HUMS 065, Education and the Life Worth Living

Meeting Time: 
MW 9am-10:15am
Fall 2022

​Course Description:

Consideration of education and what it has to do with real life—not just any life, but a life worth living. Engagement with three visions of different traditions of imagining the good life and of imagining education: Confucianism, Christianity, and Modernism. Students will be asked to challenge the fundamental question of the good life and to put that question at the heart of their college education.


Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program:

Fulfills HU distribution requirement.

Led by:

Professor Matthew Croasman 

Matt Croasmun is Associate Research Scholar and Director of the Life Worth Living Program at the Yale Center for Faith and Culture and Lecturer of Divinity & Humanities at Yale University. He began working with YCFC after completing his Ph.D. in Religious Studies (New Testament) at Yale in 2014. While a doctoral student, he and his wife, Hannah, planted and pastored the Elm City Vineyard Church, a dynamic, diverse, urban church in the heart of New Haven, CT. With deep grounding in both the church and the academy, Matt brings to all of his work a passion for the intersection of the life of faith and the life of the mind.

His main research interests lie in the Pauline Epistles, illuminated by various streams of contemporary philosophy of science, theological reflection, and critical theory. 

Matt received his B.A. in Music from Yale College (MC ‘01) and an M.A.R. in Bible from Yale Divinity School (‘06). After his Divinity degree, he spent a summer at the Akrofi-Christaller Institute in Akropong-Akuapem, Ghana, studying with the great African theologian, Kwame Bediako. He has served as guest preacher in Vineyard, Covenant, Presbyterian, Methodist, and non-denominational churches in the United States, Dominican Republic, Switzerland, and Ghana. 

Matt’s deepest passion is for teaching—in both the church and the academy. He has taught New Testament Introduction in Yale College, served regularly as a teaching fellow at YDS, and has taught the Life Worth Living seminar in the Humanities program in Yale College, supported by YCFC, and designed and co-taught with Miroslav Volf the ”Christ and the Good Life” course at YDS. 

An advocate of interfaith dialogue, Matt has facilitated sacred text readings of the New Testament and Quran in partnership with local churches and mosques. He also serves as a faculty advisor for the Yale Humanist Community and the Life Worth Living Fellows. 


This course was previously offered in the Fall of 2016 and 2017. Testimonials are taken from student course evaluations.

  • “As a Freshman coming into Yale, the most important task is figuring out what you want for yourself after your 4 years. This course will do just that, and more. It will challenge you to think about what kind of life you want to lead, and challenge you to think about how to bring yourself down that path in life.”
  • “It allows you to see your education through multiple lenses […] it nicely facilitated the identity crises […] that everyone has coming into college.”
  • “Most students come to Yale with a desire to make the most out of their four years at Yale. However, in order to achieve this goal, it is important to first know what a flourishing life means. […] This course offers such a valuable opportunity for students to think through their ideal life with inspirations from renowned philosophers’ beliefs, professor, and fellow classmates.”