Doctrina Lux Mentis

Centre College’s motto is doctrina lux mentis, Latin for “learning is the light of the mind.” We use this motto to remind us of our collective mission. As a Centre College student, you will join a community of scholars who value learning as an engagement that not only illuminates the mind but also shines the light of understanding on the world and all those within it. This motto gives its name to three of the core experiences in Centre’s General Education Curriculum: Doctrina Lux Mentis (DLM) I, II, and III. The first two DLM courses (I and II) are seminar courses taken in your first year, one in the fall and one in the spring, whereas DLM III serves as the capstone experience.

DLM I and II courses provide a small-group learning environment that will engage you in intensive intellectual experiences to develop your collegiate educational skills—how to read critically, how to think logically, and how to communicate effectively. You will complete these courses with instructors from different academic divisions, which will begin your introduction to the breadth of learning opportunities. DLM I will emphasize writing skills, while DLM II will emphasize oral communication skills. Both written and oral exercises incorporate imagination, creativity, reasoning, problem-solving, integration, and judgment—all skills essential to critical thinking. Visual communication (for example: photos, videos, maps, design, or data visualization) and information literacy are part of both courses.

As in all of your courses at Centre, you will work closely with your professors in your DLM courses to develop your communication skills and to reflect on your own process of learning. Techniques include conferences with your professor to revise multiple drafts of a paper and evaluate your own process of thinking, writing, and learning.

DLM III is the capstone course that will challenge you to work with students and faculty members across the College to think critically about and to propose solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems. These interdisciplinary, upper-level courses taken by juniors and seniors require the application of knowledge and skills developed during your broad exploration of the Centre curriculum. You will join a group of student-scholars from across the College in this capstone, closing your Centre career by returning to Centre’s motto, doctrina lux mentis—learning is the light of the mind. This capstone experience will help you move on from Centre with confidence, preparing you to move from Centre, out.

Doctrina Lux Mentis Courses

Course Descriptions