2019-2020 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
    Dec 01, 2022  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Academic 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. Students who complete the general education curriculum should be in possession of well-rounded knowledge, skills, and wisdom to understand the world around them, to continue learning throughout their lives, to contextualize disciplinary study, and to live meaningful, productive lives for Jesus Christ.

Mission Statement

PLNU provides a foundational course of study in the liberal arts informed by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In keeping with the Wesleyan tradition, the curriculum equips students with a broad range of knowledge and skills within and across disciplines to enrich major study, lifelong learning, and vocational service as Christ-like participants in the world’s diverse societies and culture.

General Education Learning Outcomes (GELO)

Context #1: Learning, Informed by our Faith in Christ
ILO* #1: Students will acquire knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world while developing skills and habits that foster life-long learning.

GELO 1a. Written: Students will be able to effectively express ideas and information to others through written communication.

GELO 1b. Oral: Students will be able to effectively express ideas and information to others through oral communication.

GELO 1c. Information Literacy: Students will be able to access and cite information as well as evaluate the logic, validity, and relevance of information from a variety of sources.

GELO 1d. Critical Thinking: Students will be able to examine, critique, and synthesize information in order to arrive at reasoned conclusions.

GELO 1e. Quantitative Reasoning: Students will be able to solve problems that are quantitative in nature.

Context #2: Growing, In a Christ-Centered Faith Community
ILO #2: Students will develop a deeper and more informed understanding of self and others as they negotiate complex environments.

GELO 2a. Students will develop an understanding of self that fosters personal well-being.

GELO 2b. Students will understand and appreciate diverse forms of artistic expression.

GELO 2c. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the complex issues faced by diverse groups in global and/or cross-cultural contexts.

Context #3: Serving, In a Context of Christian Faith
ILO #3: Students will serve locally and/or globally in vocational and social settings.

GELO 3. Students will demonstrate an understanding of Christian Scripture, Tradition, and Ethics, including engagement in acts of devotion and works of mercy.

*ILO - Institutional Learning Objective


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


Students are required to demonstrate basic competence in mathematics and writing based on standardized test scores. Any remedial courses, numbered below 1000, taken to satisfy competency requirements, are in addition to the minimum of 128 units required for graduation.

Divisions and Requirements

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.

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.

General Education

General Education

I. 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).

II. 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; 5-7 units]

All students must fulfill the composition requirement by the end of their second semester.


A diagnostic exam given in the beginning of the semester will determine if the student needs to co-enroll in WRI 0097 , along with WRI 1010  or WRI 1016 .

**WRI 1016  is for students who have transferred the first half of the GE writing requirement or received 3 units of AP English Language credit. It is a supplemental 2 unit research course, which fulfills the second half of the GE writing requirement.

III. 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 units]

B. Physical Fitness and Nutrition [2 courses; 3-5 units]

One of the following courses is required: 

IV. 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 units]

Two courses; LIT 2000  and one upper division Literature course. 


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.