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Magdalen College: From the Summit

Education Podcasts

Engaging conversations with faculty and friends of Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts about culture, books, teaching, and the Catholic life.


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Engaging conversations with faculty and friends of Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts about culture, books, teaching, and the Catholic life.




Memories of Magdalen with Chance Hebert

In this episode, Chance Hebert shares the story of the experiences that led him to enroll at Magdalen as an undergraduate, pursue a Master's degree at Oxford, and then return to New Hampshire to teach. This conversation is rich with memory and gratitude for good books, good teachers, and the faithfulness of God.


Recognizing Faithful Catholic Education with President Patrick Reilly

As The Cardinal Newman Society celebrates its 30th anniversary, Trae Bailey talks with President and Founder Patrick Reilly about the society's beginnings, its mission, and how Magdalen and other Newman Guide schools continue to provide faithful Catholic education for today's students.


Growing Up with Autumn Kern

Trae Bailey talks with Autumn Kern about her experience of growing up, learning to die to herself, and realizing that she wanted to love things that last and raise children to do the same.


Reclaiming Education for Boys with Assistant Headmaster Adam Taylor

Listen in as Magdalen's Dean of Student Life, Trae Bailey, talks with Assistant Headmaster of St. Martin's Academy, Adam Talyor, about how Catholics can reclaim education for boys. This conversation explores Adam's life growing up as the son of a teacher, his taking on of that mantle, and his current role serving at a remarkable IHP-inspired boarding school in Ft. Scott, Kansas. Near the end, Adam reflects on his visit to Magdalen College and considers how our two schools are working together to renew our cultural soil and restore places of learning to teach men to fully embody the Catholic tradition while pursuing a liberal arts education.


A Catholic Approach to Alcohol with Dr. Jared Staudt

In this episode, Dean of Student Life, Trae Bailey interviews Dr. Jared Staudt. This conversation focuses on a Catholic approach to alcohol but also considers ideas about fasting, feasting, and friendship and how everything, including eating and drinking, should be done for the glory of God.


The Acid Bath of Modern College Culture

In this episode of Catholic College Conversations, host Danielle Bean talks with author, speaker, and Magdalen College professor Anthony Esolen. Dr. Esolen shares his thoughts about the modern culture on many college campuses and the ways it can undermine students' faith and moral values. The two discuss alternatives to modern college culture, including aspects of life and education at Magdalen College.


Catholic College Conversations Ep. 5

In this episode of Catholic College Conversations, host Danielle Bean talks with Michele McKenna, Director of Admissions at Magdalen College, about ways to prepare your high schooler for the college application process. What should parents know? How can we support our children through this sometimes stressful and uncertain stage of life? Mrs. McKenna offers words of wisdom and encouragement to help students thrive as they make plans for their future education.


Catholic College Conversations Ep. 4

In this newest episode of Catholic College Conversations, host Danielle Bean sits down with author, speaker, and Magdalen College professor Anthony Esolen. Anthony shares his thoughts on what to look for when choosing a college and the importance of a Catholic education, and he encourages parents to play an active role in their child's college decision-making process.


Catholic College Conversations Ep. 3

What is a liberal arts education? In the newest episode of Catholic College Conversations, Danielle Bean chats with Magdalen College president, Dr. Ryan Messmore, about the liberal arts. What do we mean by this phrase and why is it especially important for Catholic parents and students to consider the liberal arts when entering higher education? They discuss liberal arts in the job field and in family life. Learn more about the Magdalen approach to Catholic higher education at


Catholic College Conversations Ep.2

In this second episode of our new series of podcasts, Catholic College Conversations, host Danielle Bean and Magdalen College professor Dr. Jordan Almanzar take on the topic of the importance of role models in education. Why is it important to have people you look up and can emulate in college and beyond? In what ways can we harness the power of role models in finding the best education options for our kids? Learn more about the Magdalen approach to Catholic higher education at


Catholic College Conversations Ep.1

In this first episode of our new series of podcasts, Catholic College Conversations, host Danielle Bean chats with Magdalen College President, Ryan Messmore. Dr. Messmore shares thoughts about the benefits of choosing a Catholic College. Grow in your faith with friends and mentors! In the classroom, the dorms, the dining hall, and beyond, there are so many positive reasons for choosing a Catholic education. Learn more about the Magdalen approach to catholic higher education at


Made to Behold - A Conversation about the Cosmos

In this episode, Magdalen College Professor John Klucinec and recent graduate, John Coleman, join Dr. Almanzar to discuss the modern image of the cosmos and our place in the universe. Drawing on sources ranging from Anaxagoras to Copernicus to C.S. Lewis, the listener will trace the history of thought about how the solar system works and the implications for how we think about God and man. Listen to find out about the structure and importance of science courses at this liberal arts college.


