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General Education/Core

http://www.whitworth.edu/core

EducationCore/Worldview Studies

Core is the three-part Worldview Studies Program at Whitworth University. Simply put, a worldview is “a commitment, a fundamental orientation of the heart that can be expressed as a story or in a set of presuppositions that we hold about the basic constitution of reality, and that provides the foundation on which we live and move and have our being” (Sire, 2004). A worldview serves as a lens through which we perceive and relate to reality; it is a set of core beliefs and basic understandings about the bigger and deeper questions of life.

The Program Goals: The Worldview Studies Program at Whitworth University exists to engage you in examining actively the pre-suppositional thinking that forms the basis of all human meaning-making. Its intent is to explore the origins of human thinking at this foundational level, particularly emphasizing the Western tradition of answering questions of meaning. The Worldview Studies Program seeks to meet four general core objectives:

  1. To furnish students with the basic categories of worldview thinking evident in the West including the nature of God, the nature of humanity, how we know, the nature of reality, and how we should live individually and corporately.
  2. To expose students to a variety of answers that Westerners have given to these categories of worldview thinking across the disciplines of academic study, since worldviews express themselves in all aspects of human culture.
  3. To provide opportunities for student contemplation and evaluation of both the categories of worldview thinking and the answers that Westerners have given to these categories in light of Scripture and the historic doctrines of the Christian Church.
  4. To equip and encourage students to explore the parameters of their own worldview via discussions, student activities, directed lectures, examinations, and readings.

The Ultimate Questions: To get at these worldview beliefs and their related issues, the Whitworth Worldview Studies Program focuses on three foundational questions:

  1. What is the nature of God, the world, and humanity?
  2. How do we know?
  3. How should we act in response to a broken world, as individuals and as a community?

Although each of these questions will be addressed in some way within all three Core courses (150, 250, and 350), each Core class will emphasize and devote special attention to one question in particular, as follows:

Core 150: “What is the nature of God, the world, and humanity?” [This is "stating the claims."] This course examines the various ways in which this question has been answered, using the Christian tradition as a main point of reference, emphasizing questions of a religious and theological nature.

Core 250: “How do we know?” [This is "justifying the claims."] This course explores various ways of “knowing” (intuition, empirical senses, innate reason, and authority), and examines the rationalist worldview tradition that has emerged and influenced the Christian West, focusing upon questions of a philosophical nature.

Core 350: “How should we act in response to a broken world, as individuals and as a community?” [This is "applying the claims."] This course explores the ways in which Western worldview claims, particularly those of Christianity, are applied in the private and public spheres of life, emphasizing questions of a practical and ethical nature.

Core Courses

CO 150 Western Civilization I: Christian Worldview Perspective4
The initial Worldview course focuses on theology and anthropology, the nature of God and humanity. The course emphasizes key theological concerns and how those concerns work themselves out in daily life. Issues to be explored include Jewish and Christian theological assumptions about God, humans, and their implications for ethics, work, leisure, creativity, diversity, scientific inquiry, resource allocation, global citizenship, and technological innovation.
CO 150H Western Civ. I: Christian (Honors) Worldview Perspective4
The initial Worldview course focuses on theology and anthropology, the nature of God and humanity. The course emphasizes key theological concerns and how those concerns work themselves out in daily life. Issues to be explored include Jewish and Christian theological assumptions about God, humans, and their implications for ethics, work, leisure, creativity, diversity, scientific inquiry, resource allocation, global citizenship, and technological innovation.
CO 250 Western Civilization II: The Rationalist Worldview4
The guiding foci for this second course are epistemology/hermeneutics and metaphysics, the nature of knowledge and reality and the interpretation of such knowledge. Examination of epistemological/hermeneutical or metaphysical assumptions and their practical outworking in human affairs whether evident in the humanities, the arts, or the sciences are explored.
CO 250H Western Civiiliation II: (Honors) The Rationalist Worldview with Films4
Relying on film and field trip the guiding foci for this second course are epistemology/hermeneutics and metaphysics, the nature of knowledge and reality and the interpretation of such knowledge. Examination of epistemological/hermeneutical or metaphysical assumptions and their practical outworking in human affairs whether evident in the humanities, the arts, or the sciences are explored.
CO 300 Reason/Knowing: Nature and Human Nature4
This worldview course for Continuing Studies students focuses on epistemology, metaphysics and human nature questions within the complex traditions of Christian and Rationalist worldviews from the Hebrews and Greeks in ancient times through the 19th and 20th century challenges to Rationalist assumptions.
CO 350 Western Civilization III: Applied Ethics, Public Policy and Worldviews4
This is the third course in the Worldview Studies program. It explores the relationship between our worldviews and our responses to the world's problems. Its emphasis is on the applications of worldview claims, particularly those of Christianity, in the private and public spheres of life, and it addresses practical and ethical questions. The interplay between worldviews, ethics, and public policy in various disciplines will be examined in the discussion groups.
CO 396 Faculty Assistant1-3

General Education Courses

GE 125 First Year Seminar1
Presentations and discussions are designed to inform freshmen about the university's traditions and procedures and to help them become a part of the Whitworth community. Required of all first-term freshmen.
GE 130 Success Strategies for Adult Learners3
Development of study and thinking patterns that will allow the student to become independent scholars and critical thinkers. Designed for non-traditional age students returning to college. Periodic offering.
GE 131 Academic Success Strategies0
This course is designed for students who have 1) been placed academic probation in a previous term or 2) have received multiple midterm grades during a term. It provides individualized assistance to a student to ensure academic success at Whitworth. No credit.
GE 148 Planning: Major/Career1-3
Explores and defines personal interests, values, goals and personality in relation to choosing a major. Provides specific information on career and job opportunities to help students make career choices and other major decisions. Spring semester.
GE 196 Topics in General Studies1-3
Selected topics in general studies. Periodic offering.
GE 303 Latin American Prep Course1
Preparation for the Latin American Study Program.
GE 304 Maximizing Study Abroad2
GE 325 Transfer Seminar1
Presentations and discussions are designed to inform transfer students about the university's traditions and procedures and to help them become a part of the Whitworth community. Suggested for all Transfer students. Fall and spring semester.
GE 330 Community Leadership Training1
A survey of topics related to effective community leadership, such as characteristics of community, conflict management, valuing diversity. Attention is given to development of applicable skills. Fall and spring semesters.
GE 335 Transitions to Adult Learning3
An introduction to the expectations and methodology of the accelerated learning format and the programs in continuing studies. Through readings, discussion, and writing assignments, the course examines critical thinking and communication skills. Topics include self-directed collaborative learning, academic research, and history/culture of Whitworth.
GE 396 Topics in General Studies1-3
Selected upper-division topics in general studies. Periodic offering.
Dean of Arts and Sciences

NOELLE WIERSMA