Vinculum 2020 has been cancelled due to the summer closure of the Belmont Abbey College campus.


Monday, June 22nd to Sunday, June 28th, 2020


VINCULUM is the new laymen’s version of the Veterum Sapientia Latin-immersion program for clerics held annually at Belmont Abbey College since 2013.  The common purpose of both programs is to help participants “get their feet under them” when it comes to speaking Latin, and to help those already on the road to proficiency improve and grow.  Readings at VINCULUM focus on Latin texts of all major genres and time periods within Christian history. Ecclesiastical pronunciation is the norm for teaching and conversation.  Speakers of Latin at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels will benefit from intensive work with their peers to enhance their growth and confidence. See also program description for Veterum Sapientia.

About Our Name:

VINCULUM (VING-koo-lumm) is a noun meaning link (e.g. a chain link) in Latin.  In his great document Veterum Sapientia, Pope St. John XXIII made a point of quoting his predecessor Pius XII, who referred to Latin as a magni pretii vinculum – a link of great value connecting modern-day Catholics of all nations to their heritage in the Universal Church.


Who should Attend and What are the Benefits?

Latin enthusiasts in all walks of life, established Latin-speakers and aspiring Latin-speakers will benefit by participation in VINCULUM.

  • Committed Catholics, Christians of other denominations, and inquirers will begin or advance the process of internalizing Western Christianity’s heritage language; this will make it easier to understand Sacred Scripture and the Latin liturgy, while gaining a common language with many of the greatest of the Saints.
  • Teachers of Latin will find speaking experience particularly valuable, making it possible to bring new life to their classroom routines through the spoken language.
  • Graduate and undergraduate students of Latin will gain hands-on experience reading texts outside the usual run of what is presented in their classes, and thus a broader view of the totality of Latin literature.
  • Homeschooling parents teaching their children will benefit, like classroom teachers, from learning to converse, explain grammar, and even play games in Latin.
  • Classicists wishing to expand their horizons will benefit from extended guided practice in Ecclesiastical Pronunciation and reading postclassical authors.

Note: Teachers seeking Continuing Education Units from their own school authorities may order BAC letterhead testimonials of their participation for a $10 processing fee.  These testimonials may also be helpful to graduate students and are available on the same terms.

Your Daily Experience:

As a participant, you’ll work with your instructors in plenary and small-group class sessions for a minimum total of six hours of instruction each day.  A typical day will take you through intensive class work in the morning, an unhurried lunch break offering time for rest and meditation, an afternoon session emphasizing active use of the language, followed by after-dinner time for games and fellowship. Your class sessions will feature engaging, supportive exercises in speaking, reading, and writing, helping you grow in understanding the mechanics of the language and internalize new vocabulary by using it.  Your reading materials will be chosen for their intrinsic interest, while giving you an idea of the breadth of the Church’s Latin patrimony.  All classes and related activities (e.g. meals, games, walks) will be conducted in Latin appropriate to your level of experience and that of your fellow participants.

Enrollment permitting, VINCULUM will offer two tracks based on participant experience, just as Veterum Sapientia does.  Our “juniores” will be new to spoken Latin and will focus on activating their passive knowledge through speaking and exercises in listening comprehension. Our “seniores” will have some experience in spoken Latin and will branch out into more sophisticated creative work.

Language and Liturgies:

The goal of the VINCULUM program is to help participants develop their ability to speak and read Latin while increasing their knowledge of the intellectual heritage of Catholic Christendom passed down through time by means of the Latin tongue.  This heritage, of course, includes liturgy, but our curriculum does not have a specific liturgical focus. Our hosts, the members of the Belmont Abbey monastic community, generously welcome all Belmont Abbey College’s guests to their daily Mass at 11:45AM, which is celebrated in English according to the Ordinary Form. Confession and individual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament are also available daily.  Mass in the Extraordinary Form is available on Wednesday evenings at 6PM, Thursday mornings at 7AM, Friday mornings at 7AM and early Sunday afternoons at 12:30PM, at nearby parish St. Ann’s Charlotte or (Thurs only) at  St. Michael’s Gastonia.  The VINCULUM class schedule will take both the Abbey Mass and these into account.  Our daily activities will include an optional Angelus at noontime and an optional Rosary at 6PM, both in Latin.

Total immersion is the most powerful tool that exists for language learning.  Accordingly, participants will be expected to pledge to speak only Latin in the company of their fellow participants beginning on the first full day of instruction (6/22). This really ought not to be as daunting as it sounds: workshop faculty have years of experience helping first-timers make this transition as comfortably and happily as possible!  Additionally, on the first afternoon and evening (6/28) orientation and social time will be conducted in English, so that participants can have a chance to get settled and acquainted before the Latine tantum pledge takes effect. This restriction, naturally, does not apply to interactions with others outside the workshop, whether face-to-face or by telephone.


