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Yale-Inspired Life Worth Living Elective

This semester, St. Luke’s was one of the first high schools in the nation to offer the Upper School elective course Life Worth Living. The class, co-taught by Head of School Mark Davis and Center for Leadership Director Kate Parker-Burgard, is based on a popular Yale University undergraduate course. As described in the St. Luke’s curriculum guide, this class “spurs critical thinking on the question of what constitutes a flourishing life. Drawing upon several religious and philosophical traditions, students and teachers together approach the core question—what is a life worth living?—by examining different models of the good life, by practicing individual habits of reflection and action in discerning and pursuing the good life, and by practicing collective habits of discussion within a respectful, honest, and diverse community of learners. The course is rooted in the belief that diverse communities can reason together about the good life and the practices that support it.”

St. Luke’s senior Chuck Clemons reflected, “You have to think about things that you’ve never thought about on a daily basis.” Janelle Johnson ‘20 added, “There is a lot of deep thinking and you make connections that you never made before.”

The director of Yale University’s Life Worth Living Program and Faith Initiative Director at Grace Farms Matt Croasmun came to observe the class. Parker-Burgard shared, “He is actively working with us and a few other schools to develop this class for the secondary level, and it was a great opportunity for him to see the course in action. We are grateful for the time and attention he has given us as well as the access to resources from his college-level course.”

Janelle shared, “I tell people that if they can take any class, take this one.”
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St. Luke’s School is a secular (non-religious), private school in New Canaan, CT for grades 5 through 12 serving over 35 towns in Connecticut and New York. Our exceptional academics and diverse co-educational community foster students’ intellectual and ethical development and prepare them for top colleges. St. Luke’s Center for Leadership builds the commitment to serve and the confidence to lead.