One Mission, Many Stories: Planning Your Trinity College Academic Program

We believe that God’s kingdom work is interwoven into the life stories of regular people who strive to live exceptional, God-honoring lives. At Trinity College, you will embark on a new part of your journey by learning key skills, discerning truth, and growing in knowledge and wisdom. From initial registration to graduation, you will be equipped to live out your story in a complex, dynamic world.

That’s why Trinity’s undergraduate educational programs are organized around four chapters that build on one another as you write your story with the help of Trinity’s faculty and staff.

FIRST, you will be equipped with a firm grasp of the Christian life and worldview as well as the critical and creative skills necessary to meet real-world challenges. You will have the opportunity to develop your biblical literacy and Christian moral reasoning in addition to critical thinking, writing, and communication skills, all aimed at successfully navigating life in the 21st century.

SECOND, you will be provided with broad exposure to aspects of the 21st century world that you are likely to encounter. With the help of engaged and experienced mentors, you will choose the general education courses that are best suited to providing the knowledge you need to reflect the image of God and live well.

THIRD, you will be guided through a distinct area of study in order to refine your skills, increase your confidence, and pursue excellence. You will engage in personalized learning aimed at refining your understanding of your chosen field of study and preparing for your future employment. To promote such employment, every major at Trinity provides students with the opportunity for hands-on experiential learning, such as internships. Each major includes an integrative thought capstone that culminates key concepts from the major and also connects the general education learning goals with the student's major and the Christian faith.

FOURTH, you will be engaged in active learning in areas you choose to explore. You will select a portion of your classes completely at your discretion and in the context of your own journey. These elective courses allow you to experiment with a variety of topics and develop the mindset of a lifelong learner.

At Trinity, you will develop your own story in the context of personalized learning guided by experienced Christian college faculty and pursued in the company of your peers. Trinity’s personalized education leads not only to graduates whom employers look for but also to people who love and honor God, God’s world, and other human beings.

We invite you to write your four-chapter story, which begins here:

Chapter One: Tooling Up (24 hours)

Preparation for life begins with the right tools. In this first chapter, you will build your toolkit for further learning as you develop your biblical literacy, communication ability, and critical thinking skills. You will think about your worldview, moral reasoning and life, all from a Christian perspective, and you will develop your skills to think and communicate effectively about topics that matter.

This first chapter plays out in two ways. First, you will focus on addressing some basic questions, such as Who am I? Who does God say that I am? How does the person and work of Jesus impact my perception of the world?  How do I think and live well with a Christian worldview? What are my life’s callings?  Second, you will work on building your skills in thinking, writing, and speaking in order to prepare you to navigate your professional and personal life effectively. 

Chapter Two: Exploring (24 hours)

Life in the 21st century is complex and multi-faceted, so no two stories will be exactly the same. Nevertheless, there are areas common to contemporary life that you will likely encounter in your life journey, such as diverse cultures and ways of thinking, the arts, mathematics, science, technology, contemporary social and political life, and wellness.  

In this second chapter, you may select from a variety of courses in these spheres of exploration and discovery. Choose eight courses total, with no more than two in any single category. You must take at least one course in each of the five categories marked with an asterisk; the other three courses may be from any of the eight categories.   

Chapter Three: Shaping Your Vocational Story (approximately 48 hours; varies by major)

You need a specific set of skills, a base of knowledge, and relevant experiences to shape your life journey. A major helps to establish a calling and enhance your contributions to your family, society, and the world. Your major will also become a key component of your resume.  

In order for you to discover and develop your vocation, you need to have practical experience. Therefore, every major at Trinity provides experiential learning opportunities to help you develop as a professional. In these experiences, you will refine your skills and learn crucial lessons about the kinds of careers you want to pursue by engaging in on-the-job learning.  You will have the opportunity to develop professionally in high-quality workplaces.

By completing a major, you will have demonstrated your competence in a significant area of human inquiry, engaged in hands-on learning, and shown your ability to dive deep into the complexities of a particular area of 21st-century life. Your experience in your major will culminate with an integrative thought capstone course that enables you to demonstrate your mastery of key concepts and skills in your area of expertise.

Chapter Four: Becoming a Lifelong Learner (approximately 24 hours)

Elective courses allow you to explore the range of liberal arts and science offerings and develop the kind of inquisitive minds that make for effective lifelong learning. The opportunity for choice not only empowers you, but also enhances your flexibility and readiness for employment.

Elective courses can be any course within the university. You are encouraged to explore areas of interest within the general education course offerings or in specialized areas outside of your major. You may decide to choose elective courses in pursuit of a minor in a field different from your major.

You will need to earn a minimum of 120 credit hours to graduate.

Additional Information to Help You Plan Your Academic Program

All regular students are assigned a faculty advisor who is available to help in planning a college program. As possible, advisors are assigned according to a student’s interest area. Students are encouraged to work closely with their faculty advisors during pursuit of an academic program at Trinity.  As a student progresses in his or her degree work and completed requirements are posted on the academic transcript, the student and academic advisor may access and review this information by using the degree audit on

Students who have not decided on a major field of study should concentrate on meeting general education requirements. First-year students should register for IDS 180 One Mission, Many Stories, or a Bible course, unless an exception is made by the Dean of the College. Students who have fairly well-defined educational goals may begin coursework in the major concurrently with completing general education courses. This is especially important in education and science. When a major field is selected, students should confer with the department chair and formally declare the major. An advisor will be assigned from that discipline to help students plan a program of study consistent with personal objectives and goals. A declaration of major must be filed prior to registration for the junior year.

Although the college catalog is not a legal contract, it does outline institutional policies, procedures, and regulations and describes requirements that students must meet before qualifying for a Trinity degree.

With regard to curricular offerings, students should note that requirements for an academic major in effect for the year in which the first enrollment occurred (matriculation) are applicable as long as the student continues to attend Trinity, provided the degree is complete within seven years of that first catalog date.

When curricular changes are made, students may follow either the original or changed curriculum requirements. However, students must choose one catalog or the other—not a combination of the two. Reasonable substitutions will be made for discontinued or changed courses.   

Students working toward a degree must file the “Application for Graduation” document approximately six months prior to the proposed graduation date to assure proper and timely verification of graduation requirements. Specific deadlines and the form are available on