2018-2019 Academic Catalog 
    Jul 18, 2024  
2018-2019 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVE]

Undergraduate Core

This presentation of the bachelor’s degree reflects the template of degree requirements for an undergraduate degree program at Columbia International University, including Bible requirement, General Education, Ministry Skills, and Spiritual Formation requirements. The majority of requirements will be met by graduates of any bachelor’s degree program, regardless of modality (on-campus or online); exceptions made for online students are noted below. Students who successfully complete at least one year (two semesters) of study in a foreign language (biblical or modern) will be awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree; all other students will receive a Bachelor of Science degree.

Graduation Requirements

  • Minimum 120 semester hours credit
  • Minimum 30 semester hours of Bible and Theology (18 Bible/Theology and 12 hours of interdisciplinary Bible related courses)
  • Minimum 30 semester hours of general education
  • Minimum 24 semester hours in an approved program of study (student must declare a major)
  • Minimum 3 semesters of field experience, practicums, and/or internships*
  • Minimum 30 semester hours of upper division courses
  • Minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA
  • Completion of Christian Service Learning requirements*
  • A minimum of 30 semester hours of CIU coursework
  • Satisfactory evidence of Christian character and doctrinal views. Students will not be accepted as candidates for graduation if they deny any of the doctrines as stated in the Doctrinal Standard, if they affirm error in Scripture, or if they believe in the ultimate salvation of all people. Candidates need not affirm the premillennial position expressed in Section 8 of the Doctrinal Standard.*
  • The reading of the Bible in its entirety at least once during the student’s time of study. This reading may be completed in conjunction with class assignments or with courses transferred in from another school.*
  • Meets all ethical requirements, and fulfills all obligations (Student Life standards, etc.)

*Graduates of CIU’s online undergraduate programs are excused from this requirement.

Course of Study (120)

Degree Core (54)

General Education (30)

The purpose of general education at Columbia International University is to provide students a foundation for life-long learning, to cultivate the life of the mind, and to expand their global perspective. General education introduces students to a breadth of knowledge in the following disciplines: humanities, fine arts, natural science, social science, behavioral science and mathematics.

Communicate Effectively (9)

Skills required for effective written, oral and visual communication

Sociological and Psychological (3)

The study of society, human behavior and mental processes

Mathematics (3)

The application of quantitative & qualitative reasoning in problem-solving

Human Culture and Art (3)

Appreciate human culture and beauty in art, music, literature and drama

Choose one of the following

History of Human Events and Ideas (6)

Understand the history of events and ideas that form the narrative of image bearers

Ethical Thought (3)

Discern a framework for thought and practice within a Christian narrative

Scientific Investigation (3)

Understand the natural world via scientific principles within a Christian worldview

Leadership Development and Spiritual Formation (6)

Requirements will vary with each professional major/minor, but generally all students complete CSL during their freshman and sophomore years. Students are strongly encouraged to plan a cross-cultural experience into their college experience. Some will do so for credit, others will simply join a short-term mission project. For more information, please consult the requirements listed under each program as “Practical Ministry Skills Development.” The following list represents the core Leadership and Ministry Skills courses and ministry skills experiences taken by all students pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

Major (24-60)

Beyond the degree core requirements, each student working toward a bachelor’s degree selects a major. A student may declare up to two majors and two minors. Courses applied to any part of the bachelor’s degree core may not also be applied to the requirements for a major or minor (CIU’s Bible major is excluded from this limitation to allow students to complete only four additional courses to the core in order to earn a Bible major).

Three hours of field experience serve as the minimal requirements for practical skill development within the major.

Each professional program has certain required foundational courses, including practical skills courses, and may have designated electives. A course applied to the requirements of any major/minor may also be applied to the requirements of a second major/minor if the course meets the requirements of both programs. Although overlap is permitted between majors/minors, at least fifty percent (50%) of the hours required for a major or minor must be completed without overlap with another major/minor in order to be awarded.

Open Electives (21-36)


*Courses are also available as part of the Honors Program. See the Education Opportunities section of this academic catalog for more information.

