Faith and Reason

3 students facing the sun and raising their V

Learning . . . Living . . . Exploring

Some thinkers believe that educated people outgrow their need for God and that genuine faith is incompatible with a rigorous life of the mind.  However, through the ages one can point to many gifted scholars who exemplified extraordinary intellectual accomplishment and who pursued a rigorous life of the mind, not despite, but because of their faith.  The Faith and Reason Learning Community will explore the relationship between faith and knowledge while also asking some big questions about life, God, and what it means to flourish as a human being.

The Faith and Reason Learning Community is designed to help you begin to think through the issues and questions that can drive this tendency to separate the mind and the heart.  As a part of this community you will take the first steps toward seeing faith and reason for what they really are: important facets of the one, larger whole that makes each of us who we are as human beings.

In this Learning Community, you will spend the year examining these issues from several different perspectives through your ACS seminar and the one-credit learning community discussion class (VEXP).  The community is designed for students of all faith traditions and for students of no faith tradition.  In fact, it is meant to serve both as a home for those students who are interested in thinking deeply about what they believe and why they believe it and as a point of departure for those students who are interested in exploring how people of other faith traditions (and no faith tradition) see the world and how they have responded when their intellectual and faith lives intersect.

In the Faith and Reason Learning Community you will:

  • Take a specially-designated section of the humanities seminar Augustine and Culture (ACS) for a full academic year with other students in Faith and Reason
  • Participate in a one-credit workshop style class that meets weekly in the residence hall, called Villanova Experience (VEXP)
  • Explore approaches to faith and reason in several different religious traditions
  • Discuss the ways that Faith has been, is, and will be impacted by various academic disciplines such as History, Philosophy, Politics, and Ethics, through your ACS seminar class
  • Gain exposure to several different perspectives on the relationship between faith and reason as they are held by other people your age, whether in our classroom, on the Villanova campus, or in the broader world
  • Experience "hands on" exposure to art, music, and film that various religious (and anti-religious) cultures and movements have produced
  • Live together in a residence hall on the south campus

Being in Faith and Reason means . . .

Professors who are commited to learning in and out of class

Dynamic weekly conversations with your classmates about issues of faith in the modern world

Community within your hall...strong friendships that last a lifetime

Explore the relationship between faith and knowledge

Connections to faculty, administrators, Juniors or Senior students, campus life, and your classmates

Seek to understand what it means to flourish as a human being

About the Community

Students selected will be enrolled in designated sections of ACS and VEXP that corresponds to their Learning Community theme, along with the appropriate housing assignment.  Learning Communities are open to all first-year students in all colleges.  The one-credit VEXP class is an addition to the normal course load, and runs from the beginning of Fall semester until Spring Break.  It is designed not to interfere with other academic requirements.