Our Essential Moment - Mary Eberstadt’s Charge to Magdalen Graduates

In this episode, Dr. Ryan Messmore interviews author and award-winning essayist Mary Eberstadt, whose writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, First Things, National Review, and The Weekly Standard, among other acclaimed publications. Mrs. Eberstadt holds the Panula Chair in Christian Culture at the Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C. and is Senior Research Fellow at the Faith & Reason Institute. Their conversation focuses on the 2022 Commencement Address that Mrs. Eberstadt delivered to Magdalen graduates earlier that day. She told students that they live in a moment made essential by the recent happenings at the Supreme Court and charged them to be bold witnesses in the public square of truth as well as beauty. Listen as she shares these and other messages of wisdom and inspiration, and learn why she asked the graduates to remember 5 key words from this day (“I wanted what they had”).


Dr. Anthony Esolen on Sex and the Unreal City

In this episode Dr. Anthony Esolen discusses his book Sex and the Unreal City. When it comes to the way modern western culture approaches sex, what are the main idols that shape the moral conversation? Why is consent not enough? In what ways is it unjust to presume that men and women are equal in their physical embodiment? What should the Church do to help young people in the midst of this confusion? These are just some of the questions that Dr. Esolen addresses. Listen to find out why the Sexual Revolution has led to so much loneliness, and how we can begin to recover the building blocks of real cities and communities.


12 Things That Stood Out About Holy Week

The liturgies of Holy Week are immensely beautiful, meaningful, and profound. Engaging in them, especially as a community, can help us gain fresh insights about the Christian faith. In this episode, Dr. Ryan Messmore reflects on 12 things that stood out to him during his own Holy Week journey. From joining the crowd shouting "Hosannah" on Palm Sunday, to hearing the rumbling thunder at Wednesday’s Tenebrae, to Thursday’s foot-washing and the guarding the tomb of repose, to the music, lights, and color of the Great Easter Vigil, the liturgies of this special week are laden with deep symbolism. Listen to learn how these events and more enable participation in Christ’s self-sacrifice and Resurrection life.


How the Church Has Changed the World: An Interview with Anthony Esolen

So much that we take for granted in the modern world is actually due to the Christian Church. From hospitals, to scientific discoveries, to universities, the Christian faith has made a significant contribution to the way of life we enjoy today. In this episode, Dr. Ryan Messmore interviews Dr. Anthony Esolen about a series of articles he wrote for Magnificat cataloguing How the Church Has Changed the World, especially concerning teaching and learning. They also discuss Dr. Esolen’s new private newsletter (or substack) called The Magdalenian.


Jolting Ourselves Out of Auto-pilot Discipleship: An Interview with Dr. Eric Buck

In this episode, Dr. Eric Buck talks about how he asks hard questions of himself and his students to encourage them out of “mindless automaticity” in their thinking and their faith. How can we bring the commands of Christ into our ordinary routines without losing a sense of wonder and intensity in our discipleship? Dr. Buck explains how, if you are open at all to God’s wonderous creation, everything can be an object of fascination. Tune in to learn how this approach to life led him to become fascinated with the study of natural and human phenomenon, which he developed into an honors elective course at Magdalen College. Register for Dr. Buck's upcoming Make Yourself at Home—Magdalen webinar here!


Never Seen Anything Like This: Anthony Esolen on Medieval Poetry and Modernist Art

In this episode, President Messmore interviews Dr. Anthony Esolen about the literary treasures he is currently teaching at Magdalen. What makes this conversation special is Dr. Esolen's uncontainable enthusiasm for the beauty he sees in works such as the Gawain Poet's masterpiece, "Pearl". The inspiration Dr. Esolen gains and conveys from this poem–which he claims "sent him to school"–is contagious. The conversation turns to modernist art, focusing on the Coventry Cathedral and a sculpture by Rodin. You can get a sample in this episode of what students here at Magdalen receive in class each week. Click play to hear all of this and more!


JPII and Education—How the Pope Would’ve ‘Made Himself at Home’ at Magdalen

In this interview, Dr. Ryan Messmore discusses his recent webinar on why John Paul II would love to be a student at Magdalen College. Learn how the would-be pope pursued seminary education underground when it became outlawed in Poland by the Nazis. Find out how JPII’s love of the theater and the outdoors shaped his views of culture and community. And hear how JPII would have made himself at home with the sense of “hygge”—a Danish term for coziness and comradery—that Magdalen’s size and climate evoke.


Reading Big Books: A Conversation with Magdalen’s Dr. Mary Mumbach

In this episode, Magdalen professor of literature, Dr. Mary Mumbach, stops by the studio. A stellar literary critic, Dr. Mumbach brings a wealth of experience and love to her subject and her students. Click play to learn why she encourages students to read books quickly, her opinions on literary theory, why big books are worth reading, and why over-analyzation can hinder understanding.