woodworking skills and techniques, while the Sacred Art Guild focuses on the creation of art that reflects the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith.
The Folk Music Guild is dedicated to preserving and promoting the traditional music of New England, while the Poetry Guild allows students to explore the world of poetry and creative writing.
What sets the Guilds at Thomas More College apart is their focus on the incarnational nature of practical skills. In other words, the Guilds emphasize the importance of the physical world and the role of our bodies in engaging with it.
By learning practical skills, students are not just acquiring knowledge but are also tangibly engaging with the material world, developing a deeper appreciation for the incarnational nature of reality. This approach is rooted in the Catholic understanding of the world, which sees the material world as good and worthy of our attention and care.
The Guilds also allow students to develop virtues such as patience, perseverance, and attention to detail, which are essential to living a flourishing life. By engaging in activities that require concentration and attention, students learn to focus their minds and develop the habit of attentiveness. This habit is essential for a life of contemplation and a key component of the intellectual life.
Essential Skills for a Flourishing Life
Moreover, the Guilds at Thomas More College are grounded in the belief that practical skills are not just a means to an end but are valuable in themselves. By learning how to make things with their hands, students develop a deeper appreciation for the beauty and complexity of the world around them. They also gain a sense of satisfaction and pride in their work, a key component of human flourishing.
Finally, the Guilds at Thomas More College are part of a larger vision of education that emphasizes the unity of knowledge and the interconnectedness of all things. The Guilds provide students with opportunities to see the connections between different disciplines and integrate their knowledge practically.
For example, a student who learns woodworking may also gain a deeper understanding of geometry and mathematics, while a student who studies poetry may develop a better appreciation for the beauty of language and the power of metaphor.
In conclusion, the Guilds at Thomas More College offer students a unique opportunity to engage with the world in a tangible way and develop practical skills essential to living a flourishing life.
By emphasizing the incarnational nature of practical skills, the Guilds help students develop a deeper appreciation for the material world and the important role that their physical bodies play in engaging with it. This approach to education is rooted in the belief that a well-rounded education should cultivate both the mind and the body and that practical skills are essential to a flourishing life.