Students in the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Culture study
the following disciplines during their education.
Seeking to revitalize the western languages, New Saint Andrews has some of the most unique undergraduate language study in the world. By teaching students to speak and compose in classical languages, we increase the ease of beginning a language and heighten language mastery as well. While language study aids us in almost every academic discipline, most importantly, it gives us greater insight into God’s word. It also gives us greater insight into our own culture, since Greek, Latin, and Hebrew were all formative languages in Western Christendom.
We will not long preserve the gospel without the languages. —Martin Luther
Latin was the language of the western world’s growth and the language of the Reformation, which makes it an essential subject for any Christian liberal arts program. At New Saint Andrews, incoming freshmen are placed in one of seven tracks, so that—no matter what level of ability—they may progress as far in Latin as they are willing and able. Many of our students are able to read, speak, and write Latin by their second year of study. Four years of study are available, spanning Classical, Medieval, and Reformation-era Latin. Studies include the study of authors like Virgil, Ovid, Livy, and Phaedrus, and students engage with Latin poetry, the Vulgate, Augustine’s Confessions and many other texts.
While the Greek language is one of the classical languages of the West, most significantly the New Testament was written in Greek. Through Greek studies, New Saint Andrews gives students insights into our western tradition from the classical age and into the Reformation, and Greek studies enable students to conduct true scholarship and study of the New Testament in its original language. Students electing to take Greek may choose between New Testament and Classical Greek. Just as in the Latin program, students learn to read, speak, and write in Greek. This is the only undergraduate degree in the country that offers spoken and written Greek instruction. Our most successful students not only have direct access to the Greek New Testament and Septuagint, but also to the great works of antiquity written in Classical Greek, such as Homer, Plato, and Herodotus. Three years of Greek study are available, spanning Homeric, Classical, New Testament, Early Christian, and Reformation-era texts.
Students may elect to take Biblical Hebrew courses with an emphasis on exegesis and interpretation of the Old Testament. Our most successful students have direct access to the Hebrew Old Testament and are well prepared for seminary, graduate school, and a lifetime of personal study of the Scriptures in Hebrew. Three years of Hebrew study are available, spanning literature from the Old Testament to the Medieval Jewish Grammarians, who are so important for understanding Reformation-era works. Hebrew studies include texts like the Dead Sea Scrolls, 2nd Temple literature, Medieval Hebrew poetry, and select Rabbinic texts.
Chaucer nowadays is usually read in modernized prose editions. But at New Saint Andrews, students interact with Chaucer and other Middle English authors in their original verse. Unlike with other languages, Middle-English students jump directly into reading original texts, such as The Canterbury Tales and various Chaucer texts, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Students develop a powerful understanding of English language, working to master pronunciation and retain Middle English vocabulary as they delve deep into the mechanics of poetry and the history of our language.
A broad spectrum of subjects exists under the umbrella of humanities. These subjects comprise the fabric of culture and society, and students gain a meta-narrative of humanity’s most significant ideas and their culturally shaping effects. Students get to know the thinkers behind the theories and their contexts. Our college recognizes these thinkers as cultural leaders, and seeks to build upon their work.
Study everything. Later, you will see that nothing is superfluous. —Hugh of Saint Victor
As philosophy becomes more peripheral in colleges, New Saint Andrews keeps it central in its single-focus major. Students engage philosophy as a mode of inquiry addressing the ultimate questions of life—e.g., questions of existence, knowledge, and values—and which, as such, seeks to uncover the foundational principles of any given subject matter. Thus, while the liberal arts education at New Saint Andrews College attempts to take a properly philosophical approach to all of its subjects—including the languages, history, literature, and more—students also have the particular opportunity to take philosophy courses on such topics as God, man, society and politics, religion, apologetics, economics, science, and mathematics.
At New Saint Andrews, students have the opportunity to study economic theory and economic practices. Studies include a systematic introduction to the economic laws of all human action, including such microeconomic topics as the origins and nature of money, price theory, supply and demand, capital and interest, entrepreneurship and profit, and financial markets, and such macroeconomic topics as free market capitalism, socialism, Keynesianism, economic growth, employment, the banking system, inflation, recessions, government regulation, and tax policy. Electives and directed studies in the history of economic thought and in special economic topics are offered as well.
While our college is conservative in its stance, political studies are more than partisan topics. The very nature of politics is considered: is politics the science of the political community in general or, more narrowly, is it the science of the moral use of coercion in particular? This is one of the many questions raised in our undergraduate program. Students can undertake a systematic and historical introduction to politics, reading and debating such classical works as Plato’s Republic, Aristotle’s Ethics, Augustine’s City of God, Aquinas’s On Kingship, Calvin’s “On Civil Government,” and John Locke’s Second Treatise on Government. Studies also cover such topics as conservatism, libertarianism, democracy, federalism and the American founding, and Constitutional law. Electives and directed studies in the history of political thought and in special political topics are offered as well. These studies equip our graduates with an incredibly deep and robust understanding, an ability to converse and persuade, as well as mature conviction when it comes to the civic sphere.
For leaders to anticipate the future, they need to understand the past. New Saint Andrews recognizes the value of knowing the story of our culture and society, and so all students are required to study the works of the West’s great historians from ancient Near Eastern authors to Karl Marx. While gaining a vision of the greater historical narrative, students also consider the contexts of the historians themselves and the philosophy of history keeping. In particular, students consider how the western tradition reflects back upon itself, analyzing how western historians tell their own story. Written assignments require library research, interaction with current historical scholarship, and original research using both written and oral sources. Courses engage classical antiquity, the rise of Christendom, and the Reformation and its aftermath.
New Saint Andrews recognizes the incredible influence of literature on culture as it often serves, in Hamlet’s words, as “a mirror held up to nature.” Students are guided through the great tradition of literature, studying the genres of epic, tragedy, the novel, and lyric poetry. Courses approach literature as concrete language, as the language of experience, as a formal art, forging connections between things, aiming to synthesize rather than analyze. Studies include the texts that have most shaped western civilization, including authors such as Homer, Shakespeare, Frost, Dostoevsky, McCarthy and more, with the opportunity to take further literature electives.
Communication is an essential part of life. It is a skill that both the workforce and the civic sphere of our society desperately need. In both oratory and writing, students at New Saint Andrews are trained to to persuade, inform, and motivate. These rhetorical skills become habits that students will employ in all their course work. Aristotle’s Rhetoric and Rhetorica ad Herennium, and Quintilian’s Institutio Oratoria serve as foundation texts for rhetoric studies. Students progress through formal and informal logic, persuasive writing and its fundamental components, and rhetorical principles in oratory. Both prepared and impromptu rhetorical exercises are regular in rhetoric studies.
Science and math are studied from both a macro and a micro perspective. The historical developments of each subject are covered with special attention given to the philosophy and epistemology behind the subjects. The logical foundations of math and the shaping of scientific theories, as well as the relationship between physics and metaphysics, give students a wide-angle vision to understand the nature of both subjects.
To myself I am only a child playing on the beach, while vast oceans of truth lie undiscovered before me. —Isaac Newton
As queen of the sciences, theology provides the bookends for the undergraduate program: students take theology freshman and senior years. At New Saint Andrews, we recognize theology as the lodestar of all education—it orients every subject and class. Following the reformed tradition, we study theology’s two-fold foundation: the doctrines of God and scripture.
There is no knowing that does not begin with knowing God. —John Calvin