☰ In This Section

CWILT takes a modular approach to general education. There are 5 courses, each covering a different area of study. Your first-year courses can be taken in any order, as can the courses in your second year.

First Year Courses

In your first year of CWILT, you'll take 3 courses that help you examine how Christianity intersects with Western Civilization, build academic writing skills, and explore the creative arts.

You can take these courses in any order, wherever they fit in your schedule.

Introduction to the Creative Arts (ICA - GES125)

ICA will introduce you to the creative arts and highlight their crucial role in human experience. You’ll interact with art chosen from a variety of forms, including music, visual arts, theatre, dance, literature, and film.

You’ll also have the opportunity to reflect on creative works from a Christian worldview, with the goal of understanding art as a tool for exploration, aesthetic interpretation, and evaluation.

Christianity and Western Culture (CWC - GES130)

CWC starts with the Classical World of ancient Greece and Rome, and follows the story of Western Civilization up to the Enlightenment. Besides studying the social, political, and cultural history of the West, you'll read excerpts from Plato, Aristotle, Perpetua, Augustine, Benedict, Hildegard of Bingen, Aquinas, Erasmus, Machiavelli, Luther, Calvin, De Las Casas, Descartes, Pascal, Locke, Wollstonecraft, and other major figures.

In large group presentations and small group discussions, your professors will help you explore how Christians have historically related to larger cultural issues such as slavery, war, gender, materialism, faith and reason, and the relationship between the church and the state.

Inquiry Seminar (IQ - GES160)

In Inquiry Seminar, also called IQ, you will be part of a learning community that studies a relevant topic from multiple perspectives. You will also have the opportunity to work on your academic writing skills and learn to make oral presentations. IQ is designed to give you a great start to your Bethel education.

Second Year Courses

During your second year of CWILT, you choose a course from the L Category and take another course that gives you an in-depth look at the Christian faith.

You can take these courses in any order, wherever they fit in your second-year schedule.

Contemporary Western Life and Thought (L) (multiple options)

In your L course, you'll explore contemporary American life, culture, and thought within the broad context of Western culture and thought. These courses emphasize the unique nature of the American experience and address the question:

"What does it mean to live in a Western culture in the 21st century, given the influences of the past 200 years?"

While courses may be taught primarily from the perspective of one academic discipline, they all use readings, materials, and insights from at least three disciplines.

Christian Theology (THE201)

Christian Theology investigates central themes of the Christian faith. These themes are discussed both individually and in terms of how they shape our worldview.

In exploring these themes, we look at the unity and diversity of theological beliefs within Christianity, both past and present, and on the interrelationships between theological understanding, culture, and discipleship.