McCall Continuing Education

We offer a variety of classes on engaging topics taught by local experts—designed especially for our community members. Classes are held at the Givens Highland Farms. We also host regular events that are a great way to stay engaged.

Spring Term 2019

Presentations and Reception
Wednesday, January 9, 2019, 2:00 P.M.
Givens Highland Farms, Assembly Room
200 Tabernacle Road, Black Mountain, NC

Come and hear the Instructors and make your choices!

Pre-registration is highly recommended due to class size limits and popularity of classes.

2019 Spring Classes
Monday Classes: January 14 – February 18, 2019
Tuesday Classes: January 15 – February 19, 2019
Wednesday Classes: January 16 – February 20, 2019

All classes will be held in the Brookside Center, Lower Fountain Room.

Inclement weather alert: Any McCall class cancellation will be called in to the WLOS-TV station. It will be listed as Montreat College Center for Adult Lifelong Learning and can be seen at the bottom of your T.V. screen on the local T.V. channel 13 news.

Spring Term 2019 Classes

Sacred Testaments, Old and New – Ina Hughes (Mondays: 9:30 am – 11:30 am)

Does “holy writ” begin with Genesis and end with Revelation? Is it confined or legitimized only if it comes from within our own tradition? If the answer to both questions is no, then how can we discern what is divinely inspired and what is simply argument or fluff? This class offers participants a chance to explore the sacred text of their own life, both in what they have read that has been transformative and what they themselves have written or might still write as their own personal testaments, creation myths, psalms of celebration and despair, or revelations of the divine. We will look at what makes for all good writing in general, using examples from other prophets, poets, and writers of today. Through in-class, directed writing and very specific weekly assignments, we will write out and share with each other, as we are willing, the personal parables of our lives and the songs that well up from within our own hearts. Bring paper, pen (or laptop) and an open creative mind.

Ina Hughs is a retired newspaper columnist with 45+ years of experience. Ina is a speaker for civic, educational, service and professional organizations locally and nationally. Her work has been included in many publications, including Good Housekeeping, the Washington Post, New York Times and more. She also has been a featured guest on “Good Morning America” and “The Nightly News with Tom Brokaw.”

Gender and Politics – Dr. Mary Mac Ogden (Mondays: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm)

This course is an examination of topics related to gender and politics. It explores the concept of gender in relation to national security, international development, armed conflicts/military service, civil rights movements for women and sexual expression. Gender theories are explored as they relate to politics and public policies in a national context. A key focus is on the intersection of differences such as gender, class, ethnicity, nationality and sexuality in fostering inequality. Scholarly articles, news media and film will be used in the course to facilitate discussion on current issues.

Mary Mac Ogden holds a doctorate in United States History with expertise in southern history. She is an independent scholar, writer and advocate. Her research interests explore the relationship between progress and power.

Islam in the 21st Century – Dr. Steven Wilkerson (Tuesdays: 9:30 am – 11:30 am)

Since 9/11, 2001, Islam has emerged as a major factor in international politics, world history, and the complex dynamics of the Middle East. Despite, however, its increasing importance and the fact that this faith has a great deal in common with Christianity, most Americans know relatively little about what is now the world’s second largest and fastest growing religion. This course will review the early history of Islam and the biography of its founder, the prophet Muhammad, and will summarize the basic tenets of Islam. There will be discussion of how the religion influences current events, especially in Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. Special attention will be paid to the divide between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.

Steven Wilkerson earned a Ph.D. in history from Duke University but has spent most of his professional career as a physician, primarily in the U.S. Navy and Army. He has also completed a Ph.D. in mythological studies. He is particularly interested in interdisciplinary approaches to religion involving history, psychology and mythology. Steven has taught numerous courses for the McCALL Program.

