An introduction to the history of art and architecture. While the primary focus will provide students with an appreciation of the art and architecture of the West, coverage of non-western material will also be included. The material covered ranges from the pre-historic period to the present day, and spans the regions of the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Students will be introduced to different styles of painting, sculpture, and architecture, and helped to understand how those styles were influenced by the social, political, and religious thought of each historical period.

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

   • Understand the broad outlines of art history, including non-western art

   • Read a work of art through its formal elements as well as its historical context

   • Engage with works of art on a personal level

Course Details: What is art? Prehistoric, Ancient Greek and Roman, Jewish, early Christian, Byzantine, Early Medieval, Romanesque, Gothic, Early Renaissance, High Renaissance, Modern European, American, Islamic, Asian, African, Indigenous, and Contemporary

Image: Basilica of the Holy Family (Sagrada Família), Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain), designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi.

A survey of Christianity from the Investiture Controversy to the present day, including how faith and doctrine developed in the context of the social, cultural, and political trends in Europe. How Christianity influenced European civilization, and how it was in turn influenced by it.

   • Render an overview of the major turning points of Christianity from the Investiture Controversy to the present day

   • Identify the causes of division between Eastern and Western Christianity

   • Evaluate the Crusades, the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Counter-Reformation, and other key events in the history of Christianity

   • Evaluate the role the Catholic Church played in the development of art and architecture, universities, and other social instituions

   • Understand the factors that led to the evangelization of the New World

   • Critically evaluate the Catholic Church’s confrontation with modernity

   • Identify the female geniuses of the Church

Course Details:  The Holy Roman Empire, the Investiture Controversy and the Papal Revolution, universities and cathedrals; the Great Western Schism; the Crusades; the Reformation; the Catholic Revival; the Council of Trent; Jansenism; spreading the Gospel in the New World; the Age of Enlightenment; the French Revolution and its consequences; Modernism

Image: A romantic commemoration of the French Revolution by Eugène Delacroix [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Loranne Brown, Walnut Grove Campus

An overview of contemporary forms of media, including contemporary print, video, audio, websites, and social media.

   • Identify and describe the various forms of contemporary media and discuss their impact on society and culture

   • Identify and describe the various forms of patronage, advertising, and finance in media

   • Identify and describe the various technologies used in producing digital media

   • Build a website using a content management system (Joomla or WordPress)

   • Create a media campaign using online digital technologies

Course Details:  Sheetfed presses and digital printing; digital books; social media; websites; Google marketing & search engine optimization; Apple; Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak; Tour of Adobe Creative Suite; videography, video and audio editing; media distribution; the future of television and the 30 second commercial


A study of of medieval philosophy from Augustine to William of Ockham. The first part of the course explores the origins of medieval philosophy, particularly its roots in Neoplatonism, and in the work of Augustine (who bridges classical antiquity and Christianity). The course will then survey the works of a number of key figures in the medieval tradition, focusing on their respective epistemologies, metaphysics, and ethics.

   • Recognize valid and fallacious patterns of logical reasoning

   • Understand the basic principles of metaphysics

   • Understand the variety of ethical systems explored by the writers of the Middle Ages

   • Understand the broad outline of the history of medieval philosophy

   • Render a detailed and articulate account of the main contributions to philosophy in the Latin West that were made during the millennium that spanned the end of the fourth century to the beginning of the fourteenth

   • Understand the basic principles of epistemology

Course Details:  Augustine on intuition and knowledge; Augustine on God and nature; Boethius on faith and reason; Anselm on God’s existence and the Divine Attributes; Aquinas on nature; Aquinas on logic and metaphysics; Aquinas on God; William of Ockham and Nominalism; medieval philosophy and Modernity

Image: Botticelli's St. Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor.

A study of the philosophical background necessary to think about moral issues. After outlining the role Christian anthropology has played in the development of moral theories, the course will explore a variety of moral theories, such as utilitarianism and consequentialism. Debates concerning natural law theory will also be considered in light of many of the important moral issues of our day.

   • Understand what's meant by secularity & secularism; how Christian moral reflection is situated in relation to epistemological and moral relativism, and utilitarianism; and what's meant by natural law and the controversies surrounding it

   • Appreciate the importance of Christian anthropology, i.e. the nature and dignity of the human person as a key principle in moral thinking

   • Discuss, in an informed manner, many of the important moral issues confronting humanity today

Course Details: What are some of the “background languages” (Charles Taylor) to the various ways of understanding morality? What is moral thinking? What is the good life? What are the sources of moral thinking? Happiness vs. obligation as a basis for moral life; elements of morality. Intentions, freedom, habits, virtue: What are they and why are they important? What is Christian morality? What is the relationship between morality and religious belief? Between morality and truth? How can the desire for happiness be corrupted?

Image: A section of "The Wall" between Israel and Palestine.

From the origin of the Christian era, the Church has made certain claims for itself; for example, that it carries the divine within its human institutional structure. Students will examine the claims the Church makes for itself, and explore how the Catholic tradition has responded to humankind’s questions concerning existence, meaning, the world, and God. Particular emphasis will be placed on how the Church responded to challenges posed by the Protestant Reformation, by modernity, and by post-modernity.

   • Understand the claims of the Church; understand the essential elements of the Church as an organization; be aware of the challenges facing the Church in the world throughout its history, and how the Church has responded to, and is responding to, those challenges

   • Understand the major topics of theology, the Church’s relationship to modernity

Course Details: Three different attitudes to the interpretation of the Church (rationalist, inner enlightenment, orthodox/Catholic); contemporary difficulties in understanding the Christian proposal: the history of our mentality; humanism; rationalism; the constituent factors of the early Church/the creeds; grace, sacraments, prayer, and liturgy of the Church; community, tradition, magisterium; Image: Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

From its beginnings in the apostolic and patristic ages, through the medieval and counter-reformation eras, and down to contemporary times, the Catholic mystical tradition is contemplated in this course through the reading, analysis, and discussion of, classic primary sources. The spiritual masterpieces of other religious traditions will also be considered in a comparative religious context.

   • Analyze and discuss classic writings in the Catholic spiritual tradition

   • Analyze and discuss classic spiritual writings in other religious traditions in a comparative religious context

   • Distinguish between various schools of spirituality

   • Compare guidelines for spiritual growth and self-awareness in the texts examined, and discuss the relevance of these insights for the student’s own life experience

Course Details: Introduction to Catholic spirituality; the beginnings of monasticism; Patristic doctrines of spirituality; medieval monasticism; extra-monastic movements in medieval spirituality; Counter-Reformation spirituality; contemporary spirituality; selected classic texts in other religious traditions

Image: South Rose Window of Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France.