Evening Seminars

In Fall 2018, the Newman Institute is offering two evening seminar courses for community members and students! Both classes will meet bi-weekly from 7pm – 8:30pm at the UNL Newman Center. Tuition (reading materials included) is $250 per course. A discounted rate of $125 is available to students, priests, pastors and religious.


Keys of the Kingdom: Seven Encyclicals for the Modern World

Jesus entrusts to Peter and his successors powerful teaching authority on matters of faith and morals; matters that are the keys to heaven and earth. One important source of papal teaching is the encyclical, a letter that considers particular issues in light of Christ’s salvific message. From Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum to Benedict XVI’s Spe Salvi, modern encyclicals deal with subjects ranging from capital and labor to faith and reason; from the sexual revolution to the effects of relativism; from growing consumerism to the loss of hope in life’s meaning and purpose. Pius X writes of a pope’s responsibility to “guard with the greatest vigilance the deposit of faith delivered to the saints.”  Over the centuries, pontiffs have embraced this responsibility as a way of feeding the faithful. This seminar will study seven of the most important encyclicals of recent times, including those noted above, as well as:  Pius X’s Pascendi Dominici Gregis Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae, John Paul II’s Veritatis Splendor and Fides et Ratio,and Benedict XVI’s Deus Caritas Est, along with excerpts from other encyclicals.

Instructor: Dr. John Freeh, Newman Institute Director

Fall 2018 Class Schedule: Mondays, 7pm – 8:30pm, UNL Newman Center

September 10 October 8 October 29 November 26
September 24 October 22 November 12


The Psalms as Divine Poetry: Truth, Beauty, and the Art of Sacred Scripture 

“The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.” So begins what C. S. Lewis regarded as “the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world.” Hebrew poetry, which comprises about one-third of the Old Testament, enhances the beauty, conviction, and mystery of how the Bible speaks and how readers respond. By means of the poet’s literary craft, the poems in Sacred Scripture are able to stimulate our imaginations, arouse our emotions, challenge our intellects, and move our wills. After considering what makes biblical poetry poetic, this seminar will highlight a close reading of selections from the Bible’s most celebrated book of poems–the Book of Psalms.

Instructor: Dr. Vern Steiner

Dr. Steiner holds a Ph.D. in Exegetical Theology/Old Testament from Trinity International University. He also has a Th.M. in Biblical Literature and an M.Div. in Pastoral Studies. His teaching specializations include biblical introduction and interpretation, exposition and theology, languages and literature.

Fall 2018 Class Schedule: Tuesdays, 7pm – 8:30pm, UNL Newman Center

September 4 October 2 October 30 November 27
September 18 October 16 November 13