Signature Curriculum

Search for Meaning

Augsburg’s Signature Curriculum reflects its identity as a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  It consciously affirms that all students should reflect upon the Christian tradition within a global context, gain literacy in the world’s major religious traditions, and be able to articulate their own faith and values as part of becoming educated.

In REL 100 (required of all non-transfer weekday students), students explore Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious texts and traditions and develop an understanding of vocation and its meaning for their lives.

After completing REL 100, students can choose from a range of Religion courses to fulfill their second Search for Meaning course requirement.  (Please note:  a REL course can not fulfill both a Search for Meaning and a Humanities requirement.)

Adult undergraduate (AU) and transfer students entering with advanced transfer status complete only one Search for Meaning course: REL 300 — Bible, Christian Theology, and Vocation.

The Augsburg First Year

In make the transition to college and a new community, first-year weekday program students are required to take Augsburg Core Curriculum and introductory major courses containing the following components.

Augsburg Seminar

The Augsburg Seminar provides first-year students, peer leaders, professors, and campus staff an opportunity to get to know each other by forming a “learning community” around an introductory seminar and linked companion course(s). The goals of the Augsburg Seminar may be summed up as “transition, connection, and reflection”:

  • to facilitate your transition to college life;
  • to introduce and connect you to the larger Augsburg learning community;
  • to help you become a more self-reflective learner.

AUG 101 offers students a variety of activities: a walk in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, a library orientation, diversity discussions, health and wellness discussions, field trips, or other means of exploring connections to the linked course or course pair.

In addition to AUG 101, students typically take four other courses, at least one of which is linked to AUG 101. In the Augsburg Seminar companion courses, you may explore your academic interests as you fulfill requirements in the Augsburg Core and/or a major. At the same time, you may develop friendships with other students as you study together and discover what it means to be part of a learning community.

Engaging Minneapolis

Each Augsburg seminar is designed to help students “engage Minneapolis.”  Augsburg is situated at the heart of a vibrant city. Within walking distance of the college, you can find scenic walking and bicycling paths along the Mississippi; the culturally rich and diverse Cedar/Riverside neighborhood; the Vikings and the Twins; the historic Milwaukee Avenue neighborhood; the locks and dams on the Mississippi River that help barges navigate from Minneapolis to the Gulf of Mexico and the world beyond; a global cuisine that includes African, Vietnamese, Chinese, Mexican, and Mediterranean restaurants, as well as the Chicago hotdog, pizza, and the classic hamburger.

Take the bus — or the Hiawatha light rail line — a few miles west and you will find the heart of the downtown: its centers of finance and business, historic churches, art museums and the sculpture garden, a world-class orchestra and theater. Cross the river and you will find another city, St. Paul, equally rich in a diverse cultural heritage, business and the arts.

Through specially designed Engaging Minneapolis experiences, Augsburg welcomes you to the Cities in which you will be studying, living, and working during your college years. Depending on which course you take, you might work in Campus Kitchens (service learning); test water samples in a chemistry class or turn the Mississippi River into a political science classroom (civic engagement); or explore the local arts scene or bicycle Minneapolis (cultural engagement). Whatever you choose, your course will link experience with reflective learning as you connect the classroom and the Twin Cities.

Senior Keystone

The Senior Keystone course provides a final opportunity for exploring the central themes of an Augsburg education — vocation and the search for meaning in a diverse and challenging world. Students will reflect upon the meaning of their educational experiences and consider issues of transition as they prepare for their lives after Augsburg.

The Senior Keystone course connects the broad liberal arts foundation with the professional skills and in-depth study of the major. It thus asks graduating students to think critically, reflectively, and ethically about their place in the world as leaders and servants.