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Aug 26, 2014 06:41 AM EDT

Liberty Launches Bachelor and Master Degrees in Fine Arts for Spring

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Liberty University's School of Communication & Creative Arts is launching two popular degrees - a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) and a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) program - in the Department of Studio & Digital Arts (SADA), effective this spring.

The University officials are expecting 50 students for the 127-credit-hour B.F.A. and 25 for the 60-credit-hour M.F.A.

Both B.F.A. and M.F.A. students will pursue two-dimensional art (with courses in photography, painting, and drawing), three-dimensional art (with courses in sculpting and ceramics), and graphic design (with courses in web design, print design, illustration, game design, and animation).

Dr. Norman Mintle, dean of the School of Communication & Creative Arts, believes that skills-oriented curriculum will meet a major need shared by arts students.

"It is our stated goal to help prepare students to become professionals of such excellence that they become ambassadors first of God's excellence in the arts, and also ambassadors for our programs," Mintle said in a statement. "... we want our graduates to be so well-prepared as professionals that they actually delight their future employers."

In an attempt to offer a terminal degree, the University has developed infrastructure in terms of classrooms, and the quality of faculty and curriculum.

Todd Smith, chair of the SADA department, said that M.F.A is the top-tier degree in the field of art and design. It presents a unique opportunity for students who want to teach arts at the collegiate level

"The need for Christians in the fine arts is huge," Smith noted. "We can look back on cultures and see who they were by what they created, and so our students are able to go into culture and help influence it through the arts. They are working as salt and light."

Smith said that Liberty offers easy access to international art galleries in Richmond, Va., and Washington, D.C. And for those staying far away, Liberty is planning to offer the Graphic Design concentrations online in both the B.F.A. and M.F.A. programs, beginning August 2015.

"We are crafting unique fine arts curricula that will become very attractive to arts students across the country," Mintle said.

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