Conceptual Framework for Core Curriculum
John Wesley advocated using four sources for reflection that would permit relevant, theologically-informed engagement with a rapidly changing world (as named the Wesleyan “quadrilateral” by Albert C. Outler in 1964). Scripture is Wesley’s main source, along with reason, tradition, and experience. Wesley also emphasized the major themes of the redemption narrative (i.e., (1) sinful human nature infused by God’s prevenient grace, (2) justification by faith in Jesus Christ, and (3) sanctification into the fullness of love through the power of the Holy Spirit).
The four elements of Wesley’s quadrilateral form the framework for our 31 general education credits and 9 credits above this core that are required of all undergraduate students. Our curriculum is taught from a Christian perspective that incorporates the four areas identified by Wesley:
- Scripture-Students will need to be well-grounded in the content of the Bible such that they are able to think theologically about the issues they confront.
- Tradition-Students will need exposure to the great thinking of the past.
- Experience-Students will need to learn experientially, drawing from methods and insights in their discipline.
- Reason-Students must be able to reason, developing and refining abilities in critical thinking, reasoning, and creative problem-solving, using today’s technological tools.
This curriculum reflects the belief that our graduates must be able to create a reasoned defense of the Christian faith, demonstrate Christian character traits, and be able to articulate a Christian worldview in their chosen field.
Albert C. Outler, ed., John Wesley (Cambridge: Oxford University Press, 1980).