Search for Meaning
Augsburg’s Signature Curriculum is centered on its identity as a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. As a college of the Church, Augsburg accepts as a basis for its educational program the doctrines of the Christian faith as revealed in scripture and the creeds affirmed by the Lutheran Church. It consciously affirms that all students should reflect upon the Christian scriptures, theological concepts, ethical values, their own faith and values, and religious concepts outside of the Christian faith as part of becoming educated.
In these courses students articulate and critically reflect upon Augsburg’s concept of vocation and its meaning; Christian theological concepts as well as concepts from other religious traditions; and the meaning of the Bible in Judeo-Christian thought, its cultural contexts, and concepts of human identity and vocation.
Two Search for Meaning course credits are required except for the following:
Transfer students entering with advanced transfer status will take one Search for Meaning course: REL 300 Bible, Christian Theology, and Vocation.
The Augsburg First Year
In order to help them make the transition to college and their new community, first-year weekday program students are required to take Augsburg Core Curriculum and introductory major courses containing the following components.
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 has 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. The “homework” for AUG 101 is to choose and complete a list of campus and community activities with other members of your seminar, to attend campus convocations, and then to reflect on your experiences in brief written assignments.
In addition to AUG 101, students typically take four other courses. At least one of these 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.
When you come to Augsburg, you arrive 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 first of the locks and dams 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 theatre. Cross the river and youÃÂll find another city —St. Paul, equally rich in a diverse cultural heritage, business and the arts.
Through specially designed Engaging Minneapolis courses, Augsburg welcomes you to the Cities in which you will be studying, living, and working during your college careers. 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.
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.