General education

Program mission statement

The faculty of Saint Martin's University believes that a sound education for all academic degree programs rests on a foundation of general education, designed to expose students to diverse ways of thinking and to provide the intellectual, spiritual and ethical base for meaningful, satisfying and productive lives.

Program goals, objectives and outcomes

The mission of the University’s General Education Program leads to the following goals and outcomes.


Provide students with a broad knowledge of human experience and the natural world.

  • Develop an understanding of the basic concepts, ideas and methods of the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, with emphases upon broad geographic and historical perspectives, cultural and linguistic plurality, and scientific and aesthetic understanding.


Teach students to think critically and creatively, and to communicate effectively.

  • Develop proficiency in writing, reading, speaking and listening.
  • Think critically and logically.
  • Analyze, synthesize, and evaluate ideas and information.
  • Develop an understanding of the role and application of quantitative reasoning and methods to problem solving.
  • Use technology to solve problems and to find and communicate information.
  • Approach intellectual challenges with a spirit of creativity.
  • Design and conduct research, and communicate the results.

Encourage students to understand, integrate, and utilize knowledge across disciplines.

  • Use methods and approaches from several disciplines to understand complex issues and solve problems.
  • Explore diverse approaches to understanding human societies and cultures and the natural world.
  • Utilize skills, values, and methods that can be applied across disciplines.
  • Develop a holistic understanding of the interaction of the various fields of human endeavor.


Challenge students to explore academic ideas and concepts within a spiritual and ethical framework.

  • Develop an understanding of philosophical, ethical and religious concepts and principles.
  • Understand the moral and ethical questions facing students in the arts, sciences and professions.
  • Clarify personal values and beliefs.

In accord with the Catholic Benedictine dedication to service, lead students to understand the role of the individual within the larger community.

  • Develop a commitment to seek the common good as a citizen of both the local and global community.
  • Value hospitality and service to others.
  • Demonstrate respect for persons and ideas, and appreciation for the value of cooperation.
  • Undertake a commitment to preserve and protect the natural environment.