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Course Offerings

Course Offerings

For Enrolled Spertus Jewish Studies Students

Webconferencing Courses Fall 2018
These courses each meet for 8 online sessions via the Zoom webconferencing platform.

Dead Sea Scrolls fragment
The Dead Sea Scrolls 
Taught by Dr. Igal German
Thursdays 6-8 pm CST | October 4-November 29, 2018 (no class November 22)
Course 4151 | 3 credits
DSJS/DHL Text Course, MA Second Level Core, MA Elective

The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has played a pivotal role in the broader field of Jewish Studies. Found in Qumran, they are the oldest copies of biblical manuscripts. As such, they shed light on the formation of the Hebrew Bible and para-biblical literature and they provide unique insights into religious thought prior to the emergence of rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity. In this course, students will examine the origins of the Dead Sea Scrolls and their impact on our understanding of Scripture. We will explore what the Dead Sea Scrolls tell us about the textual accuracy of the Hebrew Bible, the Jewish world of the Second Temple period, and the Jewish roots of the New Testament.

Stained Glass with star of David motif
Jewish Living
Taught by Rabbi Dr. Peter Knobel
Tuesdays 6-8 pm CST | October 9-December 4 (no class November 20) 
Course 5504 | 3 credits
DSJS Core Course, MAJS Second Level Core, MAJS Elective Course

How Jews have understood Judaism, Jewish identity, and the role of Jews in society has affected their behavior and shaped their lives, both individually and as members of the wide variety of Jewish communities throughout history and around the world. This course grapples with broad questions that underpin our understanding of the Jewish experience. What is Jewish living? How does being Jewish and embracing Judaism express itself in a person’s life? What is distinctively Jewish about how a Jewish person lives? Students will explore how these questions, and the ways they’ve been answered, relate to religious observance, moral behavior, family structure and relationships, economic and socio-political activities, gender issues, and the relationship between Jewish leadership and the communities they lead.

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Online Courses

These courses are offered on an ongoing basis.
They can be started anytime after a student is admitted.
Click on course title for faculty and course description.


Orientation: Introduction to Jewish Studies
Introductory Biblical Hebrew I, II, and III

The Bible and the Ancient Near East
The World of the Rabbis
Jews and Judaism in the Middle Ages
Early Modern Jewish Experiences
Modern Jewish Experiences
Contemporary Jewish Experiences


History of Antisemitism I: Antiquity to Late Eighteenth Century
History of Antisemitism II: Dawn of the Enlightenment to the Present
History of Jewish Biblical Interpretation

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Onsite Seminars

Twice a year, Spertus Institute holds Jewish Studies Seminars onsite on our Chicago campus. Seminars offer dedicated time to advance your studies, learn with skilled and accomplished faculty, and engage with your fellow students from around the world. During seminars, courses are offered that meet program requirements for students in Jewish Studies master's and doctoral programs.

Next Seminar

Sunday-Thursday, January 13-17, 2019
Stay tuned for information on courses and faculty.

Why Spertus Institute?

  • Welcoming nondenominational environment open to all
  • Distinguished international faculty
  • Flexible scheduling and locations, distance learning available
  • Opportunities to pursue individual interests
  • Extensive resources


At Spertus Institute, we embrace the idea that the wisdom of Jewish thought and the richness of Jewish experiences inform Jewish society and Judaism today. Our programs encourage intellectual and spiritual reflection. Students grapple with Jewish ideas in the service of their personal, professional, and communal advancement.

Course Costs for Admitted Students

  • Masters level 
    $350 per quarter-hour credit 
    ($1050 per 3qh course)

  • Doctoral level 
    $400 per quarter-hour credit 
    ($1200 per 3qh course)

A registration fee of $25 is also required.

For New Students

Spertus offers graduate programs in Jewish Studies through a unique blend of distance learning and intensive on-campus instruction. Students — from half a dozen foreign countries and more than two dozen US states — come to Spertus for week-long academic seminars. Seminars include a range of courses in Jewish history, thought, and culture, accompanied by study of classical Jewish texts.

Applications for Jewish Studies programs are accepted all year. MORE>