The Core is the heart of an Abbey education. Our over-50 credit core includes courses in the history of Western civilization, the classics of Western literature and political philosophy, rhetoric, the natural and social sciences, the Bible, the fundamentals of Catholic theology, and fine arts.

These insightful videos featuring Dr. David Williams, Vice President for Academic Affairs & Dean of Faculty and Dr. Stephen Shivone, Former Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs & Former Assistant Professor of English, give an inside look at how the Abbey uniquely approaches the Liberal Arts.

Authors You'll Read

Core Authors

In addition to selected books of the Old and New Testaments, the following authors will be read.
AristotlePlatoHomerDanteShakespeareHopkins
JoyceSt. Thomas AquinasMiltonVirgilLockeDonne
RacineRousseauSophoclesCiceroMachiavelliYeats
IbsenColeridgeAristophanesHobbesSwiftAeschylus
ChaucerEliotKeatsPaschalJeffersonLincoln
St. AugustineMadisonNewman

What is a Core Curriculum? And why does Belmont Abbey College have one?

In our day, college and university education is associated with specialized preparation for a career – and as lucrative a one as possible, in order to pay off the high cost of education! Most students today, with good reason, are concerned about one thing: “What should I major in? What program of classes will get me the farthest in life?” Here, “the farthest” is usually defined in terms of finance and sometimes also in terms of personal job satisfaction and social belonging. There is nothing wrong with this kind of reasoning – in fact we encourage it at Belmont Abbey College by our goal to have you “succeed professionally, and be a blessing to yourselves and others.” But this is not the whole story: we have other goals as well: to have you “lead lives of integrity and become responsible citizens.” This goal points to areas of life known under the names of ethics, politics, and theology. Are these real subjects that can be taught and learned, or are they strictly matters of individual or family-inherited opinion? There are also the Fine Arts (drama, music, creative writing, etc.): does anybody really need to understand them if he is not trying to be an artist himself? What about mathematics – should they be studied by those who “hate” math? Should English, world literature, or history be forced upon