Liberal Arts Myth Busters
Myth Buster: The liberal arts imply a politically “liberal” point of view.
Reality: The liberal arts are not affiliated with any political agenda. Instead, the curriculum equips graduates with the skills they need to think critically, problem solve and identify truth. Students are exposed to multiple points of view, and they learn methods to evaluate complex issues. This prepares them for an increasingly diverse world and rapidly changing labor market.
Myth Buster: The liberal arts specifically refer to the fine arts and humanities.
Reality: The liberal arts are integrated into every discipline, including the sciences. Regardless of students' majors, USF incorporates 21st century skills into the curriculum. This emphasizes technology, communication and cultural skills. Students are transformed into creative and critical, independent thinkers. Learn more about the benefits of a Christian liberal arts degree.
Myth Buster: The sole purpose of college is to acquire occupational knowledge and skills.
Reality: This is one of the objectives of a USF education. Just ask our graduates. Six months after graduation, 96 percent of our graduates secure jobs related to their major or chosen field. We also offer much more to our students. We teach students to integrate their faith and be lifelong, engaged learners. Our liberal arts focus nurtures their relationship with God. In his book Engaging God’s World, Cornelius Plantinga (2002) writes, “One way to love God is to know and love God’s work. Learning is therefore a spiritual calling: properly done, it attaches us to God” (p. xi). How do the Christian liberal arts achieve this? We ask important questions and seek out truth. As Cosgrove (2006) explains in Foundations of Christian Thought, “Faith without learning can never be tested for truth, and learning without faith assumptions tends to study the trivial” (p. 48).
Myth Buster: I can develop as a Christian at a public university as much as I would at a Christian liberal arts institution.
The integration of faith and learning is at the heart of the present vocation for all USF students. Because it is a spiritual activity, this learning cannot be compartmentalized to students’ college education. It is necessary in the life of faith and should continue even after they graduate. But don’t worry. We prepare our students for this lifelong learning. That’s why our students are transformed into critical and creative independent thinkers. That’s one of the many reasons we’re with them The Whole Way.
Reality: Christian liberal arts institutions, like USF, are the only place where you can find the integration of faith and learning. Public schools may have active Christian organizations that could foster friendships, study the Bible or meet periodically to discuss spiritual topics, but your faith is still compartmentalized. Your professors cannot extensively incorporate it into classroom discussion, assignments or activities. At USF faith permeates every area of our campus. We believe your faith is too important to be a secondary byline in the conversation. Stretch both your intellect and your faith by learning more about The Whole Way.
Myth Buster: The liberal arts are a luxury. In this economic climate, we need individuals with practical skills.
Reality: The liberal arts are a necessity. New types of jobs are emerging every year and most of us have no way of knowing what those jobs will be or what type of requirements will be needed in order to qualify for them. Consequently, our country’s future leaders need to develop general, transferable skills that employers want, and future leaders will need to adjust to rapidly-changing careers. Learn more about the benefits of a Christian liberal arts degree.