Belmont Abbey College main campus at 100 Belmont-Mt Holly Road, Belmont NC 28102.  Some buildings on the main campus are well visible from exit 26 on southbound Interstate 85, about ten minutes distant from CLT.  Most classes will be held in Robert Stowe Hall, on the second or third floor; food and housing in Belmont Abbey College facilities. Ground transport to BAC from CLT is readily available by taxi, shuttle, Uber, Lyft, etc.


  • Introductory tuition rate $550 pp for enrollment and payment before May 15; $650 pp tuition if paid after May 15.
  • GROUP RATE!  A group tuition rate is offered at $450 per person when two or more people associated with the same institution or school district apply and pay before May 15. (Examples: two or more teachers teaching in the same district; two or more instructors in the same homeschooling group; two or more students from the same university, etc.)  Each person in such a group still fills out an individual online application and pays for his/her own room and board if desired, but ONE PERSON in the group makes ONE TUITION PAYMENT for all group members using the appropriate button in the online payment module below.  The group rate represents a $100 discount per person; it applies to tuition only and not to room and board.  Group tuition is not available after May 15.
  • Room+Full Board package an additional $375 (flat rate) with double-occupancy dorm accommodation on the BAC campus. Board includes three meals daily, served food-court style in the Dining Center.  This rate does not vary with the date of enrollment.  The first meal covered will be dinner on Monday night, 6/22, and the last will be brunch on Sunday, 6/28.
  • Single dormitory rooms may be reserved subject to availability on payment of a $175 supplement

Participants who prefer hotel accommodations may book rooms for themselves at nearby hotels.  The Belmont Hampton Inn, directly across from campus, offers a discounted Belmont Abbey College rate of $115/night, inclusive of internet and breakfast.  (Note: you MUST specifically ask for the “BAC rate” when you make your reservation to get the discount.)


Open to anyone over age 18 who has completed three years of high school Latin or one year of college Latin, or equivalent.  Applications from participants with experience differing significantly from the foregoing will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Contact the organizer Dr. Nancy E. Llewellyn.  While VINCULUM is directed primarily at Catholic laypeople, clergy, religious and seminarians are warmly welcome, though they should also consider attending Veterum Sapientia in late July.

Additional notes:

  • We warmly welcome applicants of all faiths who will respect the Catholic Christian character of this event.
  • VINCULUM is not an introductory Latin course and is not suitable for those with no prior experience of Latin.
  • Registrants between the ages of 15 and 18 with three or more years of Latin study may be accepted on a case-by-case basis by the organizers, though admission is not guaranteed. The most likely scenario for admittance is one in which the youngster attends together with a parent or guardian who is also a registered, full-time participant.

How to Register:

Registration: scroll down to the bottom of this announcement and fill out the online registration module; click through on the PAY NOW button to pay your tuition and (if desired) your room and board package. After payment, the page will direct you back to the registration page where you may click the REGISTER NOW button. This sends a message to the organizer, who will write you back shortly with a welcome message and additional information. Your place at VINCULUM cannot be guaranteed until payment is completed. Note that the individual tuition fee increases from $550 to $650 after May 15.

Cancellation: If you need to cancel later on, you must notify the organizer IN WRITING. Provided you give this notification on or before May 15 your tuition and room+board payments will be refunded to you in full. A registrant cancelling after May 15 will still receive full refund of the tuition fee; but the room-board package fee (including single-room supplements) will be retained unless we receive another boarding application to replace it, on account of financial commitments required by BAC conference services. In the event we do receive such a replacement registration, the room-board package fee will be refunded.

Advisory to Registrants:

VINCULUM depends entirely on participant tuition and room/board payments for its support. Faculty members have agreed to donate their time. We must have a minimum of 18 paid registrations by May 15 for this program to run. In the event that this minimum is not met and the event is cancelled by the organizers, all registered participants will be notified promptly and will receive full refund of all monies paid.


Nancy E. Llewellyn, PhD

NELVINCULUM organizer Nancy E. Llewellyn teaches Latin and related subjects at Belmont Abbey College and at its sister institution St. Joseph College Seminary.  She is a co-creator of the Veterum Sapientia Latin immersion program for clerics, a distinction she shares with her colleague Dr. Gerry Malsbary and with the program’s originator Fr. Jason Barone of the Diocese of Charlotte. Before moving to Belmont Abbey in 2017, Dr. Llewellyn taught Latin at Wyoming Catholic College, whose innovative, immersion-based Latin program she created when the College opened in 2007. Dr. Llewellyn received her PhD in Classics from UCLA in 2006. She holds a Licenza in Christian and Classical Letters from the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome, where she also studied, at the Gregorian University, with renowned Vatican Latinist Fr. Reginald Foster.  She founded SALVI while a still a graduate student in Los Angeles and has since spent more than twenty years conducting weekend and summer immersion seminars around the country and abroad.  She is a Bryn Mawr graduate (BA Latin 1986) and a native of California.

