School of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Because Cairn University believes that all truth is God’s truth and that Christians can and should be well-educated and knowledgeable about humanity and the world we live in, the liberal arts are an integral part of every student’s education.

The School of Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty introduce students to the traditional subjects within the humanities, arts, natural sciences, mathematics, and social and behavioral sciences. The School teaches these subjects in a way that expands intellectual and cultural horizons, stretching each student’s ability to think critically about all areas of life and learning. Additionally, the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences directs the liberal arts core of every student’s academic experience.

Cairn University professor teaching student
Undergraduate Programs
COMMUNITY ARTS

A Bachelor of Arts degree in Community Arts prepares students to use their artistic skills for the growth and good of those around them. Art integration has become a crucial part of both the private and public sectors, and students with a community arts degree will be prepared to meet those needs. This program allows the student to pursue university level studies in the field of community arts while also learning how to integrate and apply a biblical worldview to their field. Courses provide students with study in foundational art and design courses, art history, psychology, social studies, and professional preparation. In addition, this course of study requires students to deepen their studies in various studio and art practice courses.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Cairn’s Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice prepares students to enter the various fields connected to law and law enforcement at the local, state, and federal levels.  At Cairn, we seek to grow students into biblically-minded, well-educated contributors to society who serve Christ within these complex arenas. To accomplish this goal, the BA in Criminal Justice targets three content areas within this course of study: the law, the criminal justice system, and the persons and organizations linking them.  Upon graduation, students are prepared to enter the world of law enforcement, as well as to pursue further academic study at the graduate level.

Highlights of the program:

  • foundational courses in criminal law and criminal processes
  • professors whose instruction is enriched by their professional experience in the field
  • a capstone internship customized for each student’s professional goals and interests
  • optional additional training in cybersecurity
ENGLISH

A degree in English prepares students for graduate work in writing, literature, and a variety of related fields. At Cairn University, we desire to foster a passion for the written word rooted in biblical thinking.  Appreciation of literature emerges from a deep understanding of its form, context, and significance; therefore, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Cairn University provides students with the opportunity to think critically and biblically about literature and writing. This program encourages the students to examine language and literature and to clearly communicate their value—past, present, and future. The Bachelor of Arts degree in English is designed to ground the students in the foundational skills and concepts of language and literature such as historical developments within American and British literature, genre studies, and literary criticism.   Students may then choose from a variety of more specific foci, creative writing or a particular historical timeframe to name a few. The capstone project allows the students to further explore contemporary developments within their field of interest. During the course of study in the English program, students will:

  • Develop a foundational knowledge of literature and writing.
  • Research, interpret, and analyze literature and writing.
  • Integrate their interpretations of literature and writing into a biblical worldview.
  • Research and write about literature from an interdisciplinary perspective.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the literature and criticism of a particular field.
GRAPHIC DESIGN

Cairn University’s Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design prepares students to enter the professional field of graphic arts.  At Cairn, we seek to educate students to become biblically-minded, well-educated, skilled artists who serve Christ and their communities with their creative abilities.  To accomplish this goal, the BA (Graphic Design) develops students to be skilled in technique, knowledgeable in art-making practices, and capable of producing a variety of purposeful works.  The program provides students the environment to perfect their skills in various media: computer-based design, relief printing, serigraphy (silk-screening), and photography.   Upon graduation, students’ final portfolios allow them to enter the professional world of the arts. as well as to pursue further academic study at the graduate level.

