The Appalachian Seminar & Tour for Berea College Faculty and Staff

About the Appalachian Seminar and Tour

For more than five decades, new faculty and staff to Berea College have embarked on a tour of Appalachia. The purpose of this is to learn more about the Appalachian region and to better understand the importance of the College’s Appalachian Commitment. Today, the Appalachian Seminar and Tour is underwritten by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. This organization has recognized the importance and benefits of such a Berea tradition.

Throughout the years, the Appalachian Seminar and Tour has helped many Bereans:

  • Become better acquainted with the region from which many of our students come
  • Find connections between their own work and the region
  • Build new relationships with Berea co-workers and faculty from other departments.

For those on eleven-month contracts, the College offers release-time from work assignments to take part in this learning adventure. Spouses and partners are also encouraged to attend as space allows.

The program begins with a day of on-campus seminar exploring:

  • Appalachian history
  • material culture
  • diversity
  • politics
  • stereotypes
  • economic development
  • religion
  • health
  • contemporary issues.

The seminar is followed by five days on the road.  Recent tours have traveled from eastern Kentucky into Virginia and east Tennessee.  The tour is dedicated to familiarizing Berea faculty and staff to the rural and urban diversity of Appalachia.

view past tour photos here!

Appalachian Tour 2018

View the Appalachian Tour 2018 Powerpoint


Appalachian Tour 2013

  • Peter Slavin’s article (The Atlantic On-Line May 2013)

Appalachian Tour 2008

We also encourage you to view the 2008 Appalachian Tour audio slideshow that contains images from the 2008 tour and commentary from former Appalachian Center Director, Dr. Chad Berry.

Last Updated January 2019