Philosophy of Undergraduate Education

To fulfill personal and vocational goals, Columbia International University offers a variety of academic programs, with Bible as the core of each. To understand the Bible it is necessary to know its content, understand its meaning, and apply the truth of the Scripture so that it changes patterns of thinking and behavior. Skill in observing, interpreting, and applying God’s Word is necessary. Bible surveys, book studies, topical Bible studies (e.g. theology), and Bible-related subjects are designed with these purposes in mind. To develop skill in the use of the Bible, tools for study and  communication are learned and used in such courses as hermeneutics and homiletics. However, to make Christ known in the full sense of the word, it is necessary not only to study the Bible and Bible-related subjects, but to know and communicate well with the people to whom we make Christ known.

As an institution of higher education, at least two relevant reasons for studying general education are essential. First, an important part of studying the various disciplines in general education is to become the fully-formed, creative, reasoning, social creatures that God designed us to be. In doing so we enter into richer relationships with God and others. The second vital reason to study general education is to develop the ability to communicate Christ effectively. By becoming well-formed, we will have reasoning skills, worldview understanding, anthropological knowledge, and historical perspectives that will enable us to reach others.

Undergraduate Objectives

The objectives of our undergraduate programs express specific ways in which we endeavor to accomplish our mission through helping students to develop in spiritual maturity, Bible knowledge, ministry skills, and general education. We take our mission and objectives seriously and have taken care to state these objectives in terms that facilitate assessment. We conduct specific assessment activities each year and the results guide the institutional planning process, enabling us to make improvements.

Focused on Spiritual Formation*

Graduating students should demonstrate a growing intimacy in their relationship with God, as evidenced in the areas of worship, prayerfulness, and faith. Graduating students should demonstrate a biblical understanding of themselves rooted in Christ, as evidenced in the areas of confidence, self-discipline, and stability. Graduating students should demonstrate a growing relationship with the  body of Christ as evidenced in the areas of community, unity, and submission. Graduating students should demonstrate a growing maturity in personal relationships as evidenced in the areas of purity, faithfulness, and servanthood. Graduating students should demonstrate a desire to serve God fully as they engage the world as evidenced in the areas of eternal perspective, conviction, and perseverance.

*The faculty recognizes that spiritual formation may be defined in various ways. After careful consideration, in 2005 the faculty defined spiritual formation as: “The divinely ordained transformational process by which the Holy Spirit leads believers to embrace the Lord Jesus Christ through the Word of God and by that relationship become progressively freer from sin and more like Christ. The Spirit’s formative work occurs in the context of a vital engagement with a community of believers.”

Focused on Bible Knowledge

Graduating students should demonstrate basic understanding of the content and composition of the biblical revelation of God’s plan of salvation and program of redemption, including a basic grasp of the content, principles of interpretation, and theological teaching of the Bible. Graduating students will demonstrate a thorough understanding of the biblical standards, principles, and provisions for Christ-like living.

Graduating students should demonstrate a basic grasp of the biblical mandate for world evangelization and the role and responsibility of each individual believer and local church.

Focused on Professional Competencies and Skills

Graduating students should evidence identification and understanding of their spiritual gifts and abilities and evidence ability to use them effectively.

Graduating students should evidence integration of the cognitive aspects of learning with affective and behavioral aspects by demonstrating competence in development of ministry strategies, development and use of ministry materials, and adequate skill in methods and media of presentation appropriate to their individual academic specialization and vocational goals.

Graduating students should demonstrate development in and adequate reflection of traits and skills for spiritual leadership such as commitment to the biblical priority of world evangelization, personal involvement in evangelizing the lost and promoting righteousness, justice and mercy in society, dependability, creativity, initiative, and vision, and a servant attitude in their ministry skills and internship experiences.

Graduating students should demonstrate technical and human service skills by completing internships or other forms of direct service under professional supervision in their programs.

Focused on General Education

Graduating students should evidence development in formation of a biblical worldview, which provides a framework for interpreting, integrating, and assimilating truth from various realms of revelation and human inquiry.

