Seeking Graduate Reading Groups for the Winter Quarter

The University of Chicago is famous for its graduate student reading groups, in which students pursue their own intellectual interests among friends in an informal setting. The Lumen Christi Institute supports this endeavor by sponsoring a number of graduate student reading groups each quarter. LCI provides space, hospitality, and books. The Institute also provides a modest stipend for the graduate student who leads and organizes the group. 

Reading groups cover the whole spectrum of ideas. Texts do not need to be explicitly Catholic, though we follow St. Paul’s injunction to attend to whatever is true, noble, right, admirable, and lovely (Phil 4:8). Groups must follow LCI's guiding principles, which may be found below.

Previous groups have studied and discussed:

  • Augustine’s De Doctrina Christiana

  • Early Modern Utopias

  • A Confederacy of Dunces

  • Medieval Romances

  • The Book of Genesis

  • The short stories of Leo Tolstoy

  • The stories of Franz Kafka

If you are interested in leading a reading group, please write a description (maximum of 300 words) of what you would like to read, your vision for the group (why you chose the work, ideal format and time slot) and how it fits the mission of the Lumen Christi Institute.

Our best practices guide may be an aid to you as you think about your prospective group.

Guiding Principles

Program proposals should…

  • Affirm the intellectual life as good in itself

  • Ask questions animated by the principle that “all knowledge forms one whole”

  • Transcend the ideological / political divide (i.e., programs should not be partisan in nature)

  • Welcome religious perspectives as part of the intellectual life (i.e., programs need not be theological in nature but conversations should be open to religious insights) 

  • Nurture friendships, to support the pursuit of truth, beauty, and goodness (i.e., programs should have a social component)


Send an email to, cc’ing with your proposal.