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Where Can a Liberal Arts Degree Get you?


Summer Dialogues & Discussions

Conversations that Count

Where Can a Liberal Arts Degree Get You?
– Oh, the Places You’ll Go

Without the balance of historic value, practical education gives us that most absurd of standards: "relevance," based upon the suppositional needs of a theoretical future. But liberal education, divorced from practicality, gives something no less absurd: the specialist professor of one or another of the liberal arts, the custodian of an inheritance he has learned much about, but nothing from.”

― Wendell Berry

There are no shortage of writings on the merits of a “liberal education” and the value of studying the liberal arts. It’s even held out as a classical foil to today’s single-minded focus on a “practical” STEM education, an education valued for a bottom-line superiority in the economic marketplace of ideas. But the truth is learning from the past is more than just learning for knowledge’s sake. Today—more than ever—young adults need the perspective and grounding from the past in order to operate effectively in an uncertain future. 

Rev. Brian Foos, Head of College at St. Andrew’s College, discusses the past and future value of a liberal arts education in the chaotic times we find ourselves living in. 

Engaging Ideas of Consequence

“How decisive for the Christian educator, or for any educator of good will, is the revelation that man is made in the image and likeness of the three-Personed God? That is like asking what difference it will make to us if we keep in mind that a human being is made not for the processing of data, but for wisdom; not for the utilitarian satisfaction of appetite, but for love; not for the domination of nature, but for participation in it; not for the autonomy of an isolated self, but for communion.”

– Anthony Esolen

“If anyone on the verge of action should judge himself according to the outcome, he would never begin. Even though the result may gladden the whole world, that cannot help the hero; for he knows the result only when the whole thing is over, and that is not how he became a hero, but by virtue of the fact that he began.”  

– Kierkegaard

“The liberal arts do not conduct the soul all the way to virtue, but merely set it going in that direction.”

– Seneca

The question is... can man develop to the full as a functionary and a "worker" and nothing else; can a full human existence be contained within an exclusively workaday existence? Stated differently and translated back into our terms: is there such a thing as a liberal art?”

Joseph Pieper


Emmalie Foos
[email protected]
159 Main St. Chester, CA 96020
(530) 375-0411

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