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Core Education

Our shared experience in Core is at the heart of SAU’s mission. Connect with your peers, your community and your world — and discover yourself along the way.

Student in Chicago on Core 200 trip trip

A Community of Learners

Beyond the classroom, beyond yourself

Through experiences both inside and outside the classroom, Core will prepare you to engage with the world — and change it for the better.

Core Facts

11 three-week cross-cultural experiences
100% of undergrads participate
10 semester abroad programs

Core Classes

Core is a series of thought-provoking courses that guide your education at SAU. These courses are designed to broaden your perspective and understanding of different cultures, and to help you identify your calling.

Core 100

Core 100

Come Together

Meet your freshman Core family — 15 new friends, plus a peer advisor and a faculty advisor, to help you navigate your first semester. Go off grid and bond during a weekend trip in northern Michigan. Lean on your Core group to support and challenge you throughout the year. Critically assess yourself and uncover gifts you never knew you had. Discover what you stand for and learn to put others first. These will be the formational experiences in your lifelong pursuit of wisdom.

Core 200

Core 200

Outside the Comfort Zone

In your sophomore year, you’ll see what poverty looks like, first-hand and up close. A trip to the neighborhoods of inner-city Chicago or Detroit will expose you to people in critical need of basic resources and opportunities. You’ll meet the leaders who bring the light of Christ into the lives of those they serve. And you’ll move outside your comfort zone to challenge your own religious, political and socioeconomic views — great experiences for personal growth.

Core 274/275

Core 274/275

Into the World

Junior year, you’ll leave behind what’s familiar and cross new frontiers in an experience that will equip you to imagine better possibilities for a world in need. Your three-week cross cultural excursion will take you across the globe to see how others learn, play, live and worship. Open your mind to new wonders. For the rest of your life, you’ll remember the people you meet, the lives you witness and the struggles and joys you share with others.

Core 300

Core 300

Faith and Introspection

Study spiritual formation and analyze what you believe, why you believe it and how you can witness to others. Experience the depth of relationship with God as you explore your own spirituality through the Biblical narrative and the works of history’s great Christian philosophers. It’s a cornerstone experience that will forever shape your mind and spirit.

Core 400

Core 400

The Community to Come

Senior year is a time to reflect on everything you’ve learned and experienced and imagine how you can use it all to prepare for life after graduation. Having been a part of SAU’s truly one-of-a-kind community, how will you help to form the communities you encounter in the future? How will the virtues of integrity, service, gratitude and wisdom woven throughout your education help you change the world? In Core 400, you’ll answer all of these questions, and more.

Core 275: Cross Cultural Studies

For three weeks this is your classroom
Spring Arbor Visual
Spring Arbor Visual

SAU has long recognized the significance of a global perspective. That’s why the Cross Cultural Studies (CCS) program has a 30-year history at our institution — and why we’re committed to helping students pay for it with our CCS Benefit.

Core 275 is the centerpiece of the Core of experience. Travel abroad to encounter another culture on a personal level. For three weeks or an entire semester, the world becomes your classroom and your hosts become your teachers.

Cross Cultural Studies