Seminar Diploma
Seminar Diploma
Photo by Karen Roseland

Seminars

At the heart of the Renaissance Society are the myriad seminars that we members ourselves devise and run.

The centerpiece of the seminar program is the full day of activities on Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., through the fall and spring semesters. The seminars are held in classrooms at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS).

Some morning and noon seminars are one-time presentations that don't require signups and allow members to drop in whenever they like the topic. These include the morning Travel and Adventure, Mini-Seminars and Documentaries. There are other morning and noon activities, ranging from the lively discussions of Cracker Barrel to the exercise of ballroom dancing. Some of them allow drop-ins while others require a full semester signup.

The core seminars are held from 1 to 2:45 p.m. on Fridays. These seminars cover a wide range of topics chosen by leaders who are members just like you. Members sign up for the entire semester, usually 13 weeks. In many of these seminars, members are expected to lead and participate in group discussions. They are also expected to volunteer to do research and make a presentation on some aspect of the topic. Other seminars are taught by members, some retired teachers, who prefer to lecture.

There will also be a Saturday morning seminar. It will be held from Sept. 6 through Dec. 6 on campus from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. See the seminar schedule for details

Fridays close with the Forum from 3 to 4 p.m. Invited outside guests talk about a topic of interest, such as state politics, health or culture.

The off-campus seminars are held in other locations and on other days. These feature a huge variety of topics, from bridge and foreign language practice to writing and dinner groups. Some of these continue from semester to semester. Several of them are one-day events. Read the schedule carefully! The locations can be members' homes, public libraries or (in the case of the popular Walkabout hiking seminar) in public parks.

These seminars will not happen without members' participation. Check out the Participation page.

New this year is a page devoted to helping seminar leaders You will find there a new Seminar Leaders' Handbook and other things to help anyone leading or considering leading a seminar.

Want to see what kind of seminars have been offered in recent years? Here is a list of recent seminar topics. Also, if you'd like an easy way to jump-start a seminar, look at the Great Courses page and list. Another help can be utilizing online courses as a starting place for a seminar.