January 26, 2004

“…Earn a Degree in Middle Earth Studies…”

Institute for Middle Earth Studies
215 South Saint Joseph Street
The Century Building, Suite 305
South Bend, Indiana 4660l

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the publication of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Cloverdale College is pleased to announce the establishment of The Institute for Middle Earth Studies and the inauguration of an internet degree program leading to a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in Middle Earth Studies, beginning April 2, 2004.

The purpose of the Institute’s degree program is to foster an intellectual and academic interest in the literary works of J. R. R. Tolkien specifically and fantasy literature generally. The B.A. and M.A. degrees in Middle Earth Studies consist of a series of six open-book competency-based examinations designed to assess the student’s knowledge of the texts. These open-book examinations are textually sequential and students must master the materials in each before proceeding to the next examination. Students must re-take these examinations until a satisfactory score is achieved. There are no re-take fees.

The Ph.D. is based upon a series of six essays on pre-assigned topics which result in a doctoral dissertation of between 25,000 and 40,000 words. The dissertation must be defended in Oxford before the Institute faculty. The doctoral presentations are normally held at the White Horse and the Eagle and Child public houses, both favorite meeting places for Tolkien and C. S. Lewis.

Cloverdale College is an internet school of religious education in the Unitarian Free Church tradition committed to the principles of reason, conscience, and freedom of thought and expression. Established on the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Sunday School Union in England in l803, Cloverdale College is fully accredited to award degrees by the Accrediting Commission International.