The Academic Adventure
An education leading to wholeness of being must necessarily move beyond definitions of knowledge as strictly quantitative and learning in terms of what can only be assessed by tests of strict quantification. One goal of whole-person education at University of the West is to make available to the mind more, not less than, abstract reason. Our whole-person approach supports rational, somatic, and affective ways of constructing knowledge and fashioning careers, while pointing out life’s ethical and spiritual options.
By promoting multiple learning strategies within a holistic model, we neither discount analytical and quantitative mental functions, nor advocate abandoning the fundamental project to grasp the world in rational terms. But as University of the West is committed to a full humanity, our curricula and services intentionally enlarge that project to include qualitative, aesthetic, and contemplative ways of learning within a context of humanistic Buddhist values and wisdom. We hold an integral vision of the cooperation of the senses with reason, compassion with thought, personal transformation with intercultural understandings, and humanity with the earth.
Given the fragmented, incoherent nature of education at all levels, what begins in schools as the instrumentation of reason and a narrow routine of thinking ends up in higher education as the mechanization of life that provides little, if any room, for cognitive freedom, creativity, and love of learning. We perceive an injurious hyper-rational and disembodied imbalance at the heart of the Academy, and we reject it. Through internships, service learning, and study abroad, we aim to graduate holistic first responders to the needs of others, able to provide heart-to-heart resuscitation where it’s needed, locally and globally.
University of the West holds a bold and timely vision of whole and mindful graduates living responsibly across cultural perspectives. Our holistic pedagogies in Business Administration, Psychology, Religious Studies, Buddhist Chaplaincy, English, ESL, and General Education lead to personal fulfillment, bodily health, spiritual formation, and community service. We advocate an integral partnership of our complete humanity: critical reason with the observing eye, accurate touch, perceptive tongue, discriminating nose, differentiating ear, thinking heart, and contemplative mind. Come join our intentional community of holistic un-usualists committed to learning with, from, and on behalf of others.