General Education is the foundation for all academic work at Concordia University. Composed of Enduring Questions & Ideas (Q&I, for short) Core and distribution courses in the liberal arts, General Education provides the essential knowledge an educated person should possess and the intellectual habits and skills necessary to use it well in every area of life. Through this broad intellectual experience, students pursue the General Education learning outcomes that Concordia faculty have identified as crucial for achieving excellence in academics and being prepared to serve society and the church as "wise, honorable, and cultivated citizens."
Q&I Core Courses
Concordia's Q&I Core Courses foster common, sequential, and interdisciplinary learning, providing a broad intellectual foundation that will be drawn on and developed in students' distribution courses, majors, minors, and (pre)-professional programs. Q&I Core courses in biology, history, literature, math, philosophy, and theology are paired each semester to facilitate interdisciplinary learning. Each Q&I Core course engages students in dialogue about life's enduring questions and ideas, the close reading of great works from around the globe, and across time, critical and creative thinking, effective writing, connecting the Christian faith to academics and cultivating excellent academic habits and skills. All students take Q&I Core courses in small, challenging, and encouraging learning communities. Students entering as freshmen take 8 Q&I Core courses: 2 pairs in the freshman year, 1 pair in the sophomore year, and a capstone pair in the junior year. Students entering as sophomores take 4 Q&I Core courses, ordinarily over their first 2 semesters. Students entering as juniors or seniors take 2 Q&I Core courses, ordinarily in their first semester.
Distribution courses typically build on the habits and intellectual foundations of the Q&I Core courses and broaden students' knowledge and skills in other essential areas of learning for life. In theology, students read the 2 great works for the Christian faith—the Old and New Testament—to deepen their understanding of the Bible and enhance their ability to interpret and apply it to learning and life. In the fine arts, students produce and critique visual, musical, or theatrical pieces to cultivate their comprehension and enjoyment of the arts. Courses in physical science, social science, exercise and sport science, and global perspectives invite students to investigate the natural and human worlds they inhabit to become more informed, reflective, and responsible citizens. Courses in writing and debate or speech push students to hone a skill that is of inestimable worth in every vocation—the craft of clear and cogent communication. Together these courses—along with the Q&I Core courses—enrich students' minds, bodies, and souls for intelligent, effective, and faithful service to society and the church.