Department of Philosophy
Gary R. Habermas, B.R.E., M.A., Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Philosophy
Distinguished Research Professor of Apologetics and Philosophy
Edward N. Martin, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.
Co-Chair, Department of Philosophy
Professor of Philosophy and Theology
The B.A. in Philosophy equips the student with critical skills, knowledge, and values to positively impact today's world. Philosophy majors rank highest among non-science majors on the GRE exam, and rank first amongst all majors in the verbal section. This may be in part because of Philosophy's central emphasis on:
- studying some of history's most articulate and clearly expressed models of communication;
- developing one's personal style and skills of written and verbal communication based on those classical and contemporary models;
- fostering a deepening love for the Lord, who is Himself "The Word"—God's clear communication of Himself for us and our salvation;
- applying problem-solving skills to life's greatest theoretical and practical questions we are uniquely positioned in God's creative order to know about, ponder, and begin to answer (amidst the explosion of knowledge and the haunt of technology);
- evaluating and critiquing various arguments and diverse positions by the best minds—both believers and non-believers; and
- doing each of the above alongside caring, compassionate faculty specially trained to produce Philosophers to change our world for Christ's Kingdom here, now, today.
C. S. Lewis famously stated that the world needs good philosophy, if for no other reason, to answer bad philosophy. Our philosophy is Christ-centered, our God is "the true God, and eternal life" (I John 5:20), and our message must be clear: we seek to provide our communities, our churches, and our world with men and women on fire for the Truth of the Word of God, the only hope in a hopeless world! We seek to train philosophically-able Champions for Christ who, "with gentleness and respect" (I Pet 3:16), can "demolish arguments and every pretention that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and…take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (II Cor 10:5) The Christian worldview is the most powerfully compelling and best explanation for all the phenomena of which humans are aware. But, so often, as G. K. Chesterton quipped, it is not that Christianity has been tried and found wanting; rather, it has been found difficult and so often left untried. We want our students to know not only what they believe, but why they believe it. So, we are devoted to producing men and women who acknowledge not only that Jesus is Lord, but that, as Dallas Willard remarks, Jesus is brilliant. For in Him "are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." (Col. 2:3) The program focuses on the classical philosophical areas of study, including metaphysics, epistemology, logic, aesthetics, ethics, and philosophy of religion, and provides a strong, impactful foundation for living as an agent of Christ-honoring, Christ-centered cultural and spiritual transformation in our world. For those interested to seek further studies in many diverse fields at the graduate level, the Philosophy major provides an excellent basis for further studies in seminary, law, the humanities and the sciences. Majoring in Philosophy is not only exemplary preparation for ministry, but also serves as a great grounding for graduate studies in English, theology, leadership or management, business, counseling, History, politics, law, philosophy, and a full range of other related fields (such as philology, ancient or modern languages, mathematics, linguistics, art history, journalism, government, etc.).
Phi Sigma Tau – International Honor Society In Philosophy
Advisor: Dr. Micheal S. Jones
Phi Sigma Tau has as its essential purpose to promote ties among philosophy departments in accredited institutions and students in philosophy nationally. The Society exists with the following objectives:
- to serve as a means of awarding distinction to students having high scholarship and personal interest in philosophy;
- to promote student interest in research and advance study in this field;
- to provide opportunities for the publication of student research papers of merit;
- to encourage a professional spirit and friendship among those who have displayed marked ability in this field; and
- to popularize interest in philosophy among the general collegiate public.
The Society sponsors several colloquia and conferences, on both a local and national level, throughout the academic year.
Criteria for Membership
Undergraduate students are eligible for active membership if they have completed three semesters of college course work, are ranked in the upper 35% of their class, and have completed (or are registered in) at least two semester courses (six credit hours) in philosophy with a mean overall grade which is greater than a 3.00.
