Christian Liberal Arts Education (CLAE)

Basic information

  • Publisher: Calvin College
  • Page count: 108
  • Full Text: Download

The CLAE report, from 1965, discusses the nature of a Christian liberal arts education.

From the preface:

“Amid all the variations in the sense of the term liberal arts education, one factor is constant. What everyone who uses the term agrees on … is that a liberal arts education is one which is not aimed at training the student to hold down some specific occupation. Accordingly, when we speak of ‘liberal arts education’ in the discussion which follows,… we wish to be understood as meaning non-vocational and non-professional education.… Throughout history, various forms of liberal arts education have in fact been regarded as prerequisite to engaging in the learned professions; and nowadays it is widely held that a liberal arts education is equally indispensable to success in various business professions. But the concern of a liberal arts education is not with communicating the skills and knowledge necessary for engaging in some specific vocation or profession. Rather, though its focus is on none, its relevance is to all. It does not point toward the scholar’s life, nor the diplomat’s, nor the clergyman’s, nor the banker’s. It points toward human life

“At the outset the Committee wishes to stress that, in what follows, it is discussing a certain sort of education, a Christian liberal arts education; not a certain sort of college, a Christian liberal arts college. It is not saying that Calvin College ought to offer only a liberal arts education. Calvin College at present offers programs in one and another sort of professional training, and the Committee believes that this is as it should be. We do not regard the aim of professional and vocational training as inferior to, but only as different from, that of liberal arts education. The conspicuous need for a strong Calvinistic liberal arts program must not prevent consideration of the need for other types of educational programs sponsored by the Reformed Christian community, and offered perhaps by the same institution.

“…We believe that the curricula of our various professional programs should incorporate, as far as possible, the ‘core’ of the liberal arts curriculum which we recommend. For it is in this ‘core’ that an integrated Christian view of the major features of reality is communicated to the student.”


  • Course code:
  • Credits:
  • Semester:
  • Department: