Network Exchange: Sacred Heart University

The Human Journey Core:

Integrating A Faith-based Education for the 21st Century: Challenges and Responses

Sacred Heart University

Fairfield, Connecticut

Sacred Heart University hosted the Network Exchange April 15-18, 2012. The featured speakers were Fr. David Tracy, Thomas S. Hibbs, Thomas A. Howard, and Michael Higgins.

Michael Higgins


Consistent with and reflective of Sacred Heart University’s Mission, which is rooted in the liberal arts and Catholic intellectual tradition, the University has in place a Common Core, The Human Journey. This Common Core engages students in an integrative, multi-disciplinary understanding of the arts and sciences and the Catholic intellectual tradition framed by four BIG enduring questions of human meaning and value. The courses that constitute The Human Journey are history, literature, a choice between a social science(psychology, political science,anthropology, sociology), or a natural science (physics, biology, chemistry) and a capstone in religious studies, theology, or philosophy. The four enduring questions frame the syllabus of each course and each course engages the Catholic intellectual tradition from the perspective of its discipline.

Using The Human Journey Core as one way of responding to the challenges we face today, this Network Exchange brought together faculty and administrators from all Christian denominations to address how best to integrate the meaning and values of their faith-based missions across the curriculum and how best to educate and prepare students for a contemporary and global world. Showcasing the components of The Human Journey Common Core gave an opportunity for attendees to discuss and share how the Common Core's various programs, curricula, pedagogies, and assessment methodologies best serve their students, institutions, and society.

Participants heard from leaders of distinguished programs:  Michael Higgins of Sacred Heart University;  Thomas S. Hibbs fromBaylor University;Thomas A. Howard fromGordon College as well as from renowned theologian and leading thinker about the Catholic intellectual tradition, Fr. David Tracy from the University of Chicago.

For more news on this Network Exchange, see Sacred Heart University's press release.

Please Browse Below for Resources from the LFP Network Exchange at Sacred Heart University, April 15-18, 2012.

Plenary Sessions




Opening Address: "The Life of Faith and the Life of the Mind:  An Ambiguous and Nurturing Space for Students," Dr. Michael Higgins, Sacred Heart University

Presentation:"Programs that Pursue the Life of the Intellect and the Life of Faith," Dr. Thomas Hibbs, Baylor University, and Dr. Thomas A. (Tal) Howard, Gordon College

Keynote Address:"The Mystical and Prophetic Character of the Contemporary Religious Journey," Fr. David Tracy, University of Chicago

Workshop Sessions

"The Evolution of the Core Reader," Dr. Suzanne M. Deschênes, Director of the Thomas Moore Honors Program, Sacred Heart University
PowerPoint: "The Evolution of the Core Reader"
BICC103 "Learning Outcomes and Artifacts"
BICC103 "Learning Outcomes and Rubrics"

"Introducing Astrophysics and Cosmology as Part of Multidisciplinary Approaches to Liberal Arts Courses Addressing 'The Big Questions' of Human Experience," Dr. Joseph C. Wesney, Physics Department, Sacred Heart University

Tuesday Workshop
Notes from Table Three
(More coming soon)

Syllabi from the Common Core

ANCC103: The Human Community:  The Individual and Society (Anthropology)
BICC103: The Human Journey: Scientific Discovery (Biology)
ENCC102: Literary Expressions of the Human Journey
HICC101: Historical Paths to Civilization
PSCC103: The Human Community:  The Individual and Society (Psychology)
PYCC103: The Journey in the Physical Universe (Physics)
RSCC104: The Human Search for Truth, Justice, and the Common Good
SOCC103: The Human Community:  The Individual and Society (Sociology)


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