You've been given a mission
At Houghton, your general education coursework is structured around Houghton's mission.
to provide an academically challenging, Christ-centered education that equips students to lead and labor as scholar-servants in a changing world.
Think of it like a roadmap. As you travel through this curriculum, you’ll begin to find your place in the world and chart the course for your future.
Equipping to lead and labor as scholar-servants
Training in how to work together in a learning community
Preparation for lifelong wellness
Preparation to engage a changing world
Courses and experiences that teach skills for cross-cultural interaction and understanding
Distinctive elements of our core curriculum
Integrating the Humanities
Teaching great ideas and texts from philosophy and literature in their historical context means that students not only learn about the foundational ideas that shaped western culture, but also see why these ideas developed when and how they did.
Students explore Western history as a developing story with texts and ideas in conversation and conflict with each other—not simply events on a timeline. Students see how people from different eras responded to the most important questions of their day. Students thus develop ideas about how to approach the questions of their own society and culture.
Applying Math and Science to the World's Questions
All general education science courses at Houghton involve experiential learning, where students try out the concepts that they are learning. They move between thinking and doing as they develop the ability to engage in rational, informed discussion on scientific topics of strong contemporary interest.
Students study what science is and how it has changed our understanding of who we are and our place in the universe. They also learn about the critical role science plays in contemporary life and the relationships between science, society, and Christianity. Finally, students learn how to approach quantitative and conceptual problems—training that builds crucial analytical skills essential for any major or vocation.
Exploring and Developing Faith
After foundational courses in Bible and Christian theology, students come back to these topics and choose a course for further study of the Bible, spiritual formation, theology, or the life of the church. As the Christian life is one of constant growth and development toward spiritual maturity, students continue to explore their faith throughout their college career, not stopping after completing an introduction or two.
All Houghton students get in-depth writing instruction. Students who need it take foundational coursework in college-level writing and every student takes an additional course or courses that provide developmental feedback on significant amounts of writing. Since writing is essential to so many callings, all students, no matter their major, get the opportunity to improve and develop these skills.
Preparing to Engage a Changing World
Because Houghton’s mission is to prepare students to lead and labor in a changing world, all students receive preparation for interacting with a dynamic and culturally diverse world. Students can choose to study a language and build their skills of cross-cultural communication in this way or they can take other courses that are designed to prepare them to understand, interact with, and engage other cultures.