The History Department participates in the central endeavor of Saint Anselm College's academic program. Precise, critical thinking, the clear articulation of one's thoughts, and an engaged acceptance of civic responsibility are hallmarks of historical consciousness. Further, history provides a contextualized understanding of the emergence of the fundamental avenues of inquiry pursued by artists, scientists, philosophers, and theologians over time.
The study of history fulfills the goals of a liberal arts education by freeing students from narrowness of vision and teaching them how to think critically about the past. Historical understanding rests on the assumption of the uniqueness of human experiences. Considered cumulatively, those experiences allow historians to use the past to better understand the present. When a person can think clearly about the past, alternatives in the present and future become more readily perceptible.
The department seeks to enable students to think about change over time, and the variety of factors that influence historical change. Students are exposed to the diversity of history across time and space, balancing a strong foundation in American and European history with an awareness of the complexities of other areas of the world.