Core Curriculum (Traditional Undergraduate Majors)

Mission: The mission of the core curriculum is to provide an integrative four-year learning experience for all matriculants. The cornerstone course starting the freshman year lays out a framework for new students to help them understand the concept of a liberal arts education and the role of a Christian university in integrating faith and learning. Along with the senior capstone course, it provides a vehicle for pre- and post-testing to assess intellectual growth, value strengthening, and spiritual development. The capstone course stimulates a summative integration of the student’s faith with the discipline’s intellectual material. The core challenges students to examine and develop their beliefs and strengthen their intellectual skills. Its goal is that Vanguard graduates will bear a distinctive stamp reflective of their common experience.

Rationale for the Core Curriculum

The faculty of Vanguard University is committed to a broad education in the liberal arts, an objective requiring study in a variety of academic disciplines that is fulfilled in part by its core curriculum in general education for traditional undergraduate majors. 

Core Curriculum Requirements by Category 

Core Requirements: 4
Cornerstone 1
Cornerstone Honors
Capstone Course in the Major (approx. 3 units, varies by major, see chart below)
English/Literature Requirements:9
Persuasive Writing 11
Researched Writing 2
Research Methods in Hist/Poli Science
Research Methods in Hist/Poli Science
Researched Writing for Liberal Studies Majors
Researched Writing/Psyc Majors
Literature and the Human Experience 3, 4
Global Voices: World Literature
Communication Requirement: 3
Speech Composition and Presentation
History/Political Science Requirements:6
U.S. History
American Democracy
World Civilizations I
World Civilization II
Fitness/Wellness Requirement: 3
Lifetime Fitness and Wellness Lecture
Math Requirement: 5, 63
Take one of the following courses:
Introduction to Computer Science
Applied Mathematics and Personal Finance
College Algebra
Calculus 1
Intro to Statistical Methods 7
Introduction to Behavioral Statistics
Introduction to Behavioral Statistics
Health Professions Statistical Methods
Business Statistics
Theology Requirements:15
Foundations of Christian Life 8
Intro to Theology
Introduction to Theology Honors
New Testament Survey
Old Testament Survey
Developing a Christian World View
Developing a Christian World View
Christian Heritage 9
Christian Heritage
Social Sciences Requirements:6
Take two of the following courses:
Intro to Cultural Anthropology
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Fine Arts Requirement: 103
Take one of the following courses:
Hist/Appreciation of Art
Intro to the Arts
Intro to Music
Intro to Acting
History of Theatre I
History of Theatre II
Science Lecture/Lab Requirement:4
Take one of the following lecture/lab combinations:
Fundamentals of Biology for Non-Majors
and Fundamentals/Biology for Non-Majors Lab
Human Anatomy
and Human Anatomy Laboratory
Fundamentals of General, Organic, and Biochemistry I
and Fundamentals of General, Organic, and Biochemistry I Lab
Intro to Environmental Science
and Intro to Environmental Science Lab
Introduction to Geology
and Introduction to Geology Laboratory
General Physics I
and General Physics I Lab
Fundamentals of Earth Science
and Fundamentals of Earth Science Lab
Fundamentals of Physical Science
and Fundamentals of Physical Science Lab
Mechanics of Solids and Fluids
and Mechanics of Solids and Fluids Lab
Total Units56

Core Curriculum Course Recommendations by Year 

First Year

Cornerstone Honors
English Requirement3
History/Political Science Requirement3
Fitness/Wellness Requirement3
Math Requirement3
Theology Requirements (2 classes)6
Social Science Requirements (2 classes)6
Total Units24

Second Year

English Requirement3
Communication Requirement3
Fine Arts Requirement3
History/Political Science Requirement3
Theology Requirement3
Science Lecture/Lab Requirement4
English Literature Requirement 3
Total Units22

Third Year

Theology Requirement3
Developing a Christian World View
Total Units3

Fourth Year

Theology Requirement3
Christian Heritage
Capstone Course3
Total Units6

CORE-100C Cornerstone is required of all first-year students. Exception may be made for first-year students who have earned transferrable units at another institution after earning their high school diploma.


Students in the following majors may satisfy ENGL-220C Researched Writing​ with the courses prescribed below:

  • History and Political Science: HIST-262 Research Methods in Hist/Poli Science/POLS-262 Research Methods in Hist/Poli Science
  • Liberal Studies: EDUC-220C Researched Writing for Liberal Studies Majors 
  • Psychology: PSYC-220C Researched Writing/Psyc Majors 

Students majoring in English are exempt from taking ENGL-230C Literature and the Human Experience


ENGL-433 Global Voices: World Literature is not recommended to fulfill the core curriculum requirement in literature for non-English majors or students with a limited background in literature.


Students majoring in Mathematics fulfill the Core Curriculum Requirement through their major. 


Students majoring in pre-nursing must take MATH-270C Health Professions Statistical Methods to fulfill the core curriculum requirement in mathematics.


Students in the following majors must take the following statistical course unless equivalency is approved by the Department or noted otherwise: 

  • Business or Kinesiology must take MATH-265C Intro to Statistical Methods
  • History, Political Science or Sociology SOC-265C Introduction to Behavioral Statistics
  • Psychology must take PSYC-265C Introduction to Behavioral Statistics to fulfill the core curriculum requirement. 