- Campus/Parachurch Ministry
- Hospital Ethicist
- Human Rights Advocate
- Classical Christian School Teacher (esp. Logic)
- Computer Science
- Information Technology
- Leadership and Management
- Cultural Commentator
- Business Entrepreneur
- Christian Educator
Prerequisite: ENGL 101
A survey of the major positions and figures in philosophy and the cultural worldviews and practical applications that derive from them, focusing specifically on theism, naturalism and humanism in contemporary thought.
Offered: Resident and Online
A study of the basic laws of rational thought and their application to actual examples of verbal and written argumentation.
A survey of the evidences for the central truths of Christianity; the existence of God, the deity and resurrection of Christ and the authority and truth of the Bible
Offered: Resident and Online
A study of major western philosophers through Thomas Aquinas.
A study of major western philosophers from the 13th century to Kant.
A study of major western philosophers of the 19th and 20th Centuries.
Prerequisite: PHIL 210
This course covers the essential elements of symbolic logic, including categorical, sentential, and predicate logic, both translations and proofs. This course will introduce and develop the symbolic nature of propositional and predicate logic, as well as examine such things as validity and soundness, truth tables, rules of deductive inference and replacement, formal axiomatic systems, relations, alternative notations and proof techniques.
A study of Hindu, Buddhist and Confucian philosophical systems. The student will explore the basic logics employed in these systems, as well as the structure of their content.
A survey of central ethical issues and problems and the major philosophical approaches to their solution.
A study of the definitions, methods and presuppositions of both the natural and social sciences and their relationships to ethics and revelation.
A survey of the major ethical issues that are currently facing the life and medical sciences. Topics will cover ethical issues concerning life and death, clinical health care, and medical research. Emphasis will be placed on providing guidelines in making critical ethical decisions, especially for those planning careers in the medical field.
Offered: Resident and Online
A study of the major views on the basic issues of knowledge, belief, perception and certainty with special attention paid to the central historical controversies.
An integrative studies course examining Augustine's life and thought within his times, culture and context, integrating disciplines such as philosophy, theology, history, and literature. Students will explore various primary texts, investigating Augustine's theories regarding free will, predestination, the inner desire for God, signs and signification as philosophical concepts, the nature of truth, just war theory, good and evil, time and eternity, the nature of God and perfection, and interpretation theory.
Prerequisite: (PHIL 201 or PHIL 210 or PHIL 240 or PHIL 301 or PHIL 302 or PHIL 303 or PHIL 310 or PHIL 346 or PHIL 350 or PHIL 360 or PHIL 380 or PHIL 429 or PHIL 465 or PHIL 468) and (RSCH 201 or Inquiry Research with a score of 80 or Research with a score of 80 or Research (prior to 2017-2018) with a score of 80)
An introduction to the philosophical discussion of being; the nature of reality, the existence and attributes of God, and the nature of human persons, including the mind-body problem and the issue of freedom and determinism.
A study of the major issues in religion: the existence of God, the problem of evil, freedom and determinism, and religious language.
A study of the contributions to philosophy and Christian thought of C.S. Lewis. Special attention is given to his biography, early life and conversion, academic development, methods of critical thought, defense of the faith, arguments in favor of theism, poetry, mythopoeic literature, science fiction, as well as many contributions not usually associated with Lewis's popularity and recognition. Contemporary and recent literature on Lewis will be critically examined.
This is a study of the contributions to philosophy and Christian thought in the writing of J.R R. Tolkien. The course will examine the implicit power of story in the major and minor works of J.R.R. Tolkien. In addition to exploring themes of identity, heroism, good and evil, and other moral virtues in Tolkien���s mythical and short story writings, we will consider the influences of Tolkien���s mythology and historical fiction in popular culture. While there will be some literary analysis throughout the course, most of the seminar will discuss the influence of mythology (i.e., the concept of eucatastrophe and sub-creation in fairy stories [i.e., fantasy], and the implicit power of language, virtue and free-will behind the worldview of Middle-earth).
PHIL 495 - Directed Research (1 to 3 hours)
A seminar on various topics in philosophy, including current trends and figures.