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January and May Terms

Jan Term and May Term off-campus courses allow students to travel and study for a month under the direction of a Whitworth professor. January is a period that affords a broad variety of short study programs. Aside from courses offered on a regular basis (usually alternating every other year), there are often several "one-of-a-kind" experiences for student selection. Tuition for Jan Term is included in a long semester. May Term tuition is additional to the program cost.

To view more program details, click on the name of a program below. For additional information you may also contact Sue Jackson (sjackson@whitworth.edu). Most programs take place every other year.

Anthropology in Hawaii

SO 200 (Intro to Cultural Anthropology) is offered on site on the beautiful Island of Oahu (Hawaii). The study program meets the global perspectives requirement (or sociology credits).

Chemistry History and Art Study Program

This course will explore how chemical ideas have developed over time, how social, cultural and historical factors have influenced the development of science and chemistry and, how chemistry and science have contributed to society and human culture. The course traces the historical development of chemistry from ancient to modern times within an intellectual and historical context. Students will see the laboratories of chemists, read from their original writings, and see where they lived and what they created. A second aim of this course is to study works of art including paintings, sculpture, and other physical art and understanding the chemical methods by which they were made. Connections to the scientific understandings of the time period and the historical contexts will be examined as well. Highlights of the trip: • 9 days in London, 6 days in Paris, 4 days in Munich • Spectacular science museums and facilities: Royal Institution of Chemistry, Deutsch Museum, Cavendish Lab, Curie Museum, Oxford, Cambridge • Amazing art museums: Louvre Museum, Musee d’Orsay, Glyptothek, Rodin Museum • Historical buildings and palaces: Versailles Palace, Tower of London • Lunch at the Eagle pub at Cambridge University where Watson and Crick dined

Christianity in Britain

Visit major attractions in world-class cities in England and Scotland, as well as historic sites, churches and museums that will make English and Scottish history come alive! Examine the origins, development and influence of the Christian church in Great Britain and its formative role in British culture from the arrival of the earliest Christian missionaries to today. You’ll also get to eat in old English pubs, stroll along the Thames, walk medieval walls, visit important archaeological sites, worship in a variety of churches, see a play or two in London’s West End, visit amazing museums and castles, and soak in the diverse cultures of Britain.

Core 250 in Europe


Ecology and the Bible

In the spectacular winter setting of Tall Timber Ranch in the North Cascades, at the edge of Glacier Peak Wilderness, we will leave all electronic media behind and spend three weeks living in community together and learning more about God, ourselves, and our beautiful world. We will gather around a wood stove to discuss Scripture, science, ecology and environmental ethics. We will learn to cross-county ski. We will study the natural history of the Northwest and the local ecology of the White River Valley, not just sitting in the lodge but through outdoor exploration on ski and snowshoe. We will play in the snow. We will drink lots of hot chocolate. And we will join together in daily worship and reflection as we contemplate the glory of God’s creation and redemption in Christ and what it means for how we live in the world today.

Freshman Honors Program in Hawaii ...

History and Art in Rome

HISTORY! Learn the historical foundations of ancient Rome, early Christianity, and the trends that brought Rome into the modern era. ART! Learn about Italian painting, sculpture, and operatic performance. ARCHITECTURE! Explore the history of ancient Roman architecture to the early modern era; learn about the meaning and symbolism of Christian and secular buildings, with a special focus on Renaissance Christian monuments such as St. Peter’s Basilica.

Full Course:  Month of January 2019

History of the Vietnam War

The Vietnam War is one of the most important events in American history.  The recent Ken Burns documentary has renewed conversation about why we got into the war and why we fought the war in the ways we did.  The war is filled with ethical issues:  what does it mean to be a good soldier?  What does it mean to be a good patriot?  Scholars continue to ask why the war became so divisive at home and what are some of the lessons of the war.  We will have the opportunity to ask these question in Vietnam by traveling to battle sites and museums, as well as learn about the culture past and present of Vietnam.  We will talk with people whose families fought in the war on both sides.

