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The Beginning for Humanities Students | Intro to Humanities

Why Humanities?

I get this question every time I tell someone I’m studying Humanities. What is this major, exactly? What do I want to do with it in the future? Or, more importantly, will it do me any good? All are valid questions that I have turned over in my mind hundreds of times.

Humanities is a very diverse and dense subject. It covers all ideas that are connected to humanity – history, art, literature, worldviews, Scripture. So, as a Humanities student, I am studying who human beings are. The evidence is all there; we just have to dig deep enough to find it.

Humanities can be overwhelming. But the best and easiest thing you can do is to start at the beginning. The beginning for Humanities students is the Intro to Humanities course. Mrs. Meinhardt, a professor at MBU, helps us grasp the basics of what Humanities is and how this course will benefit you.

The Course

Mrs. Meinhardt describes Intro to Humanities as a starter course for new Humanities students. The semester is spent laying the foundation for how to interact with the disciplines of the Humanities, such as philosophy, history, literature, art, and music. That foundation begins with a theological framework that explores what it means to be human.

Authors like Nancy Pearcey, C.S. Lewis, and Aristotle are commonly discussed throughout the course to see how their ideas connect to our modern understanding of truth and humanity.  

Intro to Humanities will broaden your understanding of humanity and answer your questions. Why are we here? What is our purpose? Why do we act like this? The emphasis on critical thinking will push you to see who you are and what your true purpose is on this earth.

Defining Humanity

While the course itself is informational and engaging, one of the biggest takeaways is knowing the definition of humanity. Mrs. Meinhardt explains that humanity is both the individual and the community. It’s acknowledging a person as an individual in their own skin, and it’s also acknowledging a person in the community of others, no matter who they are.

Biblically speaking, the definition of humanity is Imago Dei or the idea that we are the image-bearers of God.

Humanities seeks to shape – in the best way humanly possible – what it means to be in the image of God.

As a Humanities student, you’ll explore how authors and artists have attempted to answer that same question. Then, through analysis, you’ll begin to recognize the patterns of human behavior and the ways in which humanity has sought to answer the questions of life.

Building Relationships

The Humanities is more than an academic focus. As a whole, the Humanities faculty reach out to students to focus on relationships. Mrs. Meinhardt reminds us that we are social creatures and that we must capitalize on that God-given trait.

Mrs. Meinhardt admits this area of the department isn’t as strong as it should be. But, as a student myself, I know the department has grown over the last few years.

The environment the Humanities department has created for us is welcoming and encouraging. I know I speak for many of my classmates when I say we are comfortable sharing our ideas and reaching out to our professors for help or support. This community has been built on trust, and it only continues to flourish.

Of course, there’s one common growth process we all understand. Mrs. Meinhardt closes with the fact that we are all pursuing Christlikeness. It’s our one shared goal that defines us as a community.

Humanities is an incredibly inspiring degree that is perfect for anyone, no matter who they are or what their interests are. Even if our interests are diverse and don’t seem similar, we all know our main, common interest is pursuing Christ.