The goals of our programs are threefold:
- Develop linguistic proficiency
For the ancient languages this means the ability to read Greek with relative ease (Hebrew and Latin are optional), and to develop exegetical skills. For the modern languages this means attaining an advanced level of competency in the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing.
- Develop cultural proficiency
Courses in the ancient language section introduce students to the various cultures and civilizations of the Ancient Near East, from the Neolithic through the Koiné period. Emphasis is given to translation and understanding of texts of the Old and New Testaments, as well as to classical and non-canonical texts.
Courses in Chinese, French, German and Spanish introduce students to the issues and lifestyles of contemporary society in the target cultures. French, German, and Spanish sections also introduce students to the literary, historical, artistic, and religious development of the language regions via study of representative works of various literary and textual genres and related art and cultural forms
- Develop a thoroughly Christian worldview
The Foreign Languages Department exists to prepare graduates to serve the church and society by fostering clear communication and cultural understanding. Study in foreign languages promotes growth, appreciation and understanding of God's work among peoples and cultures by engaging students with persons and texts from cultures different from their own, whether ancient or modern. Study abroad for modern language students provides opportunity for experiential learning. Through this process students enhance their awareness of their own linguistic, cultural, and religious heritage, while learning to relate with respect and consideration to persons from diverse backgrounds as enlightened citizens of the world and as worthy representatives of the kingdom of Jesus Christ.
The essence of a liberal arts education is to interact with all of God's world from a Christian perspective. Foreign Language study equips students to do so especially well by challenging them to master a language, to grasp concepts and to shape their own, to ask significant questions and seek answers, to develop original ideas, and to become intellectually self-motivated, life-long learners and servants of Christ. The major thus offers a solid base for further professional training. Completion of the minor provides functional ability in the second language and preparation for becoming a bilingual professional.