Core Curriculum

The Foundational Academic Core of JBU's Liberal Arts Education

The Core Curriculum

John Brown University’s core curriculum provides a common set of broadly oriented foundational courses that instill a deeper, integrative understanding of scripture, creation, and culture in order to prepare students to honor God and serve others.

Goals of the John Brown University Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum seeks to equip students to . . .


1. Apply biblical truth and a Christian worldview to all areas of study.

2. Appreciate the complexity and diversity of creation and culture.

3. Understand and apply multiple approaches to discovering truth.

4. Critically evaluate ideas and arguments.

5. Communicate effectively in speech and in writing.

6. Discern and appreciate beauty in the arts and sciences.

7. Draw connections between various subjects of study.

8. Become lifelong learners.


9. Develop a mature, discerning Christian faith.

10. Demonstrate Christian character in all areas of life.

11. Build and nurture healthy relationships.

12. Understand and practice emotional maturity.


13. Serve others.

14. Practice Christian stewardship of their bodies, time, and other resources.

15. Apply Christian ethics to society and the environment.

16. Participate through their vocation in God's creative and redemptive purposes in the world.

In order to accomplish these goals, the Core Curriculum seeks a middle ground between the extremes of a common core and a cafeteria system. Its basic philosophy is to provide all students with a common set of core classes during their early years, allow them to choose from a variety of courses within basic subject areas during their middle years, and culminate their college experience with a series of upper-level common courses, as shown below.

Core Curriculum Courses

1. Lower-Level Core Classes - 23 hours

BBL 1013 Old Testament Survey

BBL 1023 New Testament Survey

COR 1002 Gateway Seminar in Christian Scholarship

EGL 1013 English I: Composition

EGL 1023 English II: Literary Analysis and Research

HST 1013 Western Civilization I

HST 1023 Western Civilization II

POL 2013 American Government

2. Elective Core - 21-24 hours

Students select from among the approved course offerings that satisfy requirements in the following areas. These offerings are subject to change as new courses are developed. Students should consult the online catalog for the most current list.

 • Wellness - 2 hours

KIN 1002 Wellness for Life

KIN 1012 Lifetime Fitness

NUR 1022 Concepts in Community Health & Wellness

 • Wellness Activity - 1 hour

KIN 1021-91 Wellness Activity Courses

• Natural Science - 6 hours (students select three hours from Life Sciences and three hours from Physical Sciences)

Life Science options:

BIO 1003 Biological Science

BIO 1124 Cell Biology

GSC 1043 Elementary Science Content I

Physical Science options:

CHM 1014 Fundamentals of Chemistry

CHM 1124 General Chemistry I

GSC 1023 Physical Science

GSC 1033 Astronomy

GSC 1053 Elementary Science Content II

PHY 1114 Fundamentals of Physics I

PHY 2114 General Physics I

• Mathematics - 3 hours

  BUS 2193 Business Statistics

  MTH 1003 Introduction to Statistics 

  MTH 1113 College Algebra

  MTH 1123 Survey of Calculus

  MTH 1134 Calculus I

  MTH 2103 Applied Statistics for Scientists

  PSY 2383 Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences

• Philosophy - 3 hours

  POL 3003 Political Philosophy (or RPH 3013)

  RPH 3003 Introduction to Philosophy

• The Arts - 3 hours

  ART 2163 Irish Art and Culture

  ART 2233 Art History I (must be a Visual Arts major or minor to register for this course)