Japan Study Program

This course will offer you the chance of a lifetime to explore western Japan with fellow Whitworth students. The course is designed to provide students an opportunity to experience eastern healthcare, religion and education. Students will spend time comparing and contrasting what one knows to what is experienced in Japan. The course will also expose students to international diversity. Specifically, students will examine the role of diversity in determining one’s worldview by analyzing, gender perspectives, religious perspective, and responsibilities as a Global Citizen. Highlights of the trip include: • Stay on the campus of Kwansai Gakuin University • Visit Nishinomiya, Osaka and Kyoto • Visit Hiroshima o Ride the Shinkansen (Japanese Bullet Train) o Peace Memorial Museum o Okonomiyaki Row o Miyajima Island o Shopping • Ancient Cities of Kyoto and Nara (with host family) • Hanshin Tigers Professional Baseball Game and Clubhouse visit • Koshien Stadium Tour, Hanshin Tigers Stadium • Home stay opportunity with a Japanese family • Observe various KG varsity sports teams • Chapel services at Seiwa College • Seiwa College/KG English Language Classes • Kindai University, Osaka. Watch a Sumo practice and see the University • Ritsumeikan University, Health Sciences/Athletic Training Facilities Tour • Visit numerous temples and shrines • Morinomiya Acupuncture school • Take part in PE classes at KGNSC

Math History

For many of us, our experience with mathematics has been primarily through a textbook: equations, theorems, proofs, examples and exercises. But behind each of these results is a person, and a story. They are stories of political and religious intrigue, competition and collaboration, commercial and military impetuses, moments of insight and patient persistence. In this 3-week study-program we will travel to the places famous mathematicians lived and worked. We will see the buildings they planned, the art they produced, the equipment they worked with, their inventions and some of their original writings. Along the way local math and history guides who will help to put what we see into a historical context will join us. We’ll gain an understanding of how mathematical ideas have developed over time, how social, cultural and historical factors have influenced the development of mathematics and conversely, how mathematics contributed to society and human culture. You will never look at those theorems and proofs in quite the same way again!

Media Impact Across the Contemporary U.S.

Students will visit New York City and Washington, DC to learn from media executives and scholars what they believe are the main issues currently facing the media impact on contemporary US society. Media industries visited will include newspapers, television, radio, magazine and book publishing, and advertising. The program is designed to expose students who have an interest in the mass media, both those majoring or minoring in Communication Studies as well as students from other disciplines, to some of the media-related issues affecting contemporary US society.
Click here to view the first online travelogue from New York and Washington, D.C. (January 2009)
Click here to view the travelogue from New York and Washington, D.C. (January 2015)
Click here to view the most recent travelogue from New York and Washington, D.C. (January 2017)

Oral Spanish Abroad - Spain

Take level-appropriate Spanish conversation courses and participate in homestays, cultural experiences, and excursions. Visit historical sites such as Córdoba and Ronda. Sevilla is located in southwestern Spain and is the provincial capital of Andalucía. With a population of about 700,000 inhabitants, Sevilla offers a rich historical environment in which to improve your Spanish fluency and to experience living in another culture!

Race Across America

Ride the rails across the South. Explore both contemporary and historical racial issues. Experience Southern culture.

Visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture, MLK Jr Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, Civil Rights Institute, Rosa Parks Museum, Freedom Rides Museum, Whitney Plantation, Equal Justice Initiative, Southern Poverty Law Center, and more. 

Smithsonian Internship (Jan Term)

Get a behind-the-scenes experience of the breadth of knowledge in the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, in Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian includes iconic museums such as the Freer and Sackler art galleries, the Air & Space Museum, the American History Museum, Natural History Museum and the new Museum of African American History and Culture along with a range of research centers. • Explore D.C., one of the world’s great cities, while living in apartments with fellow Whitworth students. • See behind-the-scenes at multiple museums and other sites in D.C., such as the Capitol and State Department (sites will vary). • Meet researchers and policy makers in a range of fields. • Gain significant experience and bolster your résumé. • Make your application for a semester-long Smithsonian internship stand out. • The externship is designed for honors students but open to all qualified Whitworth students.

South Africa Study Program

During this study program you will visit Cape Town, the Stellenbosch wine country, Oudtshoorn, Grahamstown, Mthata, Durban, Johannesburg, and the Pilanesburg Game Sanctuary. You will experience local culture by staying with host families in several locations in South Africa. This includes a two-night home stay with Muslim families in Durban. Along the way you will visit Nelson Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island, explore the Cango caves, and observe wildlife in a big game sanctuary. You will learn about the history, economics and politics of South Africa. You’ll learn about the struggle for independence and racial reconciliation. Among other activities, you’ll meet with journalists, politicians and academics specializing in journalism and politics.

The Meaning of Life: A Trip to New York City

Why does the world exist? What’s the meaning of life? Who am I? What are the best things in life? How do I avoid wasting my life? What does it mean to live well? These are some of the most important questions anyone can ask, and in this course we will explore them together. To help us do that, we will draw on the resources of one of the best cities in the world – New York City. During our time in New York, we will have conversations with fascinating people, including artists, philosophers, wine-makers, aid workers, theologians, entrepreneurs, scholars, etc. We will experience some of the world’s best art and architecture. We will discover and explore New York City itself. And we will reflect on life’s deepest and most important questions. If this sounds like a good way to spend a month, consider joining us.