The Tertio Millennio Seminar

Kraków, Poland 

As it will be impossible to offer our students the experience we want for them because of uncertain public health conditions, the Twenty-Ninth Annual Assembly of the Tertio Millennio Seminar on the Free Society, scheduled to be held in Cracow from June 29 through July 16, has been suspended and will not meet as scheduled.

It is the fervent hope of the TMS faculty that TMS XXIX will convene in the summer of 2021.

In order to offer applicants, alumni, and friends of the program an opportunity to explore Catholic social doctrine this summer, our faculty have recorded brief lectures that will introduce viewers to the topics typically covered at the Seminar. These lectures, entitled “A Taste of TMS,” do not aim to replace or substitute for the full experience of TMS, but to provide a small taste of the content offered by our faculty each year. After an introductory video posted on Friday, June 26, lectures will be posted every other weekday, beginning Monday, June 29, and concluding on Wednesday, July 15.

Please pray for all those involved in TMS, including its generous benefactors, during this challenging time. And to borrow from our great patron Saint John Paul II, “Be not afraid!”

The Tertio Millennio Seminar on the Free Society was founded in 1992 by Michael Novak, Rocco Buttiglione, Father Richard John Neuhaus, Father Maciej Zieba, OP, and George Weigel to deepen the dialogue on Catholic social doctrine between North American students and students from the new democracies of central and eastern Europe.

The annual seminar in Kraków, Poland  is built around an intense study of John Paul II’s 1991 encyclical Centesimus Annus, supplemented by wider readings from the Church’s social magisterium and contemporary essays on relevant topics. Following the lead of Centesimus Annus, the seminar explores the “free society” as composed of three interlocking systems: a democratic polity, a free economy, and a vibrant public moral-culture. With Pope John Paul II, we lay the greatest stress on the third system, the moral-cultural system, taking up such issues as religious freedom, ecumenism, Christian-Jewish dialogue, and the “culture of life.”

Each year’s seminar class includes 10-12 North American students and 20-25 students from Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Ukraine, and other new democracies. While the North American contingent has normally been composed of graduate students and young professionals, accomplished juniors and seniors working on bachelor’s degrees relevant to the purposes of the seminar may also apply. The program is conducted in English.

For information on how to apply for the 2021 Tertio Millennio Seminar on the Free Society, click here.