Highlights of the program:

  • An Arts & Culture First Year Program dedicated to grounding the students in the foundational elements of art and art history. The First Year Program includes local, national, and international art-based travel experiences.
  • Faculty who bring their professional artistic and educational expertise into the classroom
  • Opportunities to be involved in vibrant, student-led art-making workshops and exhibitions on campus
HISTORY

At Cairn University we strive to foster a greater awareness of the richness and complexity of human history.  Within the context of a biblical worldview, the study of the past informs our cultural understanding, political involvement, economic responsibilities, and moral decision making.  The Bachelor of Arts degree in History equips students to appreciate past cultures and what their values, experiences, and artifacts teach us about ourselves and contemporary culture. A degree in History prepares students for graduate work in history and a variety of related fields. During the course of study in the History program, students will:

  • Develop a foundational knowledge of human history
  • Research, interpret, and analyze historical documents and materials
  • Integrate their interpretation of history into a biblical worldview
  • Research and write about history from an interdisciplinary framework 
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the historiography of a particular historical field
LIBERAL ARTS

A degree in liberal arts is an excellent way to prepare for graduate studies in a variety of fields. Liberal Arts majors at Cairn earn the BA which includes 30 credits of Bible and theology in the core curriculum. The BA degree in Liberal Arts is an interdisciplinary program designed for students who wish to engage in the “great conversation” associated with the liberal arts within the context of a biblical worldview. Students may craft a curriculum focused on a specific discipline or construct one which samples advanced course offerings from a number of academic disciplines. We affirm that all truth is God’s truth and that the search for truth is one way that we worship God. We value the liberal arts – mathematics and science, history and literature, philosophy, fine arts and social sciences – because they provide us with ways to discover truth in the world. Fitted together with theological reflection on God’s Word, these disciplines enable us to formulate a robust understanding of God, the world, and ourselves.  At Cairn, the Liberal Arts degree prepares the student with a biblically-based perspective on critical thinking, a broad base of interdisciplinary knowledge, and an engagement with modern culture. During the course of study in the Liberal Arts program, students will:

  • Form a robust worldview informed by Christian theology and the liberal arts
  • Accomplish advanced study in various academic disciplines including mathematics, science, philosophy, literature, history, fine arts, pre-law, and social sciences
  • Develop interdisciplinary thinking across many academic disciplines
  • Prepare for graduate work in the liberal arts
MATHEMATICS

Cairn University’s Mathematics major will challenge you to integrate your Christian faith and the field of mathematics. Leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree, our program provides a solid foundation in theoretical and applied mathematics, integrated with the University’s distinctive core of 30 Bible and theology credits. Mentored professionally and spiritually by biblically minded faculty in a small-campus setting, students prepare for graduate studies in fields like theoretical mathematics, statistics, actuarial science, business analytics, and more.

For those interested in pursuing secondary mathematics education, Cairn’s Mathematics (BA) + MS in Education dual-level program combines robust mathematics content knowledge with graduate-level education studies. The program prepares students for both PA State Instructional I certification and ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) secondary teaching certification. Earn two degrees in as little as five years!

PRE-ART THERAPY

A Bachelor of Arts degree in Pre-Art Therapy allows the student to pursue university level studies in the field of art therapy in preparation for further study at the graduate level. Students develop their artistic, diagnostic, and interpersonal skills while also learning how to integrate and apply a biblical worldview to their field. Courses provides students with study in foundational art and design courses, art history, psychology, social studies, and professional preparation.

PSYCHOLOGY

A degree in psychology prepares students for professional graduate studies in psychology and social service support positions in clinical and institutional settings. Cairn students prepare to serve Christ in the church, society, and the world in a variety of fields.  Motivated by the compassion exemplified by Jesus Christ, students in the Psychology program experience service to others while learning the science of psychology. A degree in psychology opens the door for significant, lasting, and meaningful service to Christ through service to humanity. An undergraduate degree in psychology prepares graduates for the human services sector in support positions such as case managers and outpatient support managers. Alternatively, a foundation in psychology is an essential first step toward a variety of professional degrees in psychology and related social science fields. Built on a foundation of thirty required Bible and theology credits, biblical instruction is woven throughout the psychology courses and general education courses in the curriculum.  Students consider and evaluate the science of psychology in a way that reflects the authority of the Bible while standing on the belief that “all truth is God’s truth.”  By studying the human as a spiritual, physical, emotional, cognitive, and volitional being, students acquire a more comprehensive understanding of the people they are called to serve. During the course of study in the Psychology program, students will

