McCALL Continuing Education

Fall Term 2023

Preview of All Courses

Thursday, September 7 at 2:00 p.m. | Assembly Room at Givens Highland Farms
Meet the instructors and select your courses!

Tuesday Courses: September 12 to October 17

Mornings: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

The Christian Nation Myth: A Present Danger to Secular Democracy – Rev. Chris Highland 

“Christian Nationalism” is based on the myth that our republic’s founders were evangelical Christians. This political movement seeks to reshape our pluralistic society. People of all faiths and no faith are welcome in this respectful classroom environment. 

Chris Highland is a Protestant minister with degrees in philosophy and religion. He has written over 25 books and taught many courses, as well as having been a shelter director, interfaith chaplain, and senior housing manager. 

Facilitator: Robert Garrison 

Afternoons: 2:00- 4:00 p.m.

Appalachia: Its Charms and Challenges – Professor George Brosi 

Each participant will receive an extensive annotated bibliography and an optional creative homework assignment to engender class discussion. This course will cover Appalachia’s geography, history, politics, and culture. 

George Brosi has degrees in sociology and English education. He has taught Appalachian literature and studies at universities in Kentucky. He owned a bookstore specializing in Appalachia, and has received several awards for his contributions to its culture. 

Facilitator: Betsy Atkinson 

Wednesday Courses: September 13 to October 18

Mornings: 9:30- 11:30 a.m.

Introduction to Eudora Welty – Dr. Robert Brinkmeyer 

Eudora Welty is a 20th century novelist and photographer who wrote about the American South – mostly Mississippi. She received many awards, including a Pulitzer Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Her writing displays a wry wit, keen observation of detail, and a sure rendering of dialect. 

Robert Brinkmeyer, PhD, is Professor Emeritus at the University of South Carolina, where for many years he was director of the Institute of Southern Studies and a professor of English. 

Facilitator: Suzanne Sutherland 

Afternoons: 2:00- 4:00 p.m. 

The Gifts of Aging and Dying – Dr. Martha Jane Petersen 

This course is not based on any particular religious understanding. Instead, it will examine the joys and disappointments of life and discuss the stages of death, as well as how one wants to be remembered. The instructor will coordinate the contributions of five other professionals. 

Martha Jane Petersen has earned the BA and BS (Nursing) degrees, and a doctorate in ministry. She and her husband were overseas missionaries for 16 years. She is also an accomplished textile artist as well as a writer and pastor. 

Facilitator: Robin Henley 

Thursday Courses: September 14 to October 19

Mornings: 9:30- 11:30 a.m.

Tudor-Stuart England – Dr. William Spellman 

The 16th and 17th centuries saw enormous changes in the nation of England: a break with the Roman Catholic papacy, defeat of the Spanish Armada, civil war with the execution of the king, restoration of the monarchy, and the rise of a powerful Parliament. 

William Spellman, PhD, is Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, where he taught English history, world civilizations, and interdisciplinary humanities for 30 years. His most recent books include: A Concise History of the World since 1945 and A Brief History of Death

Facilitator: Paul Grass 

Afternoons: 2:00- 4:00 p.m.

Plant-based Cuisine – Ms. Bonnie Wheeler 

This course will discuss why following a whole foods/plant-based diet is highly recommended for one’s personal health at any stage of life. Topics will include choices, shopping, and cooking (some in class), as well as the benefits of eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and some nuts – and sparing animals. 

Bonnie Wheeler earned the BA degree and taught Spanish for several years, but health and nutrition have always been her passion. She has taught similar courses at OLLI in Asheville. 

Facilitator: Susan Denne 

All courses will meet once a week for six weeks in the McCALL Classroom on the 2nd floor of Prentice Lodge at Givens Highland Farms. There is an elevator. 


Register and pay for your courses ONLINE!

Contact Tammy Phagan at 828.419.2221 or if you have trouble with the online registration process.