For nine years, The Learning Center (“TLC”) at Channing Church has provided a vigorous and stimulating schedule of programs for members, friends, and often for the general public. Our offerings have been designed to enrich minds, encourage cultural exploration, and facilitate the sharing of ideas. We’ve drawn on the expertise of Channing members and clergy, as well as that of speakers from outside the church community: professors, community activists, officers from the Naval War College, experts from government and from the arts.

A sampling of recent offerings (prior to March, 2020):

  • “Birds of Aquidneck Island” with Lauren Parmelee, Audubon Education Specialist
  • “The Role of the Press in Preserving Democracy”, with Paola Prado, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Communication at Roger Williams University
  • “Is Life Worth Living?”, with philosopher John Kaag, Ph.D., author of Hiking with Nietzsche
  • “A Conversation About End of Life Care”, with Dr. David Gorelick
  • “Slavery in Colonial Newport”, with Fred Zillian, Ph.D; co-sponsored by TLC, the Channing Social Action Committee, and RI Slave History Medallions
  • “The Stone Walls of Newport’s Southern End”: a field trip and lecture led by Prof. Robert Thorson, geologist and author
  • A Lecture and Comparison Tasting of Real Beef vs. Plant-Based Meat, with engineer Bob Kieronski
  • Queer History of Rhode Island”: a panel discussion, co-sponsored with Channing’s Interweave
  • “Film Noir”: Saturday night at the movies, with film aficionado Sam Jernigan

With the changing circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the TLC Group will be presenting programs online, or possibly carefully socially distanced outside, for the immediate present.

Programs we are working on for Fall of 2020 (Date and arrangements TBA – watch the Channing Catalyst and weekly email )

“MOVING PAST DIVORCE” – a program by Terry Gaspard, MSW, LICSW; author of The Remarriage Manual: How to Make Everything Work Better the Second Time Around. Terry notes that this program would be of potential interest to anyone who is in a long-term, committed relationship.  Since those of us in partnerships are spending much more time together during this pandemic, the program should be of strong interest!

“DISINFORMATION” – just in time for your viewing before the election, featuring Jonathan Greenberg, award-winning national investigative journalist whose work has appeared in dozens of major publications. He currently works for Politifact in Washington, DC. We are fortunate to be able to engage Jon because of his family connection to JoAnn Rosemont.


  • OUR SANCTUARY: In the works – programs on UU History, Channing’s historic Sanctuary, and the spiritual inspirations for the founding and building of Channing Memorial Church, in support of our Capital Campaign.