Common Curriculum

The Common Curriculum includes eight required courses spread over four years. These courses are designed to help you develop critical academic skills, to understand and engage our multicultural and complex world, and to embrace the Christian story as you become biblically and theologically literate. Each of the courses in the Common Curriculum includes common texts and objectives to ensure common learning.

As an SPU student, you will begin the Common Curriculum in the first quarter of your freshman year by taking the 1 credit University Colloquium. The word colloquium means conversation. The University Colloquium is a place where you can enter into our academic community by studying and conversing about an interesting problem or academic topic with a faculty instructor and student peers.

In your freshman year you will also complete the first of the three required University Foundation courses. The three foundation courses are centered in the foundations of faith. In these courses you will:

  • Study and reflect on the Christian life, how our faith is formed, and what it means to live in Christian community.
  • Study the Bible and how the diverse collections of the Old and New Testaments narrate the story of God’s redemption, reconciliation, and restoration of creation.
  • Learn about the doctrines that are important to Christians and the ways they influence Christian thought and life.

The first year is rounded out by our two academic inquiry and writing (WRI) seminar courses.

  • “WRI 1000,” taught by English faculty, provides an introduction to academic inquiry. Its central purpose is to immerse you in the types of reading, writing, and critical thinking that will be required of you as a university student.
  • “WRI 1100” taught by faculty across campus, builds on these skills as you learn to research complex and important questions in a disciplinary context.

Two additional Core courses, taken after the freshman year, complete the Common Curriculum. These courses look at the intersections of Christian faith with contemporary society and thought.

“UCOR 2000” explores how the modern global system was formed, with special emphasis on the history and patterns of human inequality that mark today’s societies. The course asks how we as Christians should live in a world that is both deeply divided and globally interwoven. You will study how the Christian vision for equality has broken through patterns of injustice, by introducing reconciliation into contexts of inequality.

“UCOR 3000” explores challenging questions for the Christian faith that arise from science and modern philosophy, while learning to articulate responses to such questions in thoughtful, informed, rational, and charitable ways.

Note: If you are admitted to one of the special programs or if you are part of University Scholars, you follow a different curriculum specific to their programs.

Common Curriculum (36 credits)

University Colloquium

Academic Inquiry and Writing (WRI)

      University Core

      University Foundations

      • If you enter SPU with freshman or sophomore standing, you must complete UFDN 1000, UFDN 2000, and UFDN 3100. 
      • If you enter SPU with junior or senior standing (90 transferable credits or more), you are required to take only UFDN 3001 and UFDN 3100.

      The 2016–17 graduation requirements checklists

      Refer to your checklist to ensure that you’re taking the required courses and credits you need to earn your degree in a timely manner.