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 2017

Presentations and Reception
January 10, 2018 2:00PM
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.

2018 Winter Classes
Monday Classes: January 15 – February 19, 2018
Tuesday Classes: January 16 – February 20, 2018
Wednesday Classes: January 17 – February 21, 2018

All classes will be held in the Brookside Center
Lower Fountain Room, Givens Highland Farms

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.

Winter Term 2018 Classes

Mondays: 9:30 am – 11:30 am

The Historic Swannanoa Valley – Dr. Mary Standaert and Joe Standaert
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. Explore the rich history and beauty of the valley using our 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 has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Winthrop University, Master of Forest Science from the Yale School of Forestry, and PhD in Biochemistry from the University of South Florida. She retired from a career in diabetes research at the VA Hospital. Joe has a Bachelors in Biological Science from Rutgers University and a Masters in Ecology from Yale. He retired from GTE/Verizon in Information Technology data processing. 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.

Mondays: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Confessions of a Paperback Writer: How to Write 50 Books and Keep Sane – Dr. William Forstchen
Starting with his first foray into publishing as a contributor to Boys’ Life magazine in 1978, Bill Forstchen will discuss his forty-year career; the long years as a struggling paperback writer to his current best seller status. Much of the class time will be about learning how to survive in the publishing industry, how he researched his various works in a wide diversity of fields, his ten-year association as a co-author with Newt Gingrich, the radical changes in how the publishing industry works with the advent of electronic distribution, and where inspiration of his numerous books came from.

William R. Forstchen, Ph.D., is a Faculty Fellow & Professor History at Montreat College and has taught at Montreat for 24 years. He received a Ph.D. in history from Purdue University with specializations in military history and the history of technology. He has published nearly fifty books in a wide diversity of fields from history and historical fiction to technological issues and science fiction. More than half a dozen of his works became New York Times best sellers and is widely recognized for his bestselling “One Second After” trilogy which has been reprinted in over a dozen countries and recently was contracted for a television series. He also enjoys regularly buzzing overhead the college and Black Mountain in an original World War II recon plane and a 1930’s style biplane.

Tuesdays: 9:30 am – 11:30 am

Healing the Racial Divide – Vance Mann
Amid recent examples of overt and covert racism at work in our country, this course will discuss defining racism, white privilege, illusions of racial differences, racial bias in the criminal justice system, and the anxieties of people of color in WNC. Discussion will also focus on how to be a healing presence in the midst of racial unrest.

Vance Mann earned a Bachelor’s degree from Randolph Macon College, Ashland, Virginia and an M.Div. from the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee. He served as rector of three churches, the Episcopal Dioceses of Virginia and Southern Virginia and has held several diocesan positions. After thirty years of full-time ministry, he retired to Asheville where he became part-time rector of St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church in Burnsville, NC. He has a passion for racial justice and has led several seminars on Racism in America.

Tuesdays: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Climate and Society: An Evolving Partnership – Eileen Shea
The relationship between humans and climate has progressed from uncomprehending passivity (e.g. annual flooding of the Nile), to growing understanding of climate patterns (e.g. El Nino), and recently to human activities that actually change the climate system (e.g. greenhouse gas emissions). This course will examine all three phases and explore ways humans can establish a sustainable and beneficial future partnership. It will include instructor lectures, invited speakers, videos, panel discussions and, hopefully, a field trip to the National Center for Environmental Information in Asheville.

Eileen Shea earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware and attended the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, focusing on environmental law and resource management. She has held several important senior positions with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as well as other organizations engaged in climate science and information services. She was elected a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, and is a Senior Associate of CASE Consultants International, providing professional services in climate science, climate adaptation and community resilience, sustainability, environmental science and public policy.

Wednesdays: 9:30 am – 11:30 am

Flannery O’Connor: A Voice Like No Other – Margaret Whitt
Flannery O’Connor remains one of the country’s most challenging fiction writers. Succumbing to lupus in 1964 at age 39, she is arguably the most Christian orthodox writer of the 20th century. The slim output, from this Southern Roman Catholic author, is violent, bizarre and often hysterically funny. Her characters are neither true believers nor non-believers; rather they are resisters, fighters, doubters, who discover, over and over, that they cannot get away from the old story. This course will take an in-depth look into six of her memorable stories.

Margaret Whitt, Professor Emerita of English, taught at the University of Denver for 27 years. She taught various courses in American literature, but an always-favorite was the Literature of the American South. Among her publications is a book on Flannery O’Conner, “Understanding Flannery O’Conner,” University of South Carolina Press, 1995, the subject of this course. 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).

Wednesdays: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Equality and Elections: The Constitution and the Supreme Court Today – Miles Hoffman
Analyzing the American Constitution from about 1900 to today, this course explores the themes of equality and democratic elections through the reinforcing series of constitutional amendments in the 20th century and through selected Supreme Court decisions applying the Constitution. Issues addressed are anti-democratic extremes of wealth and poverty, extension of the franchise, abolition of the poll tax, and expansion of the powers of the Congress and the Presidency. At the same time, the Supreme Court wrestled with how to reconcile these issues with earlier constitutional amendments.

Miles Hoffman earned B.A. and M. A. degrees 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.

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 McCALL Treasurer, Mr. Bob Shaw, at the address shown on the bottom of the registration form. Each course is $25 and the annual membership fee is $25. If you were 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:
Mr. Bob Shaw, McCALL Treasurer,
113 Springview Drive
Black Mountain, NC 28711
If you have questions, call Bob at 828-669-6423
or email

Registration Form