Undergraduate general education at Eastern University strives to advance the University’s mission of preparing students for thoughtful and productive lives of Christian faith, leadership, and service.
General education shapes students who are proficient in essential, college-level skills and enables them to appropriate and give witness to a Christian worldview. This worldview recognizes the unity of God’s truth, the importance of character formation and Christian community, the mandate to be stewards of creation and to practice justice, and the call to witness to the fullness of the gospel. Through excellent instruction in a variety of disciplines, a focus on student learning and transformation, and a shared commitment to the values of faith, reason, and justice, general education is ordered toward the service of God and humanity and the care of creation.
Toward these ends, Eastern University has developed a common approach to general education for all students in the Associate of Arts and baccalaureate programs. The learning indicators Eastern University expects students to demonstrate flow out of Eastern’s foundational commitments. They are important components in helping students achieve the university’s learning goals.
Eastern University aspires to graduate individuals who embody the following characteristics.
To be an effective leader and professional, one needs to be able to communicate clearly in a variety of contexts and to a variety of audiences. This requires developing skills in writing, speaking and listening. Moreover, the ability to use technology responsibly and effectively is increasingly important in the digital age in which we are now living.
- Written Communication – able to write in a coherent and persuasive manner using the practices of standard American English
- Oral Communication – able to communicate orally in clear and coherent language appropriate to purpose, occasion and audience
- Technological Skills – able to appropriately use contemporary technology tools for communication and productivity
We live in a time in which we are bombarded with information. It is vital to develop skills that allow one to sort through information, analyze sources and evidence, reason through problems, and arrive at conclusions that are grounded in fact and conforming to the truth.
- Argument and Analysis – able to identify, classify, contextualize, evaluate, and create warranted claims
- Scientific Reasoning – able to make claims and predictions about empirical phenomena by collecting and analyzing data
- Quantitative Reasoning – able to correctly use numbers, symbols, measurements and the relationships of quantities to make decisions, judgments, and predictions
- Information Literacy – able to identify, obtain, evaluate, and responsibly utilize information through online and traditional research methods
Cultural and Global Awareness
In the increasingly interdependent world in which we live, it is crucial to understand the historical and cultural forces and movements that have created and continue to shape different perspectives and ways of thinking, knowing, and acting within the human community. This requires an understanding of the traditions that have formed one’s own assumptions and viewpoints, as well as an awareness of the beliefs, values and practices of other cultures.
- Knowledgeable about the Western Tradition – able to demonstrate understanding of historical, theological, and cultural contexts and interpret key texts and perspectives of the Western intellectual tradition and to situate themselves within that tradition
- Knowledgeable about Global Diversity – able to demonstrate understanding of and interact productively within the diversity that characterizes human cultures, particularly those outside of the Western tradition
Christian Faith and Practice
At Eastern, we desire to form not only life-long learners, but also individuals who are ever more fully being shaped in the image and likeness of Christ. We acknowledge that we are whole persons, whose minds, hearts and bodies are gifts from God. Such gifts demand excellent stewardship, rooted in an understanding of Scripture and cultivated through the practices of Christian discipleship.
- Biblically Informed – able to identify essential elements of the historical, cultural, and theological content of all the major divisions of the Bible
- Formed in Christian Thought – able to express a reasoned understanding of the Christian faith, its mission, doctrines, traditions, and ways of life as well as reflect critically on one's own life in light of this understanding
Commitment to Justice
We acknowledge that we live in a broken world that nonetheless can be transformed by the power and grace of God. We believe that God acts through individuals and the institutions they create and inhabit to bring about justice and reconciliation.
- Knowledgeable in Doing Justice – able to utilize biblical, theological, and philosophical resources to evaluate perspectives on social, economic, and political justice and to identify personal and structural responses to injustice.