Students majoring in Theology (any concentration) must take THEO-103C Intro to Theology or THEO-103H Introduction to Theology Honorsto fulfill the core curriculum requirement in theology.


CHIS-400C Christian Heritage and CHIS-400H Christian Heritage are restricted to students with senior class level standing only as one class session is dedicated to data collection for institutional research. 


Theatre majors may not take THEA-102C Intro to Acting or THEA-200C Intro to Theatre to fulfill the core curriculum requirement in fine arts.


Students are given a diagnostic writing exam at the beginning of the class. Students will be required to take the one credit ENGL-120CL Persuasive Writing Lab course if their score so warrants.  

Capstone Courses (variable units) (Prefix will reflect major field)

A capstone course within the major is to encourage active reflection on the undergraduate journey and solidify the integration of faith and learning. Includes the writing of an integrative personal philosophy paper and capstone assessments of academic achievement that, paired with cornerstone assessments, will provide tangible, measurable evidence of growth during the Vanguard years.

Accounting, Business Administration and Marketing
BUSN-455CBusiness Policy and Strategy3
Biological Sciences
BIOL-499CCapstone Seminar in Biology2
BIOL-485Undergrad Biological Research1-4
Chemical Science
CHEM-499CChemistry Capstone Seminar2
COMM-464CMedia Criticism3
ENGL-499CSynecdoche: Capstone3
Environmental Sciences
ENVR-499CCapstone Seminar/Environmental Studies2
History and Political Science
KINE-450CCapstone Kinesiology Senior Project3
Liberal Studies
EDUC-499CSenior Capstone in Liberal Studies3
MATH-499CMathematics Capstone2
General Music
MUSC-406CMusic and Worship3
Music Ministry Emphasis
MUSC-406CMusic and Worship3
Applied Music Emphasis
MUSC-491CRecital and Research2
Music Education and Church Music:
MUSC-491CRecital and Research2
Nursing, Professional Studies
NURS-430Ldrshp/Mngt in Professnl Nurs3
PSYC-477CPsychology and Christianity3
THEO-499CTheo/Min/Post-Chrstn Context3
SOC-490CSenior Seminar3
Theatre Major
THEA-450Theatre Internship1-2
THEA-495CSenior Project2
  1. Integration of Faith and Learning:  Students will develop and articulate a Biblical worldview informed by a Pentecostal perspective, integrating faith with learning.
  2. Cultural Competency and Citizenship:  Students will understand and practice effective local, national and global citizenship and demonstrate appreciation of diverse psychological, social, historical and artistic aspects of culture.
  3. Communication:  Students will demonstrate effective, college-level written and oral communication skills.
  4. Critical Thinking:  Students will develop and apply qualitative and quantitative critical thinking skills.
  5. Holistic Living:  Students will appreciate and demonstrate a holistic view of health and living.
  6. Information Competency:  Students will demonstrate foundational technology skills that allow one to locate and evaluate the integrity of information, and to understand the ethical uses of information.

By establishing links between different disciplines, relating the past to the present, and increasing awareness of contemporary challenges, the core curriculum classes should open new vistas for all students and encourage a lifelong pursuit of knowledge.

On This Page

CORE Courses

CORE-100C  Cornerstone  1 Credit  

This course is open to Freshmen only. Introduction to university life and learning, and to the academic and social skills needed for success. May include social outings, community service component, and is to be taken in conjunction with an approved freshman-level course that will apply some of the course lessons. A failing grade must be made up prior to advancement to the Sophomore level.

Terms Typically Offered: Fall and Spring.

CORE-100H  Cornerstone Honors  1 Credit  

This course is open to Freshmen Honor students only. Introduction to university life and learning, and to the academic and social skills needed for success. May include social outings, community service component, and is to be taken in conjunction with an approved freshman-level course that will apply some of the course lessons. A failing grade must be made up prior to advancement to the Sophomore level.

Terms Typically Offered: Fall.

CORE-101C  College Success Strategies  1 Credit  

College Success Strategies is a semester-long course designed to provide students an opportunity to identify their individual learning strengths and personality styles in order to develop effective individualized study and test-taking strategies based on time-management, organization, and the school-life balance. Students are provided with an introduction, regular classroom reinforcement, and application of the executive functioning skills necessary for success in college level course work.

Terms Typically Offered: Fall.

CORE-110  Vanguard Foundations of College Writing I  3 Credits  

Covers reading comprehension, technology and writing, and sentence-level (grammar) and paragraph-level issues. The course focuses on process-driven revision and peer collaboration while emphasizing critical thinking skills. This required course prepares Professional Studies and ECE students for college-level writing and studies. Students may petition to test out of this required course if they possess proficient college level writing ability. (Meets elective credit requirement only; not applicable to English Composition requirement. . Course must be passed with a "C" or better.) (School for Professional Studies Course).

Terms Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, and Summer.

CORE-205  Cornerstone Mentoring  1 Credit  

Cornerstone Mentoring provides the student with the opportunity to assist freshmen students during their Cornerstone course in gaining academic and social skills. Regular hours each week for classes and/or meetings are established at the beginning of the semester. This course may be repeated with consent of the instructor.