Architecture at Benedictine

Benedictine College added Architecture to its ever-growing list of majors in Fall 2016. The pre-professional Bachelor program in Architecture will prepare students for graduate level studies in pursuit of the Master of Architecture degree and eventual licensure as professional architects.

The Architecture program provides an education in traditional disciplinary methods (observing precedents, sketching, freehand drawing, watercoloring, modelling, technical drawing) integrated with the study of modern engineering and the arts. This formation in traditional methods is grounded in a survey of the great achievements of Western architecture and complemented by an emphasis on Classical articulation and its theories, fundamentals, and practices.

“Adding Architecture is a great development for us,” said President Stephen D. Minnis. “We are unique among our peer institutions in that we offer both Engineering (Chemical, Civil, Electrical and Mechanical) and Architecture. This is a great step forward.”

Benedictine College is now the only NAIA school with both Engineering and Architecture. The combination gives the college’s degree a strong technical dimension.

To accommodate the program, the school dedicated a beautiful historic loft space to the program and an innovative, fully restored classroom and computer lab in the school’s oldest building, Bishop Fink Hall. The program was designed to give students a studio-based learning experience which prepares them for a professional graduate school program or an opportunity to work under architects in intern or junior designer positions.

The architecture curriculum explores various formal, conceptual and technical considerations and how they interrelate in design. The ideas and experience students gain in the design studio are reinforced and amplified by support courses.

“Connections to engineering, math, philosophy, theology, psychology, history and art make our architecture students excellent models of the significance of a liberal arts education and how it can impact beyond the classroom,” said Christa Kagin, chair of the Art Department, where the program is housed.

She said field trips broaden and expand students’ understanding of architectural concepts and internships offer real world experiences. Students also benefit from the small student-to-teacher ratio and a true interdisciplinary learning environment.

“As we began exploring architecture as a new program, we were increasingly struck with the way this field of study is such a natural fit for our mission,” said Dr. Kimberly Shankman, dean of the college. “We seek to educate within a community of faith and scholarship; architecture is the study of how to give concrete expression to the idea of community.”

“Students who study architecture at Benedictine College will benefit from a solid foundation in faith and community, two aspects which directly impact their understanding of human relationships,” Kagin added. “This knowledge will inform how humanity’s history and interactions with structures is critical to creating spaces for worship, living, working and learning today.”