Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum provides the foundation of every Samford undergraduate student’s liberal arts education. These courses of 22 credits total require students to read challenging works and place them in conversation with each other, to write and speak confidently and persuasively, to recognize the depth of biblical scholarship and tradition, and to pay attention to overall health and wellness. In short, the Core courses transcend any one department or major. The Core grew out of many interdisciplinary discussions and explorations of Great Books programs at Columbia University, University of Chicago, and others, and also out of best practices for student learning in critical skills, as recognized by the American Association of Colleges and Universities. The Core also reflects the Christian mission at the heart of the university. The Core has been a significant part of every entering freshman’s academic experience since 1997.

Biblical Perspectives

Biblical Perspectives, UCBP 101, examines the historical context and religious teachings of Hebrew and Christian scriptures and cultivates critical competencies necessary for the academic study of traditional texts. Course objectives include an understanding of the historical context in which the Bible took shape; appreciation of the development of religious thought within the biblical period; examination of how biblical teachings have been and are interpreted and applied; and study of the Bible, using a variety of modern critical methods.

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Communication Arts

Communication Arts prepares students to write and speak effectively in various academic and professional contexts. In UCCA courses, students will learn methods of effective research, strategies for engagement with secondary sources, and structural frameworks for written and oral assignments. In UCCA 101, students complete skills-based assignments that build to research-based informative essays and presentations. UCCA 102 teaches the advanced rhetorical skills necessary for analytical, evaluative, and persuasive communication.

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Concepts of Fitness and Health

Concepts of Fitness and Health is a physical fitness course, with emphasis on exercises that develop cardiorespiratory, muscular, and flexibility fitness. All aspects of fitness, such as principles of aerobic fitness, nutrition, flexibility, strength training, common fitness injuries, and weight control and body composition are discussed and applied. Students with physical disabilities may consult the ESSM department chair for special consideration.

Cultural Perspectives

Cultural Perspectives is a two-semester course sequence taken by all Samford University students. Here students survey great works of literature, philosophy, history, and theology, and also learn why these works matter for the 21st century. Fall semester in UCCP 101, students are introduced to great thinkers from Greece, Rome, Early Christianity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance. Spring semester UCCP 102 takes them through the Protestant Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment, and the ideological conflicts of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The goal is to equip students with an intellectual narrative that illuminates important thinkers from the past so that they are better equipped to navigate the complicated marketplace of ideas today.

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