February 23, 2024

Goodness, truth and beauty. Individually, these three concepts seem to be relatively simple. Goodness is merely the absence of evil. Truth is the opposite of lies. And beauty is something nice to look at. 

However, according to the professors who teach the “Goodness, Truth, and Beauty” course, these three concepts are much more profound, defining our existence as human beings. 

Dr. Sam Welbaum, associate professor of Christian ministries, has taught the class since 2016. Since then, he’s instructed hundreds of eager students, integrating biblical principles and facts about life and society. 

Welbaum described the world as a desert and that students and humans have fallen into the trap of a lack of goodness, truth and beauty. 

“I think it’s important because the soul needs it, and I think when you take goodness, truth, and beauty away from a populace, you increase anxiety, depression and isolation,” Welbaum said. “And we’re currently the least emotionally healthy society in the history of the world, and I think that’s connected to it. And our response to that is instead of embracing industry and beauty, we just prescribe something.”

Welbaum said he cannot overstate the importance of this class. 

“I think that it’s the single most important class they take in their college career, and if I had my druthers, students would take it as part of the first-year experience,” Welbaum said. “It would just be a fundamental start thing because I think it is probably the most important class they take.”

Faith Ellzey, sophomore marketing major, took the class with Dr. Tim Mosteller. She said her favorite part of the class is directly affected by her upbringing and moral beliefs. She cited the traditional household she grew up in as her biggest influence.

“I have strong moral foundations that I definitely build my life around as a Christian. That really helps as well, but I love talking about my truth,” Ellzey said. “We had a paper on God last week, and it was really amazing to just write a paper on my thoughts on Jesus and God and Christ.”

Ellzey said she admired the class structure. 

“I like that it’s a lot of group discussion,” Ellzey said.  “I’m also in it with my friends, so I love that during the group discussion, I get to learn more about her. Then we get to solve these unknown philosophies and come up with our own personal discussion.”

Sam Marino, sophomore aviation flight major, is currently taking the class with Prof. Keith Quan. Marino likes the class and compared the intense thinking during class to a workout.

“My favorite part of the class is probably the professor and the way he really makes you think,” Marino said. “He’ll point out these questions that just blow your mind. …I must have burned a couple hundred calories just thinking like that in that class.”

Marino highly recommends that others take the class. 

“Absolutely, I would advise others to take this class,” Marino said. “It also helps with good note-taking. if you’re somebody out there who is not the best note-taker, this will really improve your note-taking.”

“Goodness, Truth and Beauty” is a class as intriguing as its name.  The core ideas translate into concepts that can enhance and make the world a better, more truthful and more beautiful place.

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