Graduating students should demonstrate improved achievement and proficiency parallel to that of students of comparable academic aptitude nationally in developing intellectual skills, including proficiency in written and oral communication, problem solving, and clarifying values. Graduating students should demonstrate improved achievement and proficiency parallel to that of students of comparable academic aptitude nationally in general educational content areas, including functioning within social institutions, using mathematical data, using science and technology, and using the arts. Graduating students should evidence commitment to the practice of lifelong learning.

Leadership Skill Development

Principles for leadership, spiritual transformation, and ministry formation are not found within a single discipline or course at CIU. Leadership development for believers is inter-disciplinary and requires balance between knowledge, skill development, and life experiences.

All servant-leaders need to know the Lord, themselves, and how to relate positively to others, understand and appreciate the uniqueness of others and their cultures, understand Scripture (including the creation mandate and the Great Commission) understand the nature of Christ’s Church, love one another, appreciate and steward God’s creation, and do business ethically with others.

Leadership is expressed in multiple settings. Each graduate will face differing leadership responsibilities in the home, local churches, vocational settings, and the community where the student lives. In the context of Scripture, each servant-leader can live and lead victoriously because “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him” (2 Peter 1:3). To this end, the focus of the first two years of a student’s bachelor’s degree program emphasizes biblical studies, general education courses, and CSL opportunities.

CIU encourages churches to utilize students in a variety of ways. Local churches will encourage students to participate in evangelism-related opportunities, agegraded discipleship and Bible teaching-related opportunities, mission outreach, and other areas as well. Our commitment is to encourage students to build faithful relationships within a local body of Christ. We encourage students to develop a long-term relationship with a church.

The second-year goal is for students to continue a relationship within the local church and, if appropriate to the student’s gifting and goals, allow students greater freedom to choose a CSL opportunity within the broader community.

During the final two years of a bachelor’s degree program, the focus will emphasize knowledge and practical skill development associated with the professional major and/or minors the student selects. This knowledge is applied in practicum, internship, and other practical skill development opportunities within the community. Each servant-leader has opportunities to participate in student-led leadership on campus and within the community, including practical opportunities within small groups among peers, chapel, student organizations, and local churches.

Chapel, Conferences, and Local Church Experience

The faculty requires every undergraduate student to regularly attend a local church. We encourage serious commitment and involvement as a college student in order to develop the habits and commitments necessary to function as a servant-leader in a church setting. Local churches provide opportunities for students to gain leadership experience.

The faculty requires each undergraduate student to regularly attend and participate in campus chapel. Chapels provide opportunities for students to gain leadership experience. Chapel attendance is a non-credit degree requirement and is documented each semester as a Pass or Fail.

Special conferences, prayer days, and other events are scheduled throughout the school year to help integrate faith and practice. These events also provide opportunities for students to gain leadership experience.

Christian Service Learning (CSL)

Christian aspect: Students will express their worldview and values as a Christian serving within a local church. The student may also serve their local church through service in the community. Students should regularly attend and participate with other believers within a local church.

Service aspect: Students will become a servant of others. Jesus is our role model for service. He selflessly provided and cared for those in need without any expectation of reward or benefit to Himself. Each student should grow in the ability to serve 1) following the Lord’s instruction (Mark 10:35-45), 2) following our Lord’s example (John 13:1-17), and 3) following our Lord’s attitude (Philippians 2:1-11).

Learning aspect: Students will be intentional in this handson approach to learning, preparing a learning contract, practicing self-reflection, and seeking constructive advice from others. Students should mature in their competence, confidence, and character, expressing a commitment to glorify God by serving God in and through the local church.

CSL objectives include: regularly attending and participating in a local church, growing in the ability to serve following the example of our Lord, and maturing in competence, confidence, and character by serving through the church. Students transferring in 30 or more hours will have one semester of CSL waived. Students transferring in 45 or more hours will have two semesters of CSL waived. Students transferring in 60 or more hours will have two semesters of CSL waived.