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Course Offerings

Course Offerings


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 masters and doctoral programs.

The next seminar takes place Sunday-Thursday, June 7-11, 2020

  • Advance your studies
  • Learn with skilled and accomplished faculty
  • Engage with your fellow students from around the world


These courses meet online via Zoom video conferencing platform.
They each meet weekly for eight sessions.

Early Modern Jewish Experiences
Taught by Dr. Dean P. Bell

Mondays 6-8 pm CST, February 3, 10, 17, 24 and March 2, 16, 23, 30

Course 3504 | 3 credits
Fulfills MAJS Core Course and DSJS Elective

Although trapped somewhat unceremoniously between the medieval and modern, the early modern period (from roughly 1400-1700) has become the focus of a considerable amount of research over the past decade. During this period, migrations combined with significant social and economic developments. There were profound advances in mathematics and the sciences. Alongside these were discussions of (and attacks on) the understanding and observance of religion. These sweeping developments together form a period that was simultaneously traditional and innovative, making it a fascinating time to explore. This course is a survey overview, focusing on questions of periodization, settlement, social and communal structures, religious developments, and Jewish relations with non-Jewish communities.

Sacred Time and Space in Ancient Israel
Taught by Dr. Igal German

Wednesdays 6-8 pm CST, February 12, 19, 26, March 4, 11, 18, 26, April 1 

Course 4158 | 3 credits
Fulfills MAJS Elective, DSJS/DHL Text Course, DSJS Elective

This course explores the interrelated concepts of sacred time and space in the Hebrew Bible. We will scrutinize the functions and purposes of Levitical priesthood, the Tabernacle, and Temples in Jerusalem. We will discuss the ways in which these institutions shaped the socio-religious ethos of ancient Israel. In addition, we will study such holy convocations as Shabbat, Pesach (Passover), Hag Hamatzot (Unleavened Bread), Yom Habikkurim (First Fruits), Shavuot (Weeks), Yom Teruah (the Day of Trumpets), Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), and Sukkot (Booths). Participants will examine select biblical texts in their Near Eastern milieu with the purpose of shedding light on the dynamics of ancient Israelite religious experience. Select Jewish sources will be utilized to guide us in the task of Parshanut Miqra (biblical hermeneutics).

Register for one or both web 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.


Introductory Biblical Hebrew I, II, and III
The Bible and the Ancient Near East
The World of the Rabbis
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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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>