Foundations: Liberal Arts Learning at Asbury University – Asbury University
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Foundations: Liberal Arts Learning at Asbury University

Rooted in rigorous inquiry and pursued in the light of Christian faith and practice

Asbury University’s interdisciplinary liberal arts curriculum, Foundations, is required for every undergraduate student.  Foundations organizes around 5 key conceptual areas:

1. Integrating Christian Faith and Culture (4 courses)

Develop life-long Biblical literacy and theological understanding that will inform human life.

Sample courses

  • Understanding New Testament
  • Understanding Old Testament
  • Ethics
  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Foundations of Christian Thought
Attend Chapel three times each week with your classmates.

Sample texts

Keith Drury, Soul Shaper: Becoming the Person God Wants You to Be

John Perry, A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortality


2. Discovering Human Thought and Creative Expression (4-5 courses)

Use art, history, music, literature, and philosophy to interpret the human condition.

Sample courses

  • Music & Art Appreciation
  • College Writing
  • Literature & Culture
  • Public Speaking & Media Influence in Culture

Sample texts


3. Engaging Society and Global Responsibility (2-5 courses)

Demonstrate how key concepts from the social and behavioral sciences help to identify and address the human experience.

Sample courses

  • Western Civilization
  • Principles of Economics
  • Psychology & Everyday Life
  • American Politics & Government

Experience immersion into a diverse culture through a required cross-cultural engagement.

Foreign languages offered

  • Chinese
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Latin
  • Spanish

Sample texts

Myers and DeWall,Psychology in Everyday Life

Susan Ferguson, Mapping the Social Landscape


4. Achieving Quantitative and Critical Literacy (1-2 courses)

Think critically and problem-solve through the interpretation and analysis of data.

Sample courses

  • Math that Matters
  • Viewing Life Mathematically
  • Calculus I

Sample Text

Viewing Life Mathematically: A Pathway to Quantitative Literacy


5. Searching the Natural World and the Environment (2 courses)

Use the scientific method to engage in an exploration of the natural world, and closely examine practices that promote environmental stewardship and personal well-being.

Sciences offered

  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Science of Light and Media
  • Forensic Chemistry

Complete a course on wellness and fulfill a physical activity requirement.

Sample texts

Matthew Johll, Investigating Chemistry: A Forensic Science Perspective

Tarbuck and Lutgens, Earth Science

Choose one additional Foundations course and engage in a 1-credit hour course during your first year offered by professors ranging the academic disciplines. Last year’s text for Liberal Arts Seminar was How to Think by Alan Jacobs. This year’s is How to Think Like Shakespeare by Scott Newstock. 

Outcomes & Possibilities

Foundations is a transformative experience. It challenges you to explore life’s most important questions.

Working together in community, students and professors debate, collaborate, and investigate in a searching exploration of human life’s richest variations, its deepest creative and imaginative expressions, its most perplexing and persistent challenges, and its most enduring questions. Through your academic life at Asbury, you will learn how to think, and how to live and flourish in a complex world; you will gain expertise in your area of study and a foundation of knowledge to prepare you for the rapidly changing world. Asbury University will prepare you for jobs that haven’t been invented yet and we’re confident that AU’s integrative academic programs will give you a passion for a lifetime of learning, and for professional and career success.

Why are we so confident? Because Foundations trains you to connect your major with other disciplines and engage with multiple perspectives. You’ll leave AU with a deep understanding of your field and the ability to approach it from any direction. In other words, you will be equipped to meet the challenges of the contemporary world with robust Christian faith, passion, intelligence, creativity, civic responsibility, and moral courage.

View the Foundations course requirements.

Read more on the learning objectives of Foundations.