Samford University

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Quaestio, Disputatio, Fides, Ratio

Before deciding what you want to do, understand the kind of person you wish to be


"For books are more than books, they are the life, the very heart and core of ages past, the reason why men worked and died, the essence and quintessence of their lives."

  --Marcus Tullius Cicero

 The Core Texts Program is a two semester course sequence taken by all Samford University students.  In these courses students engage ideas that form a narrative of human learning.  Here, they are taught to read, think, and communicate by interacting with classic texts that have stood the test of time.  Every culture seeks to explain human nature, the natural world, religion, and political community.  Samford's Core Texts Program ensures that our graduates understand this quest.  Even more, it equips them to enter their chosen profession confident they are capable of meaningful critical thought.  Fall semester, students are introduced to great thinkers from the Greeks, the Romans, Early Christianity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance.  Spring semester takes them through the Protestant Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment, and the ideological foment of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  While our curriculum emphasizes Western thinkers, we also recognize that certain perennial themes are part of the development of every culture and civilization.  Disparate voices in time and place often converge in the task of transmitting values.  To this end, the curriculum integrates texts from non-western, or global sources, including especially Asia and Latin America.  Samford’s Core Texts Program emphasizes words from the past because we think they matter for the present.  Four words in particular summarize our purpose: Quaestio, Disputatio, Fides, Ratio.  

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Quaestio

"Inquiry"

We teach our students how to ask questions of texts and ideas.

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Disputatio

"Discussion"

 We emphasize the place of conversation and debate for the life of the mind.

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Fides

"Faith"

 We believe the Christian faith in order that we may understand our nature, hope, and purpose.

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Ratio

"Reason"

We develop the rational faculty as a principle of the soul, trained through discipline and habit. 
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