Jun 25, 2021  
Traditional Undergraduate Catalog 2018-2019 
Traditional Undergraduate Catalog 2018-2019 Archived Catalog

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.


  1. Develop a mature, discerning Christian faith.
  2. Demonstrate Christian character in all areas of life.
  3. Build and nurture healthy relationships.
  4. Understand and practice emotional maturity.


  1. Serve others.
  2. Practice Christian stewardship of their bodies, time, and other resources.
  3. Apply Christian ethics to society and the environment.
  4. 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


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, Milestone Leadership, the Center for Healthy Relationships, and the student leadership programs.

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