MLA: Master of Liberal Arts

Program Mission

The mission of the Master of Liberal Arts is to provide a broad and balanced spectrum of graduate courses that are interdisciplinary in nature and focused on the moral, aesthetic, and intellectual values of the liberal arts.

A Classical Approach to the Liberal Arts

The Master of Liberal Arts program at HBU is dedicated to training students in the classical model of education, preparing them to serve in a variety of professions and vocations. The degree is designed for students desiring a broad and deep course of study in the Liberal Arts with an emphasis on the Great Books of the Western Tradition.

While the MLA at HBU is flexible enough to satisfy the particular interests of each student, we do not subscribe to the common “grab bag” approach to Liberal Arts. Instead, we provide a core of six courses in the Western Tradition that is both chronologically progressive and cohesive to enable students to grasp the flow and development of ideas that have shaped the modern world. Other elective courses are focused on essential figures (i.e. St. Augustine), periods (i.e. Tudor England), and topics (i.e. democracy, logic, church/state relations). Also, the MLA encourages students to craft their degree around one of three optional areas of emphasis (Classical Learning, Research, and General Liberal Arts).

Program Distinctives

  • Courses combine Classical Liberal Arts and the Christian worldview
  • Small classes that are seminar-based, rooted in the Great Books and Socratic dialogue
  • Faculty are distinguished Christian scholars from a variety of disciplines
  • Part-time or Full-time enrollment (rolling admissions)
  • 6-hour thesis option available

MLA Programs

Master of Liberal Arts

The Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) offers students an interdisciplinary panorama of knowledge in art, literature, history, culture, and science. The MLA is designed for those who have completed their undergraduate education but who wish to continue intellectual enrichment in a formal academic environment. A thesis option is available. Students in the MLA program represent a variety of educational backgrounds and ages. The degree is of particular interest to those in areas such as education, business, law, medicine, and engineering who desire a high level inquiry into the liberal arts. Classes meet once each week in the evening. A selection of courses from the various liberal arts is offered each semester.

Accelerated Master of Liberal Arts

The Accelerated Master of Liberal Arts (AMLA) degree provides the opportunity for students to earn a graduate degree in five years from their matriculation as an undergraduate freshman.  The AMLA is a track of study within the existing MLA program, building upon the current purpose and vision of the traditional MLA degree—to train students in classical education and prepare them for careers with a deep understanding of the liberal arts. Students begin graduate course work toward an MLA degree during their senior year by completing up to nine MLA hours.

Master of Liberal Arts w/ Education Specialization

The Master of Liberal Arts with Specialization in Education (MLA-Ed) degree offers students interested in a career in classical/Christian/public education an opportunity to prepare for Texas teacher certification for 4-8 or 7-12, EC-6 Generalist, EC-12 Art, Music, Physical Education or Spanish. A student will take 18 credit hours of MLA course work and will register for the Post Baccalaureate Teaching Certification program to earn 18 credit hours of defined Education course work.  Students are required to adhere to the admissions standards for both programs.  Any MLA scholarships would be applied to course work in the Post Baccalaureate Teaching Certification program.

MLA Areas of Emphasis

The MLA degree’s areas of emphases provide suggested recommendations for course options. Students are not bound by the emphases, but should rather use them as a guide to fulfill their individual purpose/goal in taking up the MLA.

Classical Learning Emphasis

This emphasis is for students who are either already teachers or intend to become teachers. It is intended to deepen students’ knowledge of classical education and train them to teach from a Great Books perspective.

After Graduation:

MLA students are successful in a diversity of careers and vocations. Previous graduates of the MLA have gone on to positions as private/classical school teachers, school administrators, junior college instructors, and positions in various industries. Others have continued their graduate study in doctoral programs and other advanced degrees.

Associated Faculty:

The program’s faculty are among HBU’s most prized instructors. They are as diverse as the liberal arts, with poets, philosophers, historians, public intellectuals, political theorists, and literary scholars. Their writing has appeared in The Imaginative Conservative, Books & Culture, The New Criterion, The Ben Jonson Journal, The South Carolina Review, and First Things, and they are regular contributors to HBU’s monthly The City. The faculty also represent a wide array of internationally ranked institutions, with terminal degrees from: University of Virginia, Baylor University, Princeton University, Notre Dame University, University of Exeter, Louisiana State University, and University of Dallas.

Next Steps?

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