  ART 2333 Art, Design, and Creativity

  ART 2343 European Art Tour

  BBL 4453 Art and Archeology of Jordan

  COM 2083 Masterpieces of Film

  MUS 1203 Liberal Arts Foundations for the Musician

  MUS 2083 Masterpieces of Music

• Social Science - 3 hours

  ECN 2003 Basic Economics

  ECN 2113 Principles of Microeconomics

  ECN 2123 Principles of Macroeconomics

  ECN 2543 Economics and Society of Ireland

  ED 2143 Learning Theories and Developmental Psychology

  FAM 2123 Psychology of Relationship Development

  ICS 2123 Cultural Anthropology

  LS 2173 Introduction to Linguistics

  PSY 1013 Introductory Psychology

  PSY 2413 Developmental Psychology

  SST 1113 Introduction to Sociology

• Global Studies - 0-3 hours

  ART 3553 Social Documentary Photography Abroad

  BBL 3583 Perspectives on the World Christian Movement

  ECN 4103 International Economics

  ECN 4423 Economic Growth and Development

  ED 2033 Cultural Competencies for Human Service Professionals

  EN 3513 International Problem Solving

  FAM 4113 Intercultural Family Seminar

  GSC 3003 Global Stewardship

  HST 3443 The Modern Middle East

  HST 3473 African Civilization since 1850

  ICS 2113 Intercultural Communication

  ICS 2991/93 Study Abroad Experience1

  ICS 3173 Selected Topic: History and Culture of Ireland

  INT 4103 Global Environment of Business

  LS 1593 Introduction to Latin America

  MGT 2183 International Management

  MKT 3153 International Marketing 

  POL 2213 Comparative Politics

  RPH 3533 Introduction to Islam

  RPH 3543 Introduction to Hinduism and Buddhism

  SST 1133 Cultural Geography

  SST 1143 World Regional Geography

>  Three hours of intermediate-level modern foreign language

>  A four-week minimum study abroad program

>  A cross-cultural internship as determined by one's major or minor

3. Upper-Division Core Classes - 8 hours

BBL 3003 Evangelical Theology

BBL 4002 Capstone Seminar in Christian Life

EGL 4003 Masterpieces of Literature2

1Students who plan to spend a minimum of four weeks in a cross-cultural experience may take ICS 2991/93 Study Abroad Experience as an Independent Study course to fulfill their Global Studies requirement. The student must arrange to complete ICS 2991/93 before participating in the cross-cultural experience. Further information is available through the International Programs Office.

2May also be satisfied by taking one of EGL 2213 World Literature I or EGL 2223 World Literature II and one of EGL 3313 Medieval Literature, EGL 3333 Shakespearean Drama, EGL 3353 Nineteenth Century British Literature, EGL 2413 American Literature to 1990, EGL 3323 Renaissance Literature, or EGL 3343 Restoration and Eighteenth Century Literature.

Global Studies Exemptions

International students are exempt from the Global Studies requirement. Students from the United States who have significant cross-cultural life experiences may qualify for Global Studies exemption. Students should consult the Global Studies Exemption form on the JBU web site to determine if they have sufficient cross-cultural experience to apply for exemption

Sequencing of Core Curriculum Courses

The Core Curriculum is designed to function as an interrelated whole. Thus the courses are sequenced, with some serving as prerequisites to others. Instructors in upper-level courses are able to assume a base of knowledge and understanding and use that as a foundation on which to build. In particular, the Gateway Seminar in Christian Scholarship introduces students to the Core Curriculum and establishes a Christian framework for education. The Capstone Seminar in Christian Life culminates the Core Curriculum experience and prepares students to be active participants in the Kingdom of God. Thus, the Capstone Seminar must be taken at John Brown University.

Core Curriculum Course Exemptions

Students in some degree programs that are subject to external accreditation requirements are granted exemptions to certain Core Curriculum courses. All such exemptions are listed in the catalog section pertaining to the particular degree program.

The Co-Curriculum

Complementary to and supportive of the Core Curriculum is the Co-Curriculum. The Core and Co-Curriculum have many of the same goals, some of which, especially those of the spiritual, social, and emotional dimensions, are more strongly addressed through the Co-Curriculum. Co-curricular components include Freshman Orientation, the Chapel program, student organizations (e.g., SGA, Cause Ministries, Residence Hall Associations, growth and support groups (Passion), lectureships and other special events, counseling, the Career Development Center, the Academic Assistance Program, forums, and other out-of-class programs presented by the faculty and staff, the Lyceum Artists Series, intramural sports, Residence Life programs, programming for married students, Soderquist Leadership, the Center for Healthy Relationships, and the student leadership programs.

The Core Curriculum and Co-Curriculum are mutually reinforcing and interdependent.