is an inquiry into what it means to be human - a quest to understand
the rational, spiritual, and aesthetic dimensions of human life. Because
St. Thomas University is devoted to open-minded inquiry, it encourages
a variety of disciplinary approaches to this quest.
education is more important than ever. In a culture where image and
icon often short-circuit reason, liberal education seeks to free people
from thoughtless adherence to the authoritative opinions of their time
and place. In an age where information is prepared for massive and quick
consumption, liberal education seeks to strengthen the capacity to raise
fundamental questions. In an era characterized by enormous pressures
to conform, liberal education seeks to inspire the imagination and engage
St. Thomas University, the goals of a liberal education are pursued
within a humanistic and Catholic tradition. The University aims to create
an academic, cultural, and social environment in which each student
- An independent,
inquiring mind. A liberal education teaches people how to think;
it does not dictate what they ought to think. It encourages, through
independent reasoning and fair-minded inquiry, the recognition of
unstated assumptions, the thoughtful reconsideration of received ideas,
and the challenging of simplistic generalizations. The liberal arts
thus explore controversial and competing ideas in ways that demand
informed, careful, and considered judgement.
- A breadth
of knowledge and depth of understanding. Through both general
and specialized studies, a liberal education seeks to stimulate an
understanding of the content, methods, and theoretical approaches
of different disciplines, as well as a capacity to integrate knowledge
across disciplinary boundaries.
- An awareness
of the perennial questions and new challenges con- fronting humanity.
A liberal education encourages appreciation of the variety and complexity
of circumstances and human responses to them in different times and
- A depth
and consistency of moral judgement. A liberal education emphasizes
the seriousness and difficulty of moral and ethical issues, and the
necessity of examining them thoroughly.
- An ability
to write and speak with clarity and precision. A liberal education
recognizes the connection between clear thinking and effective communication.
It fosters the ability to develop sustained, well-reasoned, and clearly
- A capacity
and life-long desire for learning. Because liberal education is
a process of questioning, rather than a set of answers, it is by definition
a life-long project. Liberal education seeks to create in students
a love of learning and the capacity to continue their personal and
intellectual devel- opment long after they have left St. Thomas University.