A Christian College of the Liberal Arts & Sciences

Culture: Understanding Human Thought and Creative Expression Across Time (16 hours)

  • Liberal arts graduates should be acquainted with the ways of thinking and forms of creative expression that form our historical tradition.  They must therefore complete approved coursework in History, Literature, Philosophy, and either Art or Music. Because of these disciplines' foundational character, students are encouraged to complete coursework in either history or philosophy by the end of their first year.
    • Goals and outcomes for History:
      • Gain understanding about how past societies were constituted, how people have conducted themselves, and how these things have changed over time.
      • Increase self-awareness, self-knowledge and self-reflection as person in a particular time and culture by studying the different social perceptions of past cultures.
      •  Demonstrate developed historical knowledge through broad historical reading and evaluation of authors’ arguments.
      •  Learn and practice skills in historical evidence collection and historical evidence evaluation.
      •  Show satisfactory mastery of written communication in arguments and conclusions drawn logically from historical evidence.
      •  Evidence sharpened general intellectual skills in critical thinking, logical analysis and argument formation.
    • Goals and outcomes for Literature:
      • Students will demonstrate a working knowledge of the complex ways in which literary texts engage culture.
      • Students will develop a critical appreciation of literature and culture through the reading and analysis of texts and the investigation of genre.
      • Students will develop an ability to interact with literature and culture from a thoughtful Christian perspective.
    • Goals and outcomes for Philosophy:
      • Students will explore the basic intellectual commitments--metaphysical, ethical, and epistemic--constitutive of differing world-and-life views.
      • Students will become conversant with a variety of texts that have had an enduring impact on the history of ideas.
      • Students will think critically and Christianly about their own and others' basic intellectual commitments.
      • Students will practice analyzing arguments and will acquire concepts and terms to aid them in such analysis.
      • Students will learn to speak and write with greater clarity and precision.
    • Goals and outcomes for Art:
      • For studio courses:
        • Students will be introduced to aesthetic problem-solving through the making of work.
        • Students will develop a vocabulary for discussing the process of decision-making and critical skills in judging how well others in the class have succeeded or failed in their projects.
        • Students will be opened to the creative process of intuition through exposure to theory and practice.
        • Students will acquire a working knowledge of how skills are developed for their future exploration outside of the studio classroom.
        • Students will enhance their appreciation of the language of the visual arts by acquiring a working sense of how non-conceptual ideas emerge in visual artworks.
      • For lecture courses:
        • Students will understand the basic theories and ideas behind important works of visual art.
        • Students will develop a vocabulary for discussing works of art and the ideas that inform them.
        • Students will become familiar with the "great monuments" of the visual arts.
        • Students will understand how cultural perspectives and values are constructed and expressed through various works of art.
        • Students will learn to see how the visual arts are, as Henry James said, "the same in degree though different in kind" from other forms of art and ideas.
        • Students will be able to cross disciplines and make connections between the visual arts and other areas of the humanities and sciences.
    • Goals and outcomes for Music:
      • Students will develop understanding of the basic principles and materials of music, either from classroom study or from participation in music making, as well as how those elements and theories have been and/or can be used to create actual musical works.
      • Students will interact with a body of historically significant works of music, either from classroom study or from participation in music making, and based on such interaction they will, concurrently and/or subsequently, refine their aesthetic sensibilities.
      • Students will develop understanding of the place of music in human culture, with emphasis on music as an expression of humankind's spiritual dimension, and including discussion of the issue of human creativity as related to the original creativity of God.
      • Students will participate actively in the artistic process through either thoughtful listening (or viewing, as appropriate) with appropriately sophisticated response, or presenting a carefully prepared musical performance.