The Calvin Core prepares students for lives of Christian service, and is inspired by our vision of a Christian liberal arts university with an expanded global influence.
Choosing the new Calvin Core
Submit your Core
- If you're a new student beginning your freshman year, you don't need to go through this process. This process is for returning students only.
- Download a copy of the student planning worksheet.
- In consultation with your advisor, select your courses for each section on the worksheet. For more details about indvidual courses, scroll down on this page to see a complete list of Core courses, and check the frequently-asked questions if you have questions.
- Save a copy of your completed worksheet to your computer.
- Submit your completed worksheet online.
The links on the right can provide useful additional information as you plan your academic experience.
List of Core Curriculum courses
Use the menus below to explore and choose Core courses that best fit with your academic goals. The Core courses below are divided into four major sections: Foundations, Competencies and Skills, Knowledge and Understanding, and Engaged Citizenship.
Foundations (9 credit hours)
The Foundations section of the core program invites students into a holistic vision of Christian thought and engagement at the heart of Calvin’s mission.
One Foundation of Christianity course may be transferred in if it includes content reflective of a Reformed Christian orientation. At least one Foundations of Christianity course must be taken at Calvin.
- Community and Commitments (3)
A course that serves as invitation to Calvin’s Reformed Christian theological heritage and its commitments to justice, reconciliation, and renewal and an introduction to Reformed Christian liberal arts education as equipping students for vocation and citizenship.
This course normally will be taken in the first semester of students’ first year.
CORE 100 — Community and Commitments (in development)
- Foundations of Christianity (3)
Courses that introduce the content and theological teachings of the Bible as the standard of Christian faith and life, or to the content and development of basic Christian theology as the teachings of the church, with particular attention to the Reformed tradition.
This course normally will be taken in students’ first two years.
- Foundations of Christianity II (3)
Courses that examine the basis, development, or elements of Christian thought within its philosophical, historical, biblical, theological, or literary dimensions, to deepen students’ understanding of the context and meaning of Christian and Reformed theology.
This course must be taken in a different discipline than courses satisfying the Humanities requirement of the core curriculum.
- ENGL-205Y - Bilble as Literature (In Development)
- PHIL 293 - God, Freedom, and Evil (In development)
Competencies and Skills (5-13 credit hours)
The Competencies and Skills section of the core program ensures that students demonstrate
at least minimal proficiencies in three key areas. Transfer credit, AP credit, and exemption allowed.
- Foundational Writing (3)
- Health and Movement (2)
Leisure, Sport, and Skills
- World Languages I (0–8)
- FREN 150 - Intermediate French (In Development)
- GERM 102 - Elementary German II
- SPAN 150 - Intermediate Spanish (In Development)
Knowledge and Understanding (23-25 credit hours)
The Knowledge and Understanding section of the core program includes courses that establish a breadth of knowledge and understanding.
Students in B.A. programs must complete eight of nine courses, opting out of one course in one of the six categories, while students in B.S. and professional programs must complete eight of ten courses (with the option of an additional natural science course), opting out of one course in two of the six categories.
Transfer credit, AP credit, and exemption by examination allowed.
- World Languages II (3)
Courses that help students to explore cultural identities and the relationships between products, practices, and perspectives through the lens of another culture, their experiences, and their language.
Students must complete coursework in a world language at the “intermediate low” level (i.e., FL-201) or higher or in another world language at the “novice high” level (i.e., FL-102) or higher.
- Arts and Rhetoric (5)
Courses that introduce students to visual, performing, and rhetorical arts, attending to their productive, communicative, and receptive aspects. Courses in this category must be taken in different disciplines.
- Humanities (6)
Courses that introduce students to historical, philosophical, religious, and literary texts and methods.
Courses in the Humanities and Christian Foundations II categories must be taken in different disciplines.
ENGL 205 - Special Topics in Literature (In Development)
HIST 280 - Introduction to Archaeology (Crosslisted as IDIS-240)
- Mathematical Sciences (3)
Courses that develop knowledge of algorithmic, analytical, computational, data-driven, statistical, or quantitative methods, and apply those methods to solve problems.
- Natural Sciences (4–7)
Courses that examine fundamental entities, structures, and systems of the natural world and the methods of the sciences that study them. Courses in this category must be taken in different disciplines. At least one course must include a laboratory.
Students in B.A. programs may complete one course in this category. Students in B.S. and professional programs may complete two courses in this category.
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (6)
Courses that examine social systems and/or interactions between human persons and their communities and environments using social scientific concepts, theories, and methods. Courses in this category must be taken in different disciplines.
Cross-disciplinary Integrations (3 credit hours)
The Cross-disciplinary Integration section of the core program includes courses that develop an integrative context derived from different fields of study.
- Engaged Citizenship Commitments (0)
Courses intended to facilitate the development of civic competencies and habits of engagement, which underpin Christian citizenship.
Students must complete at least one tagged course in all three areas. A tag can be attached to a course in the core, in an academic program, or an elective course in which one credit hour of the course content is dedicated to the category’s objectives and a dedicated assignment to the category’s objectives is included.
Diversity and Difference
ENGL-205X - Gender and Literature (In Development)
PHIL 153X - Philosophy and Difference (in development)
PSYC-270 - Children at Risk (In Development)
HIST 280 - Introduction to Archaeology (crosslisted as IDIS-240)
PHIL 153Y - Philosophy as a Way of Life (in development)
Global Regions and Cultures
BIOL-356 - Sustainability Topics in Regional Contexts (In Development)
- Contemporary Challenges and Enduring Questions (3)
Courses that provide a culminating liberal arts experience by applying cross-disciplinary perspectives to examine enduring questions or to address contemporary challenges and inviting students to begin living out their vocation in Christian witness to the world.