experiential education

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About Us

The Castle Rock Institute is an off-campus wilderness center for the Humanities affiliated with Brevard College. With its base in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina, the Institute offers several college study programs combining interdisciplinary classwork, organized group outdoor activities, and attention to small-group community living.

Each year college students from around the country apply to attend the Institute for a semester. They take four Humanities courses taught by Institute Senior Fellows-- one each in Comparative Religions, Philosophy, Literature, and Studio Art. Each course meets regularly throughout the semester and awards four hours of transferable college credit. Students also spend several full and half days per week participating in group outdoor adventure activities like rock climbing, backpacking, and paddling.

The Castle Rock Institute offers three specialized semester programs: a Thematic Humanities program conducted in the United States, an Environmental Humanities study abroad program delivered partly in Australia or New Zealand, and a Leadership Humanities program. It also offers two shorter summer programs: one in North Carolina, and the other in Western Australia.

Our Mission

The Castle Rock Institute is dedicated to creating an educational setting well suited for investigating links between scholarship in the Humanities and the practical dimensions of human life. It believes that studying the Humanities is enhanced when conducted in the context of a small community of people who regularly engage the natural world. Through its study programs, the Castle Rock Institute aims to provide college and university students opportunities to reflect on their relationships to the environment, their understanding of leadership, and the complexities of what it means to be human.

Australia - New Zealand Study Abroad Program | Domestic Outdoor Adventure Program | Outdoor Leadership Program | Summer Programs
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