Saint Anselm College provides a distinctive, Catholic, Liberal Arts education in the Benedictine tradition. It promotes an educational experience in which individuals are rooted in thinking rigorously, acting rightly, and serving humanity in a community that fosters the love of learning, educates the whole person and promotes the common good.
Graduates should be able to dedicate themselves to an active and enthusiastic pursuit of truth grounded in the liberal arts, the Catholic intellectual tradition, and the Benedictine monastic tradition; balance a comprehensive liberal arts education and specialized study in the major; pursue knowledge and wisdom fostered by our patron Saint Anselm’s vision of Theology as “faith seeking understanding,” which requires dialogue between faith and reason; and serve as ethical leaders and informed citizens who contribute to a more just community and world.
The Saint Anselm College curriculum is based on five college-wide learning outcomes that are achieved in multiple courses throughout a student’s core and major course of study. Critical and imaginative thinking is that mode of thinking - about any subject, content, or problem - in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully analyzing, assessing, and reconstructing it. Written communication is the ability to express facts and ideas correctly and persuasively in writing. Oral communication is the ability to express oneself clearly and persuasively in oral presentation, to listen attentively and to contribute to a substantive exchange of ideas. Information literacy is an integrated ability to find, evaluate, and utilize relevant scholarly and other resources, and to maintain high standards of academic integrity. Moral inquiry helps develop students’ moral framework, instilling a habit of mind by which they continually revisit important ethical questions and refine their capacity to consider these questions objectively, systematically, and in an increasingly rigorous manner.
The College’s core curriculum has eleven core learning outcomes that are achieved in designated core courses. Philosophical reasoning is knowledge of and a systematic approach to answering enduring questions including: a) theoretical questions regarding the nature of reality and human existence, and b) ethical questions about how we ought to live. Theological reasoning is knowledge of and a systematic approach to fundamental theological questions including: a) Biblical literacy, and b) a Catholic theological approach to God, the world and the human condition. Quantitative reasoning is the capacity of creative problem solving through the ability to assess numerical evidence and to reason from data. Scientific reasoning is the ability to appreciate, identify, and investigate questions in the theory and praxis of the natural sciences. Aesthetic and creative engagement is the ability to understand artistic language and the relationship between form and content in the visual, musical, or literary arts. Historical reasoning is the ability to recognize and to analyze change and continuity in human society over time. Social scientific awareness is the ability to identify, appreciate and investigate questions in the theory and methodology of the social sciences. Linguistic awareness in writing composition is knowledge of the use of language as a tool for communicating information and ideas within academic fields and as an object of study in itself. Linguistic awareness in a modern foreign or classical language aims to bring the student to a minimum level of low intermediate in the target language. Citizenship courses allow students to reflect upon the meaning of citizenship and the role of a citizen within their own communities and communities of others, past and present. Global engagement fosters an active interest in a world where all peoples, being rooted locally, share the responsibilities of belonging to a common humanity.
Finally, the College’s first-year sequence, Conversatio, has the shared learning outcome of intellectual orientation and integration. It welcomes students to the Saint Anselm intellectual community, fosters their familiarity with the liberal arts as a modality of learning, introduces them to the spiritual teachings of Saints Benedict and Anselm, and begins to develop their capacity to integrate college-wide and core learning outcomes.