Gerald Malsbary, PhD

NELDr. Malsbary holds his doctorate from the University of Toronto and teaches Latin, Greek and German at Belmont Abbey.  He also plays an integral role in introducing undergraduates to Classical Liberal Arts in the Benedictine tradition as Director of BAC’s First-Year Symposium.  Dr. Malsbary came to Belmont Abbey College from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, where he taught Latin for many years.  He served as founding faculty of Veterum Sapientia for the program’s launch at BAC in 2013.  Dr. Malsbary also has several published translations in print, including an English edition of Josef Pieper’s classic Leisure, the Basis of Culture.

Fr. Dylan Schrader, PhD

NELFr. Dylan Schrader is a priest of the Diocese of Jefferson City, Missouri, ordained in 2010. He holds a PhD in systematic theology from the Catholic University of America. He is the translator of several Scholastic works, including “On the Motive of the Incarnation,” the first volume in CUA’s Early Modern Catholic Sources series (summer 2019) and Book 2 of Thomas Aquinas’ Commentary on the Sentences, edited by the Aquinas Institute. In addition to his theological articles, Fr. Schrader has written on Scholastic Latin and on the importance of Latin for Catholics. He has attended every Veterum Sapientia conference since its inception and now serves on its faculty.

Dean Cassella, PhD


NELDr. Cassella is an internationally-known figure in conversation-based Latin pedagogy and has done extensive summer teaching for the Polis Institute Jerusalem in Rome, as well as for SALVI in the USA.  He has taught Latin, full-time, in every grade from kindergarten to upper-division college courses and currently serves as Head of the Classics Department at Ridgeview Classical Schools, in Fort Collins, CO. His primary professional interests are the applications of conversational methods to the teaching of Latin and Greek, and the neo-Latin poetry of the Italian Renaissance.  His doctoral work (in Classics and History) was done at both the University of Toronto and the University of North Texas.

Roberto Lionello, PhD


Roberto Lionello is an accomplished avocational Classicist who works as a research scientist in heliophysics in San Diego, CA.  He holds a PhD in Astronomy from the Università di Firenze in his native Italy.  Dr. Lionello is a co-founder of San Diego’s Latin-conversation society GLADIUS, which, among many other initiatives, has web-published voice recordings of essential works of Latin and Greek literature as well as Latin and Greek translations of classic 1960’s American comic books.   Dr. Lionello has attended several Veterum Sapientia workshops as a lay guest and serves as a consultant to the program.

Kit Adderley

Kit AdderleyChristopher “Kit” Adderley has been speaking Latin since 2012, when he got his start as an undergraduate in Rome with Nancy Llewellyn at the American Institute for Roman Culture’s Living Latin, Living History program. He went on to earn his degree in Classics from Franciscan University of Steubenville. After teaching at Catholic and charter schools in Texas and Minnesota, he accepted his current position at Trinity at River Ridge High School in Eagan, MN. As a teacher, Kit keeps his classroom lively using several different methodologies, including Where at your Keys and Comprehensible Input based approaches.


To start your registration, please fill out the applicant information form below and click submit. You will be returned to this page to complete your registration by making your purchase below. Payment of the tuition fee is required to guarantee your place at all class sessions and activities. Room and board may be secured later on as a separate purchase, but dorm rooms will be assigned a first-come, first-served basis and our supply is quite limited.

Thank you!

  • If no institutional affiliation, please describe your Latin education (e.g. "I took Latin in high school"; "I teach homeschool Latin", etc.)
    We will do a better job of teaching you and you will have a more fruitful experience if we know in advance where you are on the road to proficiency as an active user of Latin. Whether you are new to spoken Latin or an experienced speaker, you'll benefit from class sessions in a group with other participants who are at or near your own level of proficiency.


Make your secure purchase by clicking below.

Tuition $550.00
(before May 15)

Group Tuition $450.00
(before May 15 for 2 or more from same district or institution)

Room & Board $375.00

Tuition and Room/Board payments for VINCULUM 2020 cover, respectively, tuition, instructional materials, lodging and meals but do NOT cover transportation to and from Belmont Abbey College. Full refunds are available until May 15 if notice of cancellation is provided in writing to organizer Dr. Nancy E. Llewellyn.  Registrants desiring Continuing Education Units for teachers may order letterhead testimonials of their participation for a $10 processing fee.