True Friendship: Where Virtue Becomes Happiness

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Have you ever felt lonely, even when surrounded by people? Do you feel like you're missing something important in your friendships?
You probably are.

Men and women are made, created, for friendship - but not just with passing or casual acquaintances. We are designed for real, deep, lasting friendship of the highest kind. Without that friendship, we often feel unsatisfied, empty, or simply alone.

Not All Friendships Are Equal

Did you know that there are different kinds of friendship? Dr. John Cuddeback, your professor for this course, describes the basic kinds of friendships, but he also shows you what friendship in the fullest sense really is - far more than being simply "pals" or "BFF's." Professor Cuddeback shows that Aristotle s division of friendships into three kinds - utility, pleasure or virtue - has a pressing relevance for our lives today.

True Friends and Personal Virtue

Courage, fortitude, wisdom, charity... what can these virtues have to do with friendship? Being virtuous, says Aristotle, is how man becomes happy. If we want a real friendship, we must first become the kind of person one would want to be friends with.

Professor Cuddeback issues a challenge to personal virtue to everyone who longs for abiding friendship. Find someone else who is also striving to grow in virtue - together you can form the kind of friendship God intends us to have.

Ancient and Biblical Wisdom

In this course, Professor Cuddeback deftly weaves together the age-old wisdom of the Greeks and the fundamental teachings of Sacred Scripture to reveal the most rewarding of human achievements - being a friend. He takes the thoughts of the great philosopher Aristotle, the Angelic Doctor St. Thomas Aquinas, and the sublime teachings of Jesus Christ to illustrate the nature and requirements of true friendship.

Join Professor Cuddeback to discover what friendship is, why we seek it, why good friends are so often hard to find, and how to make the friends (and be the friend) you've always desired.

1. An Introduction to Happiness and Friendship
"There is nothing so precious as a faithful friend." Take a look at the works of St. Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle to discover what friendship truly is and why we desire it so deeply.

2. The Nature and Kinds of Friendship
Take a deeper look at Aristotle's account of friendship. What are the different kinds of friendship, and how are each valuable in themselves?

3. What It Takes to Form True Friendship
Study the final form of friendship Aristotle gives us; true friendship. What is necessary to form this kind of true friendship?

4. Growing Together in Moral Character
What does friendship in action look like? What should it look like? Dr. John Cuddeback provides brilliant insight into the value of friends working together to grow in character.

5. Conversation between Friends
The end goal of friendship is to be happy together. Conversation and the opportunity to come to know a person well are critical aspects of developing a true friendship that defies modern ideas and leads to real happiness.

6. Friendship and the Broader Community
Study the connection between the family relationship and friendship. In many ways, the family relationship is foundational for other relationships, such as friendship, and thus, provides wonderful insight into what it means to seek deeper friendships.

7. Friendship, Dating, and Marriage
Marriage is a friendship. St. Thomas Aquinas called it "the greatest of friendships." First, consider the relationship of husband and wife and see why St. Thomas Aquinas calls it the greatest of friendships. Then analyze the similarities and vast differences in dating and courtship relationships.

8. Charity: Friendship with God and Neighbor
Is friendship possible with God? Aristotle, a pagan, says no. While his reasons are perfectly sound and reasonable, does the Christian Faith reject this notion that friendship with God is impossible?

Lecture Sample


Meet Your Professor

Dr. John Cuddeback took his B.A. at Christendom College. He received his M.A. from the Catholic University of America where he also took his Doctorate in Philosophy in 1997. He is Professor of Philosophy at Christendom College, Front Royal, Virginia.

Professor Cuddeback’s classes include Introduction to Philosophy, Logic, Philosophy of Human Nature, Metaphysics, History of Medieval Philosophy, Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas, Ethics, Philosophy of God, Society, and the Common Good, and Philosophy of Family and Household.

His book, True Friendship: Where Virtue Becomes Happiness was republished by Epic Publishing in 2010. Professor Cuddeback writes and lectures frequently on various topics including virtue, culture, natural law, contemplation, and friendship.

Professor Cuddeback is a member of the American Maritain Association and has served as editorial advisor for Faith and Reason. His writings have appeared in Nova et Vetera, The Thomist, and The Review of Metaphysics.


Homeschooling Products

The Homeschooling Set includes the Streaming Video and Homeschooling Course Guide. Each Course Guide contains everything needed for a student to complete the course, including:

  • Lesson Plan
  • Quizzes
  • Final Essay
  • Lecture Notes
  • Answer Key


John Cuddeback, PhD
Catholic Courses
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1 Review

  • 5
    Great homeschooling lesson!

    Posted by Erin C on Jun 23rd 2023

    I ordered the homeschool set to add to our summer routine. I printed out extra copies and bound them to have "student" books and kept the original for myself. Videos are excellently done, short, and to the point!