The First Year Seminars are small, topical courses designed by individual instructors or teams of instructors based on their intellectual interests and training. Required of all first-year students, the seminars serve as an introduction to the core matters of academic inquiry at Wittenberg. The topics of the seminars vary widely, but they share common goals: to help students become intellectually and personally engaged in academic inquiry and understand the relation between the world of learning and their own lives. These courses emphasize seminar-style learning: close faculty and student interaction in a classroom environment of conversation, risk-taking, and trust. Students in the First Year Seminars will have a chance to explore an intellectual topic in detail and from different perspectives, practicing the kinds of close reading, problem solving, and critical thinking skills that form the bedrock of a liberal arts education.