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November 2017

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Homecoming

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UndergraduatePhilosophy

Philosophy

As a Philosophy major at MVNU, you will be challenged to reflect on some of life’s most interesting and important questions about the nature of the world, human existence, goodness, truth, and God.

Specifically, you will engage such life-orienting questions as: Is everything in the universe matter? Does God exist, and if so, what is God like? Are there objective moral principles binding on all persons? How can humans attain true happiness? What do the demands of justice require of humans? To what extent, if any, are humans free? Can anyone really know anything for sure? Exploring the answers to these will shape your self-understanding, direct your life’s plans and purposes, and prepare you to critically engage both personal and community practices and policies. 

The Philosophy program fine-tunes your basic intellectual abilities in critical thinking and enables you to sort through complexities, compare worldviews, and nurture intellectual independence. Plus, this program has been formatted with flexibility that easily allows students to bolster their résumés with a second major.

  • Student-professor interaction — MVNU’s small class sizes provide unique opportunities for collaboration and mentoring from faculty. You can be sure that your professors will be actively involved in assisting you and engaging in conversations with you about the many facets of philosophy you will explore.
  • Faith integration — You will learn to address philosophical questions from a range of perspectives rigorously, with a unique emphasis on responses from Christian philosophers. You’ll be encouraged to explore both within and beyond your own philosophical beliefs.
  • Double major — Because philosophy requires students to think cross-disciplinarily, many students link their studies in philosophy with other majors or minors. They either plan Philosophy (Pre-law) or Philosophy (Interdisciplinary) majors. Philosophy (Prelaw) majors take a core of philosophy courses along with a series of courses designed to prepare you for admission to law school and to practice law.
  • Dr. Jane Kennard
    • Professor of Christian Education, Christian Education Program Coordinator
  • Dr. Matthew Price
    • Associate Professor of Christian Education, Intercultural Studies program Coordinator
  • Dr. C. Jeanne Serrão
    • Professor of Biblical Literature, Coordinator of Master of Ministry and CMP Programs, School Dean
  • Dr. Lincoln Stevens
    • Professor of Philosophy, Philosophy Program Coordinator
  • Dr. Eric Vail
    • Associate Professor of Theology, Religion Program Coordinator
  • Dr. Doug VanNest
    • Professor of Pastoral Ministry
  • Dr. Rick Williamson
    • Professor of Biblical Literature, Church Ministries Program Coordinator

Check out the catalog for a complete list of the requirements, courses, and objectives for the Philosophy program!

The School of Theology and Philosophy offers annual opportunities to travel to countries significant to the Christian faith. Our most recent trips include:

  • 2015 — Turkey and Greece, where students walked in the footsteps of Paul and visited the locations where many of the New Testament and early church events took place.
  • 2016 — Israel and Jordan, where students walked in the footsteps of Jesus and the prophets. They saw for themselves the lands where their favorite Bible stories took place and experienced the culture and history of these important places.
  • 2017 — Germany and Switzerland, where you can walk in the footsteps of the Reformers and see the places where Western tradition was deeply shaped.

In addition to these trips, students may attend a variety of Philosophy conferences which provide exposure to top minds in Philosophy and networking opportunities.

All MVNU students are also invited to participate in our many other service and learning trips, some of which are to Spanish-speaking countries.

There are over 30 endowed scholarships for students in the School of Theology and Philosophy with a call to ministry. In addition, there are other university scholarships available and a Nazarene Ministerial Scholarship Program in which Nazarene ministry students can participate during their four years.

A degree in Philosophy from MVNU opens the door to a wide range of career options. Philosophy graduates find themselves well-prepared for either further graduate work or entry into a profession. They are very successful — 100% of Philosophy majors who have applied to graduate school or law school have been accepted since the program began in 1977.

Our grads have also gone on to successful careers in university teaching, healthcare, business, government service, radio broadcast, journalism, government service, information technology, church-related ministry, compassionate ministries, missions, the arts, and publishing.

MVNU Philosophy graduates have been accepted into graduate programs at:

  • State University of New York at Buffalo
  • Purdue University
  • University of Rochester
  • Drew University
  • Marquette University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Loyola University (Chicago)
  • University of Cincinnati
  • Asbury Theological Seminary
  • Nazarene Theological Seminary
  • University of Akron Law School
  • Ohio Northern University (Claude W. Pettit College of Law)
  • The Ohio State University (Moritz College of Law)
  • Capital University Law School

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“MVNU gave me the freedom to explore and ask questions, as well as the structure I needed to prepare for the rest of my life.”

Brooklyn Lindsey, '01

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