Read centuries-old stories that offer modern insights.


Explore the timeless wisdom of old stories.

When people think of Literature – in all its important weightiness – they often think of the Renaissance stories by Shakespeare and Milton or older Classical tales like the Odyssey or the Aeneid. The Classical, Medieval & Renaissance concentration at Signum University gives students an opportunity to examine these popular tales from long ago and decipher why they stand the test of time.

Why Study Classical, Medieval & Renaissance Literature?

More than perhaps any other activity, the telling of stories are what make humans unique from other forms of life. Language allows communication, but stories give us the ability to ruminate on why we’re here, what our purpose is, and how we can improve not only our own lives, but the lives of those around us as well.

Studying stories from long ago gives us the opportunity to see how our forebears lived, thought, and approached the problems in their day. Although we have made many technological changes – some call them advances – since their time, the basic questions of life, relationship, and society have not changed all that much. The answers available to us to meet those questions are, in many cases, the same answers that the storytellers of old had available to them.

At Signum, we do not believe that the stories of one era are inherently better than the stories of another; that said, the passage of time tends to work as a filter by allowing the finest stories to sift down to us. Focusing on the Classical works of Homer or Virgil, the Medieval works of Chaucer or Malory, and the Renaissance works of Shakespeare, among others, allows us to engage with some of the best and brightest minds and consider the ideas those minds produced.

Bringing Classic Literature to Online Education

Signum University provides a fresh way of reading and studying the old stories that have become a staple of literature programs the world around. As part of our premier degree program, the M.A. in Language & Literature, this concentration in Classical, Medieval & Renaissance Literature breathes new life into a centuries-old discipline.

M.A. Program Details

For those who are not ready to commit to a full M.A. program, you can also enroll in our Graduate Diploma or sit in on literature courses as an auditor.

Classical, Medieval & Renaissance Literature Lecturers

Dr. Corey Olsen

Dr. Corey Olsen – suit and tie

Dr. Faith Acker

Dr. Tom Shippey

Dr. Tom Shippey

Liam Daley

Dr. Verlyn Flieger

Dr. Verlyn Flieger

Dr. Paul Peterson

Dr. Dimitra Fimi

Classical, Medieval & Renaissance Literature Classes

Below is a list of all the courses Signum offers on classic, medieval and renaissance literature. Students seeking a M.A. with a concentration in Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance Literature must take at least five of these courses; Graduate Diploma students who seek a concentration in Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance Literature must take at least four of these courses.

ID Course Name Duration Start Date
LNGC 5302 Beowulf in Old English 12 weeks August 30, 2021
LITD 5304 Beowulf Through Tolkien 12 Weeks August 29, 2022
LITC 5302 C.S. Lewis and Mythologies of Love and Sex 12 weeks August 26, 2019
LITA 5308 Celtic Myth in Children’s Fantasy 12 Weeks May 4, 2020
LITD 5301 Chaucer I: Visions of Love 12 Weeks August 31, 2020
LITD 5302 Chaucer II: The Canterbury Tales 12 Weeks January 11, 2021
LITC 5306 Classical Myths and Legends 12 weeks May 3, 2021
LNGC 5311 Eddic Poetry in Old Norse 12 weeks August 31, 2020
LITC 5305 Germanic Myths and Legends 12 weeks May 2, 2022
LITC 5304 Norse Myths and Sagas 12 weeks January 14, 2019
LITD 5305 Shakespeare and the Middle Ages 12 Weeks August 29, 2022
LITD 5303 The Arthur Story 12 Weeks May 21, 2012
LITD 5307 The Inklings and King Arthur 12 Weeks May 6, 2019
LITD 5306 The Life and Times of the English Epic 12 Weeks August 30, 2021
LITD 5308 The Return of King Arthur 12 weeks January 10, 2022

At least one Classical, Medieval & Renaissance Literature course will be offered each semester. Courses will be offered on a rotating basis every 2 – 3 years. Course order, frequency, and availability may change without notice. Links to course descriptions above may go to an older version of the course. For current course offerings, visit the Signum course catalog.

Contact Us!

If you have any questions about a concentration in Classical, Medieval & Renaissance Literature or becoming a student, contact us.