The Department of Classics & Early Christian Literature invites you to join us for an 8 credit course that explores Rome through its language and monuments from its pagan beginnings to its Catholic present.

Key Elements of the Summer Rome Program

  • This unique summer program has two tracks:
    • Students who have completed LATN 102 will begin the summer with LATN 203 online, continuing their study of the elements of the language.
    • Students who have already completed LATN 204 or a higher course may begin the summer with LATN 304/415 online, studying texts from those Fathers of the Church who are so intimately linked to Rome.
  • After the online courses are completed, students will travel to Rome where both groups will explore monuments of classical and Christian antiquity with the help of carefully chosen texts pertinent to each site.
  • Following the trip, students will submit a photo album of site visits with detailed captions, take an online oral exam, and  submit a term paper based upon sites and texts encountered during their time in Rome.

The Instructor

  • Dr. Joseph Yarbrough is once again delighted to lead students through an exploration of the City of Rome in conjunction with the study of Latin, its ancient and Catholic language.
  • He has taught at AMU for nine years where he began his teaching career a couple years before completing his Ph.D. at Cornell University.
  • His first stay in Rome, when he studied with Fr. Reginald Foster, O.C.D., a Latinist in the service of the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has been an inspiration to share with his own students the excitement of a personal encounter with Rome’s monumental history through the medium of the Latin language.

Cost & Travel

  • The total price for 8 credits of tuition, 10 nights’ lodging in Rome, all meals, admission to all sites, museums, and tours, transportation in Rome, and the Course Reader is $3995.
  • Students are responsible for their own airfare.
  • Students who would like to fly direct from Miami to Rome on Alitalia with Dr. Yarbrough should contact Dr. Yarbrough by Wednesday, January 10, 2018.
  • All other students are responsible for their own travel arrangements to and from Rome.
  • Qualified students (those who have already completed four semesters or more of Latin) are eligible to participate in only the Rome portion of the course; with tuition for 4 credits, the total price for this option is $2795.
  • It is also possible for qualified students to travel to Rome but to participate in the course only as an unofficial audit; the price for this option is $1595.

Electronic Resources

  • In Rome students will use an electronic course reader, formatted for iBooks, designed and written by Dr. Yarbrough (here is a .pdf of the Course Reader for 2017).
  • To access this reader, students are required to have with them a mobile electronic device such as an iPad, iPhone, Kindle, or any number of Android tablets and phones.
  • These devices allow students to take notes (typed or via audio recording); to take photographs and video of sites visited; to store maps and itineraries; to carry electronically otherwise bulky Latin dictionaries and Italian phrasebooks; and to communicate with family and friends at home.


  • An application, available for download here, should be sent to joseph.yarbrough@avemaria.edu by December 15, 2017.
  • Students who have been accepted should send a deposit of $800 ($400 for those taking less than 8 credits), payable to “Ave Maria University,” to Dr. Joseph Yarbrough, 5050 Ave Maria Blvd., Ave Maria, FL 34142 before Friday, January 5, 2018.

Why Rome with Ave Maria?

  • A personal encounter with the beauty of Rome in its classical and Christian monuments is of inestimable worth.
  • The experience of walking deep inside the catacombs or of seeing famous pagan and Christian works of art in the Vatican Museums will not soon be forgotten.
  • Through precious meetings in the Eternal City with scholars, clergy, Vatican officials, and AMU alumni, students will come to see first-hand the enduring importance of Latin not only as a means of accessing past monuments but even of engaging present circumstances.
  • This course is also an excellent opportunity to advance in the major or minor in Classics: freshmen who complete this program will need only two more courses for a minor in Classics.
  • Those who are already majoring in Classics will have more room in their schedules for upper level courses both inside and outside of the major.
  • For students who are not majoring, this summer program is a marvelous complement to courses in Theology, Philosophy, History, and related fields.

The Virtual Classroom

  • The first four weeks of the course will be taught online.
  • Students and instructors will meet in a virtual classroom conducting readings and discussions almost as they would in a classroom at Ave Maria.
  • Online participation will require a computer equipped with a web camera and a stable internet connection.
  • This format will enable students to participate while living at home and perhaps even while pursuing summer employment.

Lodging in Rome

  • Students and instructor will reside at the Case per ferie Suore Missionarie Pallottine.
  • Students will stay in double or triple rooms with twin beds that are en suite, air conditioned, and equipped with WiFi.
    • Single rooms can be reserved at additional cost.
  • This residence has a midnight curfew during the summer months.
  • A very simple breakfast of coffee, juice, and rolls is served each morning at the lodging.


May 6 – May 31 – online for LATN 203 or LATN 304

Tuesday, June 4 – depart for Rome

Wednesday, June 5 – land in Rome; Ianiculum & churches in Trastevere

Thursday, June 6 – St. Paul: Beheading & Burial Sites

Friday, June 7 – Case Romane on the Caelian Hill

Saturday, June 8 – Monte Cassino, Roccasecca, Fossanova

Sunday, June 9 – Via Appia & Catacombs

Monday, June 10 – Roman forum

Tuesday, June 11 – Patriarchal basilicas and other major churches of Rome

Wednesday, June 12 – General Audience with Pope Francis

Thursday, June 13 – Ostia, Rome’s ancient port

Friday, June 14 – Vatican City: St. Peter’s Tomb & Museums

Saturday, June 15 – depart from Rome

“Every day on this trip is breathtaking in more ways than one, and while the 10 days go by quickly, you leave Rome feeling like you have passed through thousands of years of the Church and the Western culture.” // Catherine Crnkovich (Summer 2017)
“If you love the Latin language and are passionate about the heritage of the Catholic Church, join the Classics Department in Rome for the experience of your life.” // Colleen Kilpatrick (Summer 2016 & co-valedictorian AMU Class of 2016)
“My time in Roma Aeterna, the Eternal City, has left a lasting impression on me.” // Benjamin Houde (Summer 2013 & co-valedictorian AMU Class of 2015)