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The Relevance of Liberal Arts in Today’s World


True freedom makes us happier, more fruitful in our professional and personal lives, and freedom never goes out of style. A doctor who is fully free—intellectually, morally and spiritually—will be a better doctor. An entrepreneur who is truly free will be a better entrepreneur. Liberal education is the liberating education that frees us to be more fully who we were created to be in this life and the next. But such a liberating education requires time, inspiring teachers, devoted study and an integrated plan that meets students where they are and forms them so that they can live and act for the common good of our world. From this education, they can set out into the deep waters of our society, serving others as free persons born from a community animated by wisdom, faith, hope and charity. 

Faculty & Students Collaborate in Discovering Wisdom

It is this community, animated by these principles, and ordered to this purpose that the core renewal at the University of St. Thomas seeks to create. Faculty and students collaborate in discovering wisdom by asking perennial questions, reading classic texts and applying their newfound wisdom to contemporary challenges. Drawing on the disciplines of science, mathematics, literature, the fine arts, philosophy and theology, with each discipline singing in harmony with the others, the University will—on its 75th anniversary—give birth to a renewed core that is unlike any other in the nation.

Our Core Education Leads to Flourishing in Life & Professional Success

This core will not exist in isolation, however. While it contains its own purpose—the ordering of the human person for flourishing in this life and next—it will also create the conditions for professional success. While leading students to wisdom and a life-giving orientation within the world, it will also enable them to develop the skills needed in every profession. In their journey through the core, students will develop their verbal and mathematical powers as well as their analytical and rhetorical skills into the habits of mind, heart, speech and imagination that will set them apart in whatever part of the professional landscape they choose to cultivate.  

For this high purpose, the University’s core was founded and enshrined as the heart of the institution. As the University’s North Star, it will guide her for the next 75 years.  

Dr. George Harne
Executive Dean of Arts & Sciences

About the Author — Dr. George Harne

AvatarAs Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, Harne brings a vision of Catholic education to his work that is animated by the thought of Plato, Cardinal Newman, Josef Pieper, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI. In his role as Dean, Harne cultivates the treasures of the School—its faculty, students, and programs—ensuring that it flourishes in light of the greater mission of the University and draws ever more deeply on the sources of that mission: particularly the great Catholic intellectual and spiritual traditions. He also champions the School within Houston, regionally, and in the nation at large.

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