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.

Fall Term 2019

Presentations and Reception
Wednesday, September 11, 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 Fall Classes
Monday Classes: September 16 – October 21, 2019
Tuesday Classes: September 17 – October 22, 2019
Wednesday Classes: September 18 – October 23, 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.

Fall Term 2019 Classes

History of the Swannanoa Valley – Dr. Mary Standaert & Joe Standaert (Mondays: 9:30 am – 11:30 am)

A journey through the historic Swannanoa Valley traveling up from Old Fort through the Swannanoa Gap and continuing westward to the valley’s western-most boundary near Biltmore. We will explore the rich history and beauty of the valley using a personal collection of photographs, videos, and vintage postcards as we “travel” from Old Fort to Ridgecrest and on to Biltmore with additional stops at Black Mountain, Christmount, Blue Ridge Assembly, Montreat, the North Fork Valley, Mt. Mitchell, Swannanoa Township, Oteen and Azalea. Home to multiple religious assemblies and the historic Black Mountain College, the mountain ridges framing the Swannanoa Valley have been called “Eastern America’s Highest and Most Historic Skyline.”

Dr. Mary Standaert and Joe Standaert have resided in the Swannanoa Valley for 14 years. Both are active within the Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center leading hikes and sharing local history. They have co-authored books on the history of Montreat (2009) and the Swannanoa Valley (2014) using their collection of more than 1,200 vintage postcards to illustrate the texts. Mary is also editor of the book The Montreat Gate Boys and Their Stories.

Women in the Bible: Strong, Courageous and Faithful – Rev. Kristi Neal (Mondays: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm)

The famous women of the Bible dealt with some of the identical situations that we face today. They knew grief, loss, suffering, stress, infertility, growing old and dying. For centuries they have inspired, enlightened and empowered us. With their unadorned faith, the women of the Bible continue to teach us how to live authentic, God-touched lives. No matter what our spiritual traditions are, we can find ourselves in their stories. Participants in this course will study six women in the Bible, learning about their background and contributions to the Biblical story. The class will be interactional with storytelling as an integral part of the learning. Multiple sources will be used as resource material.

The Rev. Kristi Neal is a deacon in the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina assigned to St. James, Black Mountain. She has been ordained for 13 years, and served for eight years as The Archdeacon of the diocese. She served as a deputy to the General Convention in 2015 and 2018. She will be serving as a mentor to other deacons through the Iona Collaborative at the Seminary of the Southwest. Neal graduated from Duke University and holds a master’s degree from Western Carolina University with continuing education at NC State University and Appalachian State University.

The First Queen Elizabeth – Dr. James Aydelotte (Tuesdays: 9:30 am – 11:30 am)

Daughter of King Henry VIII, Elizabeth Tudor had a longer and, in many ways, more successful reign over 16th century England. Though many thought no woman would rule well, this Queen dominated all statesmen, maintained the unity of the Church of England against extremists, earned the admiration of more powerful European states, and left a legacy of “Gloriana and the golden age of Elizabethan England.”

Dr. James Aydelotte has earned four degrees, including a PhD, and has taught European history, specializing in Tudor / Stuart Britain, at the University of Iowa and several colleges. He is assisted by Ken Scott, Jr. (pictures and DVDs).

Parenting for Grandparents / Introduction to Adlerian Psychology – Dr. Carolyn Crowder (Tuesdays: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm)

This course will teach and promote discussion on major principles and concepts of Adlerian psychology as they apply to adult relationships to children and grandchildren. Topics will include the importance of birth order, approaches to raising children, respect and leadership, use of logical consequences and encouragement, and why contribution and real work matter.

Dr. Crowder earned her M.A.Ed. in Counselor Education from Idaho State University in 1974 and her Ph.D. in Counseling & Guidance from the University of Arizona in 1980. She is a licensed psychologist in the state of Arizona. Dr. Crowder has had a private practice and has taught parenting classes for 40 years. She has authored three parenting books including Backtalk, a NY Times Best Seller in 1998. Dr. Crowder has been interviewed on the Today Show, Dateline, 20/20, and NPR. She has taught at the Adlerian Center in Athens, Greece, as well as graduate and undergraduate courses in Tucson, AZ.

The ABCs of Law (for Non-Lawyers) – Part I – Robert J. Castellani (Wednesdays: 9:30 am – 11:30 am)

This Part I of a two-term course will present the essentials of contract, property and tort law. It will also feature discussions of court structure, domestic relations, wills and estates, and how courts actually decide cases.

Robert J. Castellani has been a member of the Georgia Bar since 1965 and was a superior court judge in the Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit from 1972 to 2010. He graduated with honors from the Emory University School of Law, where he later taught as a professor for two and a half years. He went on to develop a law course for non-lawyers at Emory’s Osha Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) where he taught for three years.

As Good as You Can; As Bad as You Must: Niccolo Machiavelli’s Philosophy and Political Advice – Carol Darr (Wednesdays: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm)

This course presents Machiavelli’s philosophy of governance and advice on leadership and management in a clear and logical fashion. It covers topics such as how to become a leader, how to act like a leader, how to get and keep a good reputation, and how to manage allies, advisors and subordinates. It also explains when a leader should stay neutral, and when he or she should force a fight. It examines Machiavelli’s prescriptions for maintaining a healthy society and his telltale signs of societies in decline and applies his analysis to contemporary American politics. It also covers Machiavelli’s life, his reputation and the politics of Renaissance Florence.

Carol Darr is a life-long Machiavellian scholar and has studied his various pieces of political advice under Professor Quentin Skinner at Cambridge University. During her 40-year career in Washington, D.C. Darr worked as a lawyer for a major law firm, for several presidential campaigns, for the Democratic National Committee, and as a government official in two administrations.

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 Erin Chapman, 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.


Registration for the McCALL Fall 2019 term has ended.  Check back soon for our Winter 2019 course descriptions! Please contact Erin Chapman, Director of Conference Services for Montreat College at if you have any questions.