Knowledge of the Liberal Arts
This array of courses, rooted in traditional disciplines, reflects the breadth of learning essential for success in today's global living by promoting awareness and insight of how people from different perspectives and beliefs, interpret reality and make meaning. Students also develop the ability to see relationships between these diverse bodies of knowledge which allows them to integrate and apply their learning to increasingly complex and global issues.
Mathematical and Natural Sciences
Mathematical thinking supports learning in many other disciplines and is a foundation within many modern social, economic, political, scientific and technological structures. Therefore, studies in mathematics, statistics and computer/information literacy serve as an instrument to promote students’ ability to think logically, engage in systematic thought processes as well as evaluate arguments to solve everyday problems.
The courses illustrate the splendor of the natural world – biology, biochemistry, chemistry, nutrition and physics – in the context of theories, methods and problem-solving techniques, which highlight the role of science in society. Studies in these disciplines teach students how scientific knowledge develops and so they can evaluate ideas and arguments based on appropriate evidence, in order to make informed decisions.
Science, Technology and the WorldScience and technology influence and impact every aspect of our modern society. An examination of these influences provides students with a significant understanding of how science, technology and the Christian faith complement and challenge one another related to relevant ethical, social, cultural, historical, political or sustainable issues. Therefore, within a Christian context, students gain the ability to contribute to societal discourses on issues and controversies which emanate from advances in science and technology.
Social Sciences and History
The social sciences form the foundation of who we are as a people and how human behavior influences individuals, relationships, social structures and cultures. Foundational courses in anthropology, economics, human development and family science, psychology, politics, sociology, and social work offer students the ability to understand and evaluate self, others and society. This exposure broadens their knowledge of the theoretical assumptions, research methodologies and rules of evidence in the social sciences that are applied in many contemporary personal, social, and professional contexts.
United States history survey courses introduce students to the social, cultural, political, economic, and religious developments in the American experience, with particular focus on the peoples, ideas, and movements that have shaped United States culture. The study of United States history teaches students to discern how the recent past has shaped current conditions. In turn, they develop the ability to analyze contemporary issues with a perspective informed by knowledge of relevant historic events and trends.
Western Civilization survey courses introduce students to the social, cultural, political, economic, and religious developments in the millennia of western experience, with particular focus on the peoples, ideas, and movements that have shaped the contemporary world. The study of European history teaches students to discern how the deep past has shaped current conditions, leading to the ability to analyze contemporary issues with a perspective informed by knowledge of relevant historic events.
Humanities and the Arts
A range of course selections expose students to many of the greatest and most inventive minds through works of major authors of poetry, short story, and 20th century British or American literature, as well as readings in German, Spanish, Latin American, African-American or women’s literature. In so doing, students gain a basic understanding of some of the traditions and methods of literary study and increase their capacity for critical reading and evaluation of the written word, a skill valued within a variety of applied settings.
Understanding the role religions play in shaping individual identity and self-understanding facilitates an appreciation for the relationship between religion and culture at the local, national and international levels. These courses explore major world religious traditions, providing a historical and current context of current beliefs and practices within these traditions and ways of life, as well as their influences in global affairs and perspectives. Studies in various religions facilitate students’ ability to understand the belief systems of others and the ways in which individuals’ perspectives are shaped by them.
The study of philosophy engages students in Western philosophical inquiries, with particular attention to major historical periods and their relation to contemporary thought, as well as theories of human reality and human experience. Students engage in careful, systematic investigation of fundamental philosophical issues, and by doing so learn to become active, mature inquirers and thinkers, and develop skills of critical and moral thinking necessary for effectiveness in life, their spirituality and further professional and educational interests.
ArtsArt is a means by which we represent ideas, emotion and experience. Students engage in hands-on interaction with various art media, proliferating their skills and appreciation for basic concepts and methods involved in the creation of various art forms. Experience and knowledge within dance, music, theatre and the visual arts enhance students’ ability to creatively express themselves as well as reflect on the nature of art and its history.
Languages and Culture
In an ever-changing diverse and global community, the ability to communicate in multiple languages, and comprehend ways in which people of other cultural traditions perceive the world, expands one’s appreciation for dynamic relationship-building between people. Skills in listening, reading, writing and speaking in other languages, such as Chinese, French, German or Spanish, effectively enables students to communicate in oral and written venues in a major world language and across cultural boundaries.
By living in another culture for several weeks or a semester, students have the opportunity to understand the paradoxes, tensions, consistencies and values in a society significantly different from their own. Direct experience within other cultures develops an appropriate sense of self-awareness of one’s own cultural assumptions and the pervasiveness of cross-cultural encounters in the human experience. This immersion equips students for appropriate interaction with persons of different social norms, appreciate multiple viewpoints, and recognize the importance of developing mutual trust and respect in cross-cultural interaction when relating to others or living in complex situations.
Studies of non-western cultures furthers students ability to understand and appreciate social customs, traditions, systems of thought and expression in various civilizations such as the Middle East, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean Islands, the Pacific Islands, Latin America and indigenous cultures across the world. In life, the ability to generally understand the context of perspectives, expectations and experiences of cultures different from one’s own facilitates effective relationship-building and problem-solving with people of differing backgrounds.