Colloquium is the general education program of Saint Mary's University. The primary goal of the program is to awaken and challenge the intellectual, spiritual and vocational gifts of each person through participation in a community of learning rooted in the Christian tradition....
The heart of the Colloquium program is a set of seven common experience courses in interdisciplinary studies, which are integrated around the theme of Freedom and Responsibility, a Christian Approach to Understanding the Human Condition. Initially supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and with continuing assistance from the Bush and Bowyer Foundations, the interdisciplinary studies sequence is unique to Saint Mary's College. In creating the program, faculty have tried to address what many in higher education see as an increasing disintegration of liberal arts studies. This disintegration has resulted in an impoverishment of student's knowledge ... By providing a forum for dialogue among the disciplines, the interdisciplinary sequence encourages students to explore the similarities and differences among the various fields of knowledge and methods of inquiry, insofar as they contribute to our understanding of the human condition.
Each course in the sequence is taught by faculty from a variety of fields who have come together to engage in interdisciplinary inquiry into matters of central human concern, [especially] what it means to live freely and responsibly in the modern world. . . Human freedom is essentially an achievement of character, a freedom, which gives human beings the power to act well. Responsibility is understood as responsible knowing, which involves the ability to grasp the complexities of the present age in order to live a life which is guided by the fundamental commitments intrinsic to the living tradition of Christianity. . . .
The Colloquium program creates a common universe of dialogue and intellectual experience, in which students learn the skills and virtues that are necessary to participate in a community of learning.
The Interdisciplinary Studies Core is required of all students. It consists of four segments; the first three contain two or three courses: Freshmen Colloquia: Stories of God and the Human Condition, Language: Its Power and Abuse; The Perspectives Sequence: The Good Human Life, Our Modern Heritage; Culture and Diversity, Artscore (2), International and Multicultural Issues; and The Capstone Seminar.
Representative texts include: The Bible; Homer, Iliad and Odyssey; Plato, Euthyphro, Apology; Aristotle, Ethics; Augustine, Confessions; Beowulf; Dante, Inferno, Shakespeare, selected plays; Rousseau, First and Second Discourses; Locke, Second Treatise; Tocqueville, Democracy in America; Huxley: Brave New World; Camus: The Plague; Rico and Mano: American Mosaic; Duskin, Global Jesus; Elie Weisel, Night; Rodriguez, Conversations with My Mexican Father; Dalton Trumbo, Johnny Got His Gun.