NEW! Undergraduate Liberal Arts Core Program

Jul 26, 2022

Offered by St. Bernard’s and the Aquinas Institute

Rochester, NY & Green Bay, WI: Through a special collaboration, St. Bernard’s and the Aquinas Institute are pleased to announce a new “Undergraduate Liberal Arts Core” program beginning this Fall 2022!

The Catholic intellectual tradition includes the greatest minds and works of human civilization, taking up the best contributions of all cultures and enriching them with treasures distinctive to Christianity. Every Catholic should be exposed to this great tradition, because it lifts our minds to God, enriches our grasp of the Creed, and purifies our aspirations. It integrates new concerns and discoveries with ancient truths that have guided the generations before us.

While more and more programs have been recognizing the importance of the Great Books to our faith and basic human formation, our program is unique. Our courses are conducted as live discussion seminars which allow students to interact in real time with professors and classmates as well as with the authors that formed our tradition.

These face-to-face discussion seminars set apart our online courses from other distance programs. At the same time, the online format opens the riches of the Western tradition to students of every age, state of life, and location around the globe.

“This approach to education continues to change lives in radical ways, since it allows students to ask their own questions in dialogue with a great mind.”

John Mortensen, President, Aquinas Institute

We want to give students of every age and in every situation access to real-time discussions of Great Books in the areas of humanities, philosophy, and theology, led by experienced and enthusiastic teachers who are passionately committed to the Catholic intellectual tradition. The Liberal Arts Core program therefore consists of 18 credits taken over six 3-credit undergraduate courses:

  1. HM101 Western Civilization I (Ancient Greece)
  2. HM102 Western Civilization II (Ancient Rome)
  3. PL101 Introduction to Philosophy I (Logic)
  4. PL102 Introduction to Philosophy II (Philosophy of Nature)
  5. TH101 Introduction to Theology I (Salvation History)
  6. TH102 Introduction to Theology II (The Divine Nature)

Now students everywhere can embark on a lifetime journey of liberal education and a deepening of their intellectual grasp of the Faith. The online Liberal Arts courses offered by St. Bernard’s and the Aquinas Institute may be taken to fulfill core courses required by universities and colleges, or they could simply provide an opportunity for people in the work force or raising families to obtain the classical education they never had.

“May the return to the sources of our faith always lead us into a more sustained and more impactful encounter with the Source of all things! The Liberal Arts Core has the potential to play a central role in the renewal of the Church.”

Matthew Kuhner, Vice President & Academic Dean, St. Bernard’s

This partnership program between St. Bernard’s and the Aquinas Institute provides a pathway for students to receive a Great Books and liberal arts education at a distance, through a live online discussion, thus making it accessible to students across the country (and around the world!) through an approach to distance education that features streamlined technology, live class sessions, engaging professors, and expert guest lecturers.

The Aquinas Institute and St. Bernard's currently offers its Liberal Arts Core program for those who would like an integrated Liberal Arts experience at the undergraduate level. The program is intended for those who want to discuss some of the greatest writings of all time, led by a professor in a classroom setting. Students who complete all 6 courses will be issued an unaccredited Certificate in Liberal Arts from St. Bernard's. Students wishing to use credit from these classes at other colleges and universities should contact the Academic Dean at St. Bernard’s to set up an articulation agreement with the desired institution.