Given the recent death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu on December 26, 2021, John will dedicate the first session of his two-session course to the memory of “Arch.” The first session will also present a recently-discovered audio of Tutu presiding over an emotional service aboard ship in the Straits of Malacca in memory of fellow faculty member, Wade Lancaster,  attended by the entire ship’s company. John will also share a video presented to Arch and his wife Leah the evening before the couple disembarked MV Explorer to return to their home in Cape Town.


A voyage of experiential learning — both for those who teach and those who learn — the Semester at Sea experience approximated Jefferson’s vision of an “academical village,” but this “village” was a small ship alone at sea.

Join John as he describes his life-changing experiences teaching for-credit courses to undergraduate students from all over the world as they sailed the seven seas.  During two round-the-world voyages aboard their small ship, they shared shock and grief over the sudden death of a faculty member; survived a fearsome and violent storm in the North Pacific en route from Hawaii to Japan; observed the hopes, anxieties, exuberance, energy (and follies) of youthful undergraduates; and absorbed the wisdom of lifelong learners. And all – faculty, students, staff, ship’s officers and crew – experienced their own inner transformations and changes. 

The most rewarding aspect of each 4-month voyage was the intense immersion in close and intimate daily proximity with students, faculty, lifelong learners, crew, and ship’s officers – a veritable microcosm of humanity. “At the beginning of this voyage,” Archbishop Tutu told us later during our 2013 journey, “none of us knew anyone from a bar of soap. But we became a family.”

Feedback from John’s past courses:

“Interesting, astute, great reading and enlightening discussion.”

“John Miller and Karen Kaludis provided a superb learning experience with their “My Dearest Friend” course on the letters of John and Abigail. History, yes, but more importantly, Values…about marriage, partnership, family, nation. Superb.”

“The facilitators were well prepared and enthusiastic which created an inclusive, comfortable environment for participation. Wonderful discussion.”

“Great class. Great leaders. Great book. Great sharing!”

“Wonderfully presented; interesting, informative and entertaining. I learned a lot and came away with a greater understanding of and appreciation for the play. Both instructors were very knowledgeable.”

“The instructors of this course are not only knowledgeable and passionate about their subject, they are giddily happy by it! Infectious!”

HYBRID COURSE.  You may attend in-person at the Easton Peachblossom YMCA, by Zoom, or Recording

2 Sessions |Tuesdays | Mar 15, 22 | 10:30-11:30 am | $20 (PLEASE NOTE: at John’s request, we are only including the 1st session in the library offering)


John Miller, Ph.D.

John H. Miller, Ph.D., has taught literature courses at both secondary and college levels, including American Literature at the University of Clermont-Ferrand, France, under a Fulbright Fellowship. He has also taught at the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Washington College, American University, and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s Academy for Lifelong Learning. Given his interest in things maritime he taught a course on the literature of the sea as Visiting Lecturer and member of the University of Virginia’s faculty on two separate round the world voyages with UVA’s “Semester at Sea” program.  John is also involved in several local non-profit organizations, currently serving as President of Allegro Academy, and board officer of Chesapeake Forum. John earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, with a BA from Yale.

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