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Point Loma Nazarene University    
  Jan 17, 2018
2014-2015 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Education


It is the goal of the university to provide an education in the liberal arts tradition and in professional areas, balancing a broadening experience in its general education program with the depth necessary to concentrate in one of the major programs.

The undergraduate curricula at Point Loma Nazarene University include a wide variety of programs. The university also encourages and assists students who wish to study abroad. Many programs feature internships and practicum experiences. Off-campus cooperative programs also offer students the benefits of spending a part of their educational experience in nearby locations or on the other side of the globe.

General Education Learning Outcomes

Learning: Informed by our Faith in Christ
Students will be able to

  • Effectively express ideas and information to others through written communication;
  • Effectively express ideas and information to others through oral communication;
  • Comprehend, interpret, and analyze texts;
  • Access and cite information as well as evaluate the logic, validity, and relevance of information from a variety of sources;
  • Examine, critique, and synthesize information in order to arrive at reasoned conclusions;
  • Use knowledge and understanding in order to identify and address problems;
  • Solve problems that are quantitative in nature; and
  • Create original works and thoughts based on knowledge, material, and imagination.

Growing: In a Christ-Centered Faith Community
Students will

  • Develop a holistic understanding of self that fosters personal health;
  • Understand and appreciate others in the context of their diverse backgrounds;
  • Respectfully engage with diverse groups in global and/or cross-cultural contexts; and
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical consequences of decisions, actions, and character.

Serving: In a Context of Christian Faith
Students will

  • Engage in acts of devotion and works of mercy informed by Christian scriptures and tradition; and
  • Articulate a sense of vocational calling, drawing connections between their educational training and their responsibilities in the world.

General Education

The purpose of general education is to provide a common educational experience, to develop essential skills, and to provide a broad cultural background for personal and professional growth. The general education curriculum is listed under a four-fold division. This structure provides continuity with the Wesleyan approach to knowledge by emphasizing the human response as foundational to the developing, exploring, and seeking aspects of education. The divisions, although not mutually exclusive or all-encompassing, organize similar themes relevant to faith and learning. Each complements the others and, in each, conscious efforts are made to reveal connections, develop perspectives, and build synthetic thinking skills. These divisions are: Responding to the Sacred, Developing Cognitive Skills, Exploring an Interdependent World, and Seeking Cultural Perspectives.

General Education Committee

The general education program is approved and sustained by the faculty under the direction of a faculty committee. The General Education Committee directs an on-going cycle of review and improvement based on established goals and objectives.

General Education Prerequisites

Students are required to demonstrate basic competence in mathematics and writing based on standardized test scores. Any remedial courses, numbered below 100, taken to satisfy competency requirements, are in addition to the minimum of 128 units required for graduation.

General Education Requirements

The specific requirements in general education, as established by the faculty, represent a broad-based experience in skills and ideas. The following selection of courses is designed to guide the student toward a liberalizing educational experience in the arts and sciences while allowing for substantial choice in the development of that education.

I. First Year Experience

A. Core Values Convocation (1 course, 1 unit)

II. Responding to the Sacred

A study of Scripture and Christian heritage as foundational in the pursuit of knowledge and the development of personal values.

Students transferring to the university for the first time with 48 or more units, none of which are in religion, take only five units in this category at Point Loma Nazarene University (three of which must be at the upper-division level).

III. Developing Cognitive Abilities

A pursuit of personal awareness and skill development, focusing on the analytical, communication, and quantitative skills necessary for successful living in modern society.

A. Personal Development [1 course; 3 units]

B. Critical Thinking and Communication [2 courses; 6-8 units]

At least three (3) units of College Composition must be completed in the student’s first two semesters as a part of the First Year Experience program.  Students with qualifying  SAT B Writing scores of 670 or higher or ACT English scores of 94% or higher will be placed in the three unit WRI120, Honors in College Composition Writing and Research.  If these students prefer to take five (5) units of WRI110 rather than three (3) units of WRI120, they may opt out of WRI120 and take WRI110.  Students may not take WRI115, College Composition, alone to replace WRI120: Writing and Research.

 All students must fulfill the composition requirement prior to the junior year.


*A diagnostic exam given in the beginning of the semester will determine if the student needs to co-enroll in WRI 097 , along with WRI 110 , WRI 115 , or WRI 116 .

IV. Exploring an Interdependent World

An introduction to the natural and social sciences as tools for exploring the world, with emphasis on collecting and interpreting empirical data for both theoretical and practical purposes.

A. The Natural World [2 courses; one from each group, and at least one with a lab; 8-9 units]

B. Physical Fitness and Nutrition [2 courses; 2-4 units]

One of the following courses is required: 

V. Seeking Cultural Perspectives

A survey of human endeavors from a historical, cultural, linguistic, and philosophical perspective, including developing critical appreciation of human expression–both artistic and literary.

A. The History of World Civilizations [2 courses; 6 units]


B.S.N. candidates choose between two Literature options or one Literature and one Philosophy.

D. Literature [2 courses; 5-6 units]

Two courses, at least one from the Masterpieces category


A foreign language is not required for B.S.N. candidates.

Students who believe they may qualify for a language waiver are advised to make application no later than spring of the sophomore year (or in the semester transfer to PLNU) to avoid possible delay in graduation.