Foundational Explorations (FE) is PLNU’s designation for General Education (GE) requirements.
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 cultures.
Foundational Explorations Learning Outcomes (FELO)
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.
FELO 1a. Written: Students will be able to effectively express ideas and information to others through written communication.
FELO 1b. Oral: Students will be able to effectively express ideas and information to others through oral communication.
FELO 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.
FELO 1d. Critical Thinking: Students will be able to examine, critique, and synthesize information in order to arrive at reasoned conclusions.
FELO 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.
FELO 2a. Students will develop an understanding of self that fosters personal well-being.
FELO 2b. Students will understand and appreciate diverse forms of artistic expression.
FELO 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.
FELO 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 Foundational Explorations Program is approved and sustained by the faculty under direction of the Associate Dean of Foundational Explorations 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 Foundational Explorations 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 exploring, developing, 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: Exploring Theology and Philosophy; Exploring History, Society, and the Self; Exploring Science and Technology in Society; and Exploring Arts and Culture.
The specific requirements in Foundational Explorations, as established by the faculty, represent a broad-based experience in ideas, skills, and experiences. 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.
Required first-year courses:
I. Exploring Theology and Philosophy
The study of Scripture and Christian tradition is essential to Christian faith and practice. 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).
A. Biblical Foundations [2 courses; 5 units]
B. The Christian Tradition [1 course; 3 units]
II. Exploring History, Society, and the Self
A pursuit of historical, social, and personal awareness, 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 4-unit 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 FE 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 FE writing requirement.
C. The History of World Civilizations [2 courses; 6 units]
D. The Social World [1 course; 3-4 units]
III. Exploring Science and Technology in Society
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]
Biological Science [1 course/sequence from this group]
Physical Science [1 course/sequence from this group]
B. Physical Fitness and Nutrition [2 courses; 3-5 units]
One of the following courses is required:
C. Problem Solving [1 course/sequence; 3-4 units]
IV. Exploring Arts and Culture
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 Fine Arts [2 courses from distinct areas; 4-5 units]
B. Literature [2 courses; 5 units]
Two courses; LIT 2000 and one upper division Literature course.
B.S.N. candidates choose between two Literature options or one Literature and one Philosophy.
C. Foreign Language* [2 courses; 8 units]
One of the following sequences in the same language, all or part of which may be waived by examination or by petition when English is not the student’s native language:
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.
D. Philosophy [1 course; 3 units]