Franciscan University Core Curriculum Overview

Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio is committed to academic excellence and the integration of faith and reason. That commitment is demonstrated through Franciscan University’s core curriculum, a common educational experience shared by all undergraduate students — no matter which of the more than 70 undergraduate majors and minors you decide to pursue. The core curriculum is based on the Western intellectual tradition, our Franciscan educational heritage, and the Catholic mission of Franciscan University. The core curriculum purposefully exposes you to the fundamental knowledge, critical authors, scientific findings and processes, and diverse learning experiences you need to become a well-educated Catholic and member of society.

Goals of the Franciscan University Core Curriculum

  1. Foster understanding of the unity of all truth, natural and revealed, in the one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  2. Develop understanding of the charism of St. Francis and the Franciscan contribution to the world and the Church.
  3. Encourage attainment of foundational knowledge in the core disciplines of the liberal arts tradition.
  4. Strengthen mastery of skills foundational to reasoning well and communicating effectively.
  5. Foster recognition of one’s place in relation to nature, other persons, the state, and God.
  6. Develop understanding of intellectual and moral virtues and their importance in human life.

Grounded in Ex Corde Ecclesiae

Our core curriculum is inspired by the vision of Catholic education expressed by St. John Paul II in Ex Corde Ecclesiae. This document calls Catholic universities to encourage a love for knowledge that serves the good of all people and challenges Catholic universities to become instruments of cultural transformation and progress. To be such an instrument, a Catholic university must foster an interested, caring, and dedicated relationship with the Church and be willing to honor its Catholic mission and identity. Ultimately, the Franciscan core seeks to evoke your love of knowledge, appreciation for the unity of all truth, and courage to live an authentic Christian life in which you witness to Christ in whichever vocation to which you are called.

Explore More of the Core Curriculum

You will take courses that teach about understanding the human person from the perspective of Catholic faith and reason, as well as discerning what it means to live an upstanding life in response to the call to goodness. You will encounter ideas that encourage a deeper sense of wonder and that foster an appreciation of the unexpected depth, richness, and mystery of the world around you through:

  • Reading and learning to analyze epic, drama, and lyric masterpiece texts;
  • Describing how works of art reveal theological and philosophical truths and simultaneously are the handmaids of those truths;
  • Engaging in a holistic study of the past by examining all aspects of a culture including religion, intellectual ideas, politics, society, military history, and economics;
  • Learning about and being able to describe the Franciscan Order and its unique founding, history, and influence on the world; and
  • Exploring the natural and social sciences, as well as mathematics and economics.

The Franciscan University core curriculum is designed so that, over the course of four years, you can complete your required undergraduate courses along with degree program requirements for at least one academic major. For a detailed guide to the core curriculum, please view the undergraduate catalog.

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