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    Harding University
  Feb 01, 2023
2021-2022 Academic Catalog 
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2021-2022 Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Liberal Arts Program

The Liberal Arts Program is a 53-hour core of basic courses required of all students. The program reflects the principles contained in the University mission statement and provides a foundation for study in major and minor fields.

The mission of the Liberal Arts Program is to:

  1. Give all students a basic understanding of specific content areas;
  2. Develop essential and fundamental skills;
  3. Develop a Christian world view that brings a spiritual perspective to every academic discipline; and
  4. Nurture both a readiness for learning and an ethical consciousness that will sustain students for living in a world of complexity and change.

University Learning Outcomes  represent the wide variety of skills and perspectives in the study of the liberal arts. The outcomes are introduced and assessed initially through the structured liberal arts program and all majors programs continue to develop the outcomes as appropriate to their discipline.


The Liberal Arts Program course requirements are listed below. These requirements are adjusted for some majors and for transfer and international students. Students should consult the appropriate sections of the catalog and their academic advisor for program-specific requirements and adjustments.

Spiritual and Moral Values: 8 Hours

The required Bible courses in the Liberal Arts Program seek to inspire students to know, live, and share God’s Word and to understand, love, and serve others in His world.

All incoming students who have never attended college as a full-time student and *transfer students with less than 27 earned hours after high school graduation are required to complete successfully:

Communication and Critical Thinking: 9 Hours

Skills in reading, writing, speaking, and critical thinking are universally regarded as characteristic of well-educated individuals as well as being fundamental to every academic endeavor. The three courses required in this area help students generate their own ideas, independently access and evaluate the ideas of others, and communicate effectively in writing and speech. These skills are further practiced and refined in the rest of the Liberal Arts Program and in major program curricula.

The Individual and the Social Environment: 9 Hours

This component of the Liberal Arts curriculum, drawing on principles in the behavioral and social sciences, recognizes the importance of helping students understand individual human behavior, including strategies for physical and mental health, and the ways individuals relate to larger social systems.

The Natural World: 9 Hours

College-level study of mathematics and the natural sciences equips students for competence in a world that values problem-solving skills and calls for informed consideration of a wide range of issues involving science.

The Creative Spirit: 6 Hours

A study of the way people throughout history have expressed their imagination and creativity allows students to appreciate the timeless, shared human impulses toward emotions, values, and aspirations, both personal and civic. Further, required courses in literature and the fine arts enrich students’ cultural sense through acquaintance with various cultural masterpieces and principles of aesthetics.

The Historical Perspective: 6 Hours

The historical perspective engages students in the continuing drama of human society: the recurrence of the shared aspirations, concerns, and failures of human beings. The curriculum provides the perspective that enables students to identify with people of other times and places and, therefore, to appreciate the commonality of humanity.

Global Perspectives: 6 Hours

In recognition of the interrelatedness of world cultures and the Christian mission of worldwide evangelism, the global perspectives requirement ensures that a liberal arts education includes the development of skills, knowledge, or dispositions that will help students interact meaningfully with the world, specifically beyond the borders of the United States. The range of skills and content knowledge applicable to this category suggests that the general goals of global perspectives may be met in a variety of ways through combinations of courses in the following menu.

Students who wish to appeal for a waiver of the global perspectives requirements (on the basis of extended residence abroad, for example) may have their appeal considered by the Global Perspectives Appeal Committee. The appropriate form is in Pipeline under Student Services, in the Student Records menu.