Classics of American Silent Cinema – Chip Kaufmann (Tuesdays: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm)

This course is designed to provide an introduction to and help develop an appreciation of silent movies with background and comments from the instructor. The 6 featured films are all acknowledged classics and feature top stars of the era. They are: Safety Last with Harold Lloyd, Broken Blossoms with Lillian Gish, The Sheik with Rudolph Valentino, Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney, Tumbleweeds with William S. Hart, and It! with Clara Bow. There will also be selected shorts with Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford & others.

Chip Kaufmann is a classical music announcer for Blue Ridge Public Radio (formerly WCQS). He has taught over 40 courses at OLLI (College for Seniors) since 2008. He contributes articles on film for Rapid River Magazine and has posted over 500 reviews on Amazon. He also lectures on composers for the Asheville Symphony during their Symphony Talks.

Truman Capote: At His Beginning And His End – Dr. Margaret Whitt (Wednesdays: 9:30 am – 11:30 am)

All of us were alive when a young Truman Capote with a rather high-pitched speaking voice began making his rounds on mid-20th-century television talk shows. His early fiction was lyrically beautiful–thoughtful, tender, and often haunting.

“Learn a little what it is to love. First, a leaf, a fall of rain, then someone to receive what a leaf has taught you, what a fall of rain has ripened. No easy process, understand; it could take a lifetime, it has mine, and still I´ve never mastered it…,” he has Judge Cool explain to his fellow misfits in an old Chinaberry tree in the River Woods in his second short novel, The Grass Harp. We will end with a look at several selections from his last important collection: Music for Chameleons, which is, in part, a return to Capote’s amazing ability to render the reality of the odd-personality character with warmly sympathetic strokes.

Margaret Whitt, Professor Emerita of English, taught at the University of Denver for 27 years (1981-2008). She taught various courses in American literature, but an always-favorite was the Literature of the American South. While at the University, she was the recipient of the Driscoll Master Teacher Award (1990), the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award (1993), and co-recipient of the United Methodist University Scholar-Teacher Award (2007). She returns for her third course in the McCALL Program, and after teaching William Faulkner and then Flannery O’Connor, she found that Truman Capote would be the next place to go!

The Bill of Rights, The Constitution, and the Supreme Court – Miles Hoffman (Wednesdays: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm)

The Bill of Rights is the most recognized feature of our Constitution, and is seen as the centerpiece of American Exceptionalism – America´s dedication to liberty and justice for all. But the rights in the Bill of Rights are not the only ones. In this course we will look at the interplay between rights in the original 1787 Constitution, in the first 10 Amendments ratified in 1791, in the Amendments to the Constitution after 1791, and in decisions of the Supreme Court. This focus includes rights understood as protecting the people against authoritarian tendencies of government, as well as rights deployed to shield one part of society (religion, gender, race, sexual orientation, political affiliation, etc.) from oppression by other parts of society. Readings including excerpts of Court decisions will be handed out and discussed.

Miles Hoffman earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in Political Science at Dartmouth and the University of Chicago, concentrating on American Politics, Constitutional Law and Political Theory. He also studied philosophy and British politics at the University of Essex. He taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Constitutional Law and American Politics for 10 years at Indiana University at South Bend. He also directed and taught community education programs in medical ethics, energy conservation and civil rights, before launching a business career in quantitative marketing and market research in several companies and the American Medical Association in Chicago, retiring in 2014. Miles has taught previous courses for the McCALL Program.

Please note that we have a total of six course offerings at the Givens Highland Farms location in Black Mountain. Please send your registration form to Laura Buckwalter, Director of Conference Services for Montreat College, at the address shown on the bottom of the registration form. Each course is $25 and the annual membership fee is $25.  If you are enrolled in the fall term, you will not pay the membership fee again for winter or spring terms.


Please mail your check made out to Montreat College and registration form directly to:
Laura Buckwalter, Director of Conference Services
PO Box 1267
Montreat, NC 28757
If you have questions, call Dwight Stobbs, McCall President, at 828-669-0680 or email

Registration Form