Asbury Liberal Arts Spark Lifelong Learning
At Asbury University, liberal arts education is more than a collection of required classes. It’s a transformative experience challenging students to explore life’s most important questions: who is God; who am I; who do I want to become?
Every aspect of an Asbury University education is informed by liberal arts learning, and nowhere is this commitment more clear than in Asbury’s College of Arts & Sciences. Encompassing 10 departments, the College of Arts & Sciences offers a rich array of disciplines for students who want to grow academically and spiritually.
Asbury’s College of Arts & Sciences integrates faith and learning — not only in religious subject areas, but in every class. Asbury’s faculty are always willing to engage new ideas, to challenge old ones and to approach all disciplines from a Christian worldview.
Interdisciplinary conversations are also central to the College of Arts & Sciences. Because all students take foundational classes including language, science, Bible/theology, philosophy, arts and much more, they are consistently challenged to think outside the categories of their own majors.
“A liberal arts education develops both sides of your brain, left and right, and encourages effective problem solving, requiring strong analytical and creative processes,” said Dr. Bonnie Banker, who currently serves as Interim Provost at Asbury. “Developing critical thinking skills and being able to comprehend various subjects and perspectives adds to the ability of liberal arts graduates to successfully connect the dots between multiple disciplines while developing a passion for a particular area of learning.”
Jarrod Ingles ’14 is one Asbury alum who can attest to the power of the liberal arts. Ingles, who majored in English at Asbury and is now pursuing concurrent degrees at the University of Rochester (Ph.D. in English) and Berkeley Law (J.D.), says his liberal arts experience at Asbury gave him confidence as a Christian and an intellectual. As he pursues a law degree, specializing in environmental law, the ability to think across disciplines, interacting with many perspectives, has been invaluable.
“If you’re a curious person, you’re always negotiating that balance between holding on to what you know is true while taking into account what you’re learning at the same time,” Ingles said. “Liberal arts education helps you do that. The ability to open the door to new ideas, but also to stand in the door and negotiate — that may be the most difficult option, but it is necessary if we are to lead true intellectual lives.”
Even more importantly, Asbury’s liberal arts education gave Ingles tools for life. His liberal arts experience at Asbury helped him to become more humble and grateful, to think critically and to be perpetually curious.
“The liberal arts have helped me live deeply,” Ingles said. “To live life more thoughtfully is to deepen our day-to-day existence, and education has been part of what has helped me lead a meaningful, simple, deep life.”