  • Develop a foundational knowledge of the basic theories, empirical research findings and research methods employed in most major sub-disciplines in the science of psychology.
  • Think critically and creatively about psychological theories, empirical research and the application of both theory and research in psychology.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in basic research strategies and information and technology literacy.
  • Articulate the importance of diversity and multi-culturalism in the study of human behavior.
  • Prepare for graduate education in both academic and applied areas of psychology.
STUDIO ART

A Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art provides students with future opportunities to practice their developed skills professionally in the studio. Students learn how to work in the artistic marketplace while also learning how to integrate and apply a biblical worldview to their field. Courses in this program provide students with study in foundational art and design, art history, and professional preparation, and require them to deepen their studies in various studio and art practice courses.

DUAL-LEVEL DEGREES

Through Cairn’s dual-level degree programs, students can earn a Bachelors and Masters degree in as little as five years. The dual-level programs offer student all the benefits of the dynamic undergraduate university student life and programs.

Students can apply for the Dual-Level program after completing 60 credits of undergraduate study.  Admission is based on GPA, extracurricular experience, Christian character, and demonstration of potential to be successful in graduate counseling studies.


Dual-Level Degrees offered through the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences:

  • BA in Psychology + MS in Counseling
  • BS in Bible + MS in Counseling
  • BS in Youth & Family Ministry + MS in Counseling
MINORS

Students at Cairn have the opportunity to earn a minor along with their bachelor’s degree. Students can add a minor from the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences regardless of their major. In some majors, students can add a minor without adding credits to their program, but most professional programs require the addition of credits to existing program requirements. Speak to your admissions counselor for more information.

Minors offered through the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences:

  • Applied Mathematics minor
  • Communications minor
  • Criminal Justice minor
  • English minor
  • Graphic Design minor
  • History minor
  • Literature minor
  • Performing Arts minor
  • Philosophy minor
  • Political Science minor
  • Pre-Law minor
  • Psychology minor
  • Pure Mathematics minor
  • Earth Science minor
  • General Science minor
  • Life Science minor
  • Visual Arts minor

View our full list of minors

Graduate Programs

MS in Counseling

The MS in Counseling Program is designed to thoroughly equip individuals to integrate biblical teaching and their faith with the professional standards and practices in their counseling field of choice.
Learn more

Kasha A.

The education I am receiving at Cairn is giving me the foundation I need to go out in the world living out my faith and making an impact. A biblical education is one of the most important things I could have done for undergraduate and the Liberal Arts program has well-equipped me to pursue graduate studies.

Kasha A.
Liberal Arts

School of Liberal Arts & Sciences Faculty

Amy Dunlap / Part-Time Faculty, English
Charlotte Gleason / Part-Time Faculty, English & English Education
Ruth Kuchinsky-Smith / Part-Time Faculty, Psychology
Roger Petersen / Part-Time Faculty, Speech and Story Performance
Elise An / Adjunct Professor
Victoria Aquilone / Adjunct Professor
Susan K. Childers / Adjunct Professor
Janice Cho / Adjunct Professor
William W. Clark / Adjunct Professor
Timothy Clydesdale / Adjunct Professor
Hannah DeMarco / Adjunct Professor
Eric Dimitri / Adjunct Professor
Erin Ensinger / Adjunct Professor
Sarah Ensslen / Adjunct Professor; Director, Practicums and Internships
Amy Kathryn Fitzsimmons / Adjunct Professor
Jesse Fleming / Adjunct Professor
David Greenockle / Adjunct Professor
Nikema Missouri / Adjunct Professor
Brandon Petcaugh / Adjunct Professor
D. Anthony Schmidt / Adjunct Professor
Lacey Sipla / Adjunct Professor
Andrea Stange / Adjunct Professor
Matthew Stemler / Adjunct Professor
Jason VanBilliard / Adjunct Professor
David Wiedis / Adjunct Professor
Robert E. Wenger / Professor Emeritus
W. Barry Yoder / Professor Emeritus
Sarah Zimmerman / Adjunct Professor

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