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Available strictly to students in the Adult Learning Program, the Liberal Studies major helps students complete their undergraduate degree by focusing on a broad educational background centered in the liberal arts. The program is unique to Lenoir-Rhyne in that the student will complete, in addition to the LR core curriculum, a series of seminars specifically related to the University’s common learning goals. The major emphasizes breadth of exposure to the many areas of the liberal arts and learning. It provides substantial freedom in choosing one’s curriculum within the framework of LR’s core curriculum and core seminars.

Foundational to liberal studies is the notion that liberal learning is central to the development of a whole person, the liberation of the mind and spirit, clarification of personal faith, physical wellbeing, the sense of self in the community, and leadership for service in a global context. The Liberal Studies major strives to incorporate these core values and to cater to the adult learner through the following program objectives:

  • To expose adult students to a broad university education in the liberal arts.
  • To foster a sense of personal integrity and awareness of personal responsibility as stewards and citizens of the world.
  • To encourage adult students to explore the world, using appropriate tools drawn from relevant bodies of knowledge both to grapple with to attempt to answer enduring questions.
  • To develop in adult students the ability to be discerning readers and listeners as well as persuasive writers and speakers, practiced and skillful at grasping and creating meaning.

The Liberal Studies major includes an experiential/service learning component in which the Adult Learner participates in an approved community activity selected in concert with one’s faculty advisor. This component encourages students to engage intentionally in a meaningful community service experience (outside of their professional background). Liberal studies students are required to complete an individually-designed capstone project reflecting upon their experience, which includes submission of a web portfolio.


The nature of the Liberal Studies major is not designed to prepare students for specific professional careers. Still, as a program with significant emphasis in liberal learning, and with substantial freedom granted to the student to craft much of her/his own program (in and out of the classroom), the Liberal Studies major furnishes excellent life enrichment and provides graduates opportunities for professional advancement related to degree completion—in a way that is readily accessible to the Adult learner to meet their busy schedules and not interfere with their present employment..


The Liberal Studies major earns a BA degree. Graduate students also have access to an MA degree in Liberal Studies.

Liberal Studies Major Requirements

Program Contact

Dr. Amy Wood

Assistant Provost, Dean of Graduate and Adult Education, Professor of Counseling, Faculty Representative of Athletics
Hickory Campus

Liberal Studies Faculty

Dr. Amy Sturgis

Titles: Adjunct Assistant Professor, Liberal Studies

Dr. Amy Wood

Titles: Assistant Provost, Dean of Graduate and Adult Education, Professor of Counseling, Faculty Representative of Athletics
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7728
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