the core

what is

the core?

The CORE curriculum is ACU’s general liberal arts education. Depending on if you are a first-time college or transfer student, the number of required credits may differ, although most four-year students will take 38 CORE credits.

Unique within American higher education, the ACU CORE curriculum reclaims the liberal arts for the Christian tradition. Through a sequence of courses, you’ll reflect on the great ideas, events, art, music, and literature of history from within the biblical worldview and use this rich understanding of the human experience to transform culture with God’s truth.

What is the purpose of the CORE?

The CORE educates you on God’s calling for your life. It challenges and trains you to think biblically and deeply about the world around you. The goal is to prepare you, not just for a job after graduation, but for life itself. ACU graduates know who they are, understand the importance of their faith, and seek to achieve their purpose as human beings created in God’s image. The CORE strategically integrates the Bible with the Humanities.

What will I study?

The First-Year Experience includes two courses. LIA 101 introduces you to the ACU community – who we are, what we believe, and how we live, including the process of discovering the purpose and calling for your life. LIA 102 begins the process of biblical worldview training as the foundation for a lifetime of “thinking biblically.” You’ll experience the CORE distinctive of linked courses with those required in the Biblical Studies minor. You may take what you learn in your first Bible class, write about it in English or speak about it in Public Speaking. Similarly linked courses, Experiencing Science and Liberal Arts Mathematics, complete the first year CORE experience.

Four Humanities courses – organized by time period and spanning human history – are the heart of the CORE academic experience. You’ll read and discuss original texts, including Homer, Plato, the American founders, and Karl Marx, to consider how human beings in other times and cultures understood their world and answered the big questions of life – about God, what it means to be human, purpose, meaning, truth, beauty, justice, and goodness. 

Taught by teams of experienced faculty, courses dig into human ideas and philosophies, significant historical events and scientific discoveries, and the reactions to these in literature, art, and music. Like the First-Year Experience, the Humanities courses are linked with the required Bible courses to integrate and connect the content and assessments between the courses.

Every student completes a Senior Capstone that brings together learning from their degree program and the CORE into a culminating academic experience.

Why is the CORE important?

The world tells us there is no objective truth; there is no guide nor a uniquely correct answer to the big questions of life – why am I here and what is my purpose? In the CORE, you will apply the biblical worldview to critically answer the questions that frame the human experience: What is truth? What is beauty? What is goodness? What is justice? Thinking about these questions will help you understand not only what you believe but what others believe and why.

Association of American Colleges and University reports 93% of employers point to the need for a liberal arts education like the CORE. They state that a potential employee’s “capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve problems is more important than their undergraduate major.”

How will the CORE help me live out my faith?

The CORE is designed to help you discern God’s desire for your life by embracing biblical truth. In order to live out our vision statement of transforming culture with truth, you must understand today’s culture and the presence of competing worldviews. By understanding God’s creation and history, you are better equipped to engage with the world around you in order to bring productive change for God’s glory.

Discern

Transformation starts with discernment. The CORE helps you discern God’s desire for your life as you study the human narrative and identify the true nature of the world around you.

Embrace Truth

The world tells us there is no objective truth. In the CORE, you learn to value and apply God’s Truth.

Understand

To transform culture with truth, you must understand today’s culture – especially the appeal of competing worldviews that often take the place of Truth.

Engage

By understanding God’s creation and human history, you are better equipped to engage with the world. “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

Transform

From this foundation, ACU graduates can bring productive change and transform the culture and the world around them.