The Department of Religion & Philosophy provides undergraduates a unique learning experience through the Symposium course each year. Students focus on a specific living philosopher's work in a year-long program integrating several types of learning experiences. Students enroll in a seminar course on that person's work, have personal encounters with the thought leader, attend a public lecture by the philosopher, and present their own research to the community and to the philosopher in reflection of his or her work.

Past Symposiums have featured J. Kameron Carter in 2013-14 and Catherine Malabou in 2012-13. 

The idea for the Symposiums was generated by Dr. Jeff Robbins, chair of religion and philosophy, professor of religion, and director of LVC’s American studies program. “I first met Professor Malabou at an international conference on the Future of Continental Philosophy of Religion, where she was one of the keynote speakers and I was one of the conference organizers. It was then that I first proposed the prospect of her serving as LVC’s first featured philosopher for our Symposium course.” 

The class culminated in April 2013 with a weeklong visit from Malabou, who worked individually with students and gave a public presentation of her work. “And during that visit to LVC, one of our recent philosophy graduates, Michael Ardoline ’10, was able to meet with Malabou and discuss his plans for graduate school. She invited him to apply to her department at the University of Kingston, and he recently learned that he’s been accepted into the program.”