Introducing The Mythgard Academy

mythgardheaderAs an independent scholar, I have the opportunity to work with a number of great schools. One of them is Signum University. SignumU is an established online university offering an MA in literature to a growing global community of adult learners. Using technological ingenuity and cutting edge pedagogy, Signum provides high-quality graduate-level education based on core values.

Readers of A Pilgrim in Narnia would love their concentrations: Germanic Philology, Mythological and Classical Literature, Imaginative Literature (including Fantasy and Science Fiction), and Tolkien Studies. In a teaching team model, I either work as a lecturer or as a small group instructor (Preceptor). I have been brought in (I think) as a C.S. Lewis expert and cultural theologian, and join a diverse world-class team.

maxresdefaultSignumU began with Corey Olsen, who began a podcast as @TolkienProf that became incredibly popular. Seeing a hunger for high-level conversations about J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, classical and mythopoeic literature, Corey began the Mythgard Institute, “an experiment in online education.” Mythgard Institute was built to encourage thought about imaginative and speculative literature of all sorts, a space where lovers of literature that doesn’t always fit in the mainstream can explore the deep resonances of those texts and those worlds. The Mythgard Academy developed as a way to offer free education on specifically the imaginative literature genres (SF, fantasy, mythological works, etc.) as part of the larger mission to make world-class education available to the public.

signumlogo-1000x1000-greyAs a result, the Mythgard Academy is one of the few places where you can take an entire graduate-level, full-length course for free on:

This incredible list of free fantastic resources is augmented by 9 courses on Tolkien’s work, including The Lord of the Rings. Right now you can jump into the middle of an 8-week course on Ursula K. Le Guin’s classic, The Dispossessed (sign up here). All of these open online course are added to a huge slate of credit and audit courses available at Signum.

secret_viceI would encourage you to check it out. There is a lot of great material there, and some of you may find that it is time to consider doing at MA. Or, perhaps, you want to help in the goals of Mythgard and SignumU by donating time or money.

Either way, Mythgard is in one of its annual fall fundraisers. These are huge, raucous events, which include video game challenges I don’t understand, thesis chats, rogue commentaries on books that nerds love, free lectures and the day-long “Webathon” coming at the end of October (check out the schedule here). I’m very excited about the Webathon, as well as a 3-part special “Secret Vice Seminar” hosted by Dr. Dimintra Fimi and Dr. Andrew Higgins.

Make sure you check out Mythgard and all the great things they offer. Below are some of the details about the program scooped from the website. Hope to see you at the Webathon!


Mythgard Academy is an innovative program through which we aim to make in-depth, scholarly discussion of people’s favorite works of fantasy and science fiction literature free and open to everyone.  The Mythgard Academy features live discussions with Mythgard Institute faculty to which all are invited, free of charge.  Recordings of our sessions are freely available, and we let our supporters decide what books we read.


To take part in our free discussions, please use the Academy tab of our navigation menu at the top of this page. There you will find links to:

  • Information about how our live discussion interface operates
  • Our current discussion series with live session registration and schedules
  • Past discussions with downloadable and streaming audio and video

Mythgard Academy is funded through donations made to Signum University, the parent organization of the Mythgard Institute. Our annual campaign takes place in the fall each year – usually starting on or near Hobbit Day (Sept. 22). However, you can help fund programs like Mythgard Academy at any time!

Take advantage of great opportunities to crowdfund the future of education – and learn what you love – by contributing towards our goal. Those who donate at least $25 throughout the year can help vote on the Mythgard Academy courses, and those who donate $100 or more will become a part of the Council of the Wise that makes the initial nominations!


In order to make Mythgard Academy classes numerous, diverse, and free to everyone, we need your support! Organizing, delivering, hosting, and downloading our discussions takes a lot of resources and a dedicated team of people

We want Mythgard Academy discussions to be something that we can offer consistently for many years to come. To make this a reality, we have set up our own fund raising campaign with multiple tiers of options so that you can choose the level of involvement that’s right for you.

About Brenton Dickieson

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” is a blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. As a "Faith, Fantasy, and Fiction" blog, we cover topics like children’s literature, apologetics and philosophy, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, art and writing. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. In this sense, I am a Pilgrim in Narnia--or Middle Earth, or Fairyland. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. If something here captures your imagination, leave a comment, “like” a post, share with your friends, or sign up to receive Narnian Pilgrim posts in your email box. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter, @BrentonDana.
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4 Responses to Introducing The Mythgard Academy

  1. L.A. Smith says:

    I really want to dive into some of their offerings. I have to make some time in my schedule for this. It’s such a great site and so many fascinating courses.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Introducing The Mythgard Academy — A Pilgrim in Narnia | SITARA PUBLIC SCHOOL

  3. Pingback: “Capes and Classes Optional” Guest Blog by Adam Mattern (Signum Series) | A Pilgrim in Narnia

  4. Pingback: “Friendship over Family in the Lord of the Rings” Guest Blog by Trish Lambert (Signum Series) | A Pilgrim in Narnia

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