The Mission of the Department of Christian Studies is to encourage intellectual, spiritual, and moral development of students through a variety of courses in the University's Core curriculum. Courses offered by the department encourage critical thinking, develop skills in academic inquiry, deepen understanding of the Christian tradition and other religious and philosophical perspectives, and stimulate students in the formation of their ideas, values, and beliefs about the perennial questions of philosophy and religion.
The offerings of the department contribute to the Mission of the University by helping students understand the University's Christian tradition and other religious and philosophical traditions, contributing to the liberal arts foundation of the University's Core curriculum, teaching critical thinking, research and writing skills necessary for life-long learning, and influencing students to be ethical stewards of the gifts and resources God has given them.
The Student Learning Outcomes for a philosophy major are:
When students complete the major, they will be able to:
- Recognize passages from the Bible and answer questions about general Bible content and demonstrate ability to use critical methods to interpret the Bible.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the basic themes of Christian theology, including the general Christian understandings of God, creation, sin, justification, sanctification, restoration, and the return of Christ.
- Demonstrate familiarity with at least one non-Christian tradition, including an evaluation of what a Christian can learn from that tradition.
- Articulate a Christian framework for moral decision-making, which includes an understanding of basic principles of Biblical interpretation, philosophical and theological ethics, applying this framework to controversial social, political, ethical issues.
- Recognize conclusions, assumptions, premises, logical structure and recognize common fallacies.
- Write a research paper in which they explain biblical, philosophical and theological texts in their historical and cultural context, critically analyze issues raised, and synthesize ideas from multiple sources, bringing original ideas to the discussion.
- Reflect on his or her intellectual and spiritual growth in the course of their studies.
- Clearly defend a thesis, raise objections, and reply to the objections, and demonstrate effective bibliographical research and proper knowledge of formatting by writing an argument analysis paper.
- Participate in a philosophical and/or theological dialogue by listening carefully and critically to other perspectives, formulating responses, and defending ideas orally in a seminar setting.
- Reflect - in writing - upon at least one semester long service or ministry experience during their college years.