Montserrat is an innovative program for all first-year students that provides an intensive introduction to the liberal arts through a rigorous, multi-dimensional academic experience.
The seminar — a small, yearlong class in which students work closely with professors on a variety of topics — lies at the heart of the program. Students engage in shared inquiry, explore a diverse intellectual approaches to big questions, and develop the writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills necessary for success in their Holy Cross education and life after graduation.
Montserrat seminars are grouped into six different thematic clusters (Contemporary Challenges, Core Human Questions, Divine, Global Society, Natural World, and Self). Cluster faculty organize cocurricular events that develop each cluster's annual theme and bring cluster students together to enhance their seminar experiences. Students in a particular cluster also live together in the same residence hall to facilitate the discussion of ideas in informal settings outside class and to cultivate meaningful relationships with peers.
Examples of cocurricular events include panel discussions, mindfulness workshops, trips to museums, lectures by authors of books that students have read, films, theatrical performances, musical concerts, residential coffeehouses, field trips, and environmental initiatives in the residence halls. All of these experiences are designed to foster a sense of belonging in the Holy Cross community, encourage a passionate commitment to local and global community, and fuel an enduring quest for intellectual, personal and spiritual challenges.
Clusters and Seminar Descriptions