Curriculum for the AA in Liberal Arts

Completion of the AA Degree requires the accumulation of a minimum of 61 credits with the last 32 credits being earned at Eastern, completion of the General Education requirements and a 2.0 GPA.  The AA Curriculum provides a broad background in general education and incorporates the University's mission specific General Education distinctive courses.  The courses provide content which is Christ centered and informed by the Christian faith.

Students can take any course in any session, but we highly recommend starting with:

  • INST 110:  Learning in Virtual Community
  • ENGL 163:  Rhetorical Patterns in Writing
  • ENGL 164:  Contemporary Grammar
  • CSCI 210:  Contemporary Applications in Computers

Followed by:

  • COMM 120: Public Speaking
  • MATH 103: Mathematical Ideas
  • SOCI 105:  Contemporary Social Problems
  • INST 161:  Heritage of Western Thought and Civilization
  • BIOL 103:  General Biology: Earthkeeping
  • LEAD 370: Cross Cultural Studies
  • BIBL 100:  Biblical Literature in Contemporary Context
  • THEO 210:  Foundations of Christian Spirituality
  • INST 270: Justice in a Pluralistic Society
  • INST 222: Foundations of Critical Thinking

An additional 18 credits of elective courses are required of students beginning with zero credits. 
An additional 18 credits of education courses are required of students completing the Early Childhood Education concentration.

Course Descriptions

INST 110     Learning in Virtual Community (3 credits)
This course serves as the introductory course for the degree. It introduces students to the unique context and skill sets of the accelerated adult online environment, including experiential learning and writing, as well as an orientation to learning within a cohort or community-based model.

CSCI 210     Contemporary Applications in Computers (3 credits)
This course is an overview of contemporary computer issues as it applies to current business procedures. The course emphasizes hands-on experience with commonly desktop and Internet-based software for creating technology-enhanced projects. Using advanced Internet search techniques and evaluation of sources will also be a component.  An important theme of this course also considers the ethical implications of technology’s usage, and how technology relates to a Christian worldview.

ENGL 164     Contemporary Grammar (3 credits)
This course is designed to give students an understanding of the mechanics and structure of contemporary grammar and punctuation. Course content includes parts of speech, sentence structure, phrases, clauses, punctuation, and common grammatical errors. Students are encouraged to ask questions and to bring real writing samples for review and correction.

ENGL 163    Rhetorical Patterns in Writing (3 credits)
This course is designed to help students effectively organize thoughts into clear, coherent essays. Understanding of different rhetorical patterns: narration, description, process analysis, cause and effect, compare and contrast, persuasion, and argument will be gained. Course content includes the writing process, essay structure, audience-centered writing, rhetorical patterns, correct writing and revising strategies.

COMM 120    Public Speaking (3 credits)
This course introduces students to the theory and practice of public speaking.  Students are encouraged to think critically about situation and audience analysis, methods of speech organization, the uses of different types of supporting material and the effective use of visual aids.  Students will learn how to write and deliver effective, informative, persuasive and ceremonial speeches. 
MATH 103    Mathematical Ideas (3 credits)
The objectives of this course are to develop an appreciation for mathematics, to provide an insight into the methods of reasoning used by mathematicians, and to discuss its historical development. It is intended for the liberal arts student who has had little contact with mathematics.

SOCI 105     Contemporary Social Problems (3 credits)
Selected social problems such as poverty, ethnic relations, the population explosion and pollution are examined. How sociological insights can inform Christian value judgments concerning social structural conditions will be emphasized.

INST 161     Heritage of Western Thought and Civilization (3 credits)
This course surveys the emergence of modern Western civilization to global stature through its literature, philosophy and history—from the French Revolution through the end of the Cold War. It asks how modern Western civilization has incorporated the industrial, intellectual, scientific, and political revolutions of the 19th and 20th centuries. The class is organized around a core of readings in primary sources.

BIOL 103     General Biology: Earthkeeping (4 credits)
Basic concepts of ecology are presented in sufficient detail to allow anexamination of our environmental problems within an ecological worldview. There is an emphasis on developing stewardship lifestyles.

OM 370   Cross Cultural Studies (3 credits)                                        
Managing diversity is the major theme of this course with emphasis on cultural sensitivity and empowerment of people to reach their full potential. Readings and interviews are used to explore the values, customs, and perceptions of various racial and ethnic groups and the impact on social and economic life.

BIBL 100    Biblical Literature in Contemporary Contex (3 credits)
This course will introduce the student to the entire biblical story of the people of God. The main components of the program will be: the Creation Theology (discussing the meaning of Genesis and the Wisdom literature), the Covenantal People (featuring Exodus and the Sinai events), Prophetic Theology (analyzing the socio-political significance of the prophets), the message of Jesus (discussing the Gospels and the developing church), the theology of Paul and the developing Christian tradition (thinking through Paul and the other New Testament documents which conclude the biblical story).

THEO 210     Foundations of Christian Spirituality (3 credits)
This course studies the six major Christian traditions of spirituality: Contemplative, Holiness, Charismatic, Social Justice, Evangelical, and Incarnational. Key biblical texts and selected classical writings of the church fathers and mothers will be analyzed and discussed, for the purpose of identifying the variety of ways and means for spiritual formation. Students will be encouraged to practice many of the disciplines and report on their experiences.

INST 270     Justice in a Pluralistic Society (3 credits)
This interdisciplinary course uses both biblical and philosophical frameworks to examine the complexities of social justice in a pluralistic society. The focus is on the United States, with connections to the global community. Principles of social justice are used to explore issues of race, gender and class. Emphasis is
placed on the student understanding her/his own identity and life situation, including what values, attitudes and knowledge have shaped her/his own worldview. Attention is given to students developing skills in interacting with people from diverse groups and in bringing about social justice in the larger society.

INST 222    Foundations of Critical Thinking (3 credits)
This course assists students in developing the ability to reason logically and assess the value and validity of persuasive communication. Topics include components of sound argument, quality of arguments, ambiguity in communication, standards of thinking, identification of assumptions, and examining supportive evidence. This is a foundational course drawing on the disciplines of philosophy and other disciplines. Satisifies the general education requirement for Critical Reasoning/Argument and Analysis.