The core curriculum provides the foundation of every Samford undergraduate student’s liberal arts education. These courses 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.
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. In the fall, students are introduced to great thinkers from Greece, Rome, Early Christianity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Students study 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.
Students must be able to write and speak effectively to succeed in life. Employers consistently rate good communication skills among the most desirable qualities of their employees. The communication arts courses are designed to help students develop and refine these vital skills.
Students will meet the following course objectives:
- Conceive, outline, and produce written assignments in an academic style
- Research, identify, summarize, analyze, and synthesize scholarly resources for implementation in written assignments
- Adapt purpose/argument, structure, and language in written work to various assignment objectives
- Demonstrate metacognitive awareness of writing processes
- Develop and deliver oral presentations using academic language and rhetorical style
- Structure and adapt presentations according to various assignment objectives
- Create and engage multimedia presentations for use in oral presentations
Biblical Perspectives 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.
Concepts of Fitness and Health
Concepts of fitness and health emphasizes the components of a healthy lifestyle. The principles of fitness including cardiovascular health, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and body composition are discussed and applied through classroom and physical activities. Other topics such as nutrition, weight management, and injury management are discussed. Individuals registered with disability services will meet with the appropriate individuals for activity consideration.
In addition to the core curriculum, students must take general education courses across a number of disciplines. These courses sustain the intellectual growth begun in the core by introducing diverse approaches to exploring our shared humanity, our relationships with each other and the creation that is our home. They invite students to learn new ways to understand their places in a complex world while encouraging them to apply the results of their academic inquiries to larger questions of meaning and value. Each course selected for inclusion in these distribution areas is not simply a foundation for further study but an initiation into a way of thinking intrinsic to a discipline.