The Anchor Plan is the heart of a Hope education in which students explore fundamental and emerging questions about humanity, the natural world and God.

They seek answers through humanistic, artistic, mathematical, scientific, social scientific, behavioral and religious modes of inquiry. Grounded in the traditions of the liberal arts and the historic Christian faith, the Anchor Plan calls students to cultivate curiosity, pursue truth and knowledge, care about the world around them, communicate with clarity and grace, and bridge boundaries that divide communities. 

Through Hope College's Anchor Plan, students will: 

  1. Examine fundamental or emerging questions about humanity, the natural world, or God by seeking answers through different modes of inquiry.
  2. Reflect on the diverse perspectives, cultures and historical experiences of people in the United States and the world.
  3. Practice Hope College’s Virtues of Public Discourse: humility to listen, hospitality to welcome, patience to understand, courage to challenge, honesty to speak the truth in love.
  4. Demonstrate an ability to communicate to a specific audience by employing multiple approaches, media or languages.
  5. Analyze evidence or data to solve problems, reach informed conclusions or make sound judgements.
  6. Understand key tenets of the historic Christian faith.
  7. Explain their own values, commitments and convictions.

Anchor Plan Curriculum

Below is the Anchor Plan curriculum at a glance. There is no required sequencing of courses, except for the First Year Seminar, Senior Seminar, the different levels of Perspectives courses in conjunction with Expository Writing, and other courses that require specific prerequisites.

Click each header for more information about Anchor Plan components.

First Year Seminar

  • IDS 100 (3 credits)

Expository Writing

  • ENGL 113 (3 credits)

Health Dynamics

  • KIN 140 (2 credits)


  • Various classes; at least one must be a lab science course and one must be a mathematics course (10 credits).


  • REL 100-level (3 credits)
  • REL 200-level (3 credits)

    At least one of the two courses taken must have a Christian Tenets (TEN) attribute.

Social ScienceS

  • Various classes from two different departments (6 credits)

Arts and Humanities

  • Arts in Practice (2–3 credits)
  • Historical Perspectives (3 credits)
  • Human Creative Perspectives (3 credits)
  • Philosophical Perspectives (3 credits)

    Of the Perspectives courses, one must be taken at the 100-level and two at the 200-level. The 100-level course, as well as ENGL 113, must be taken before the 200-level courses can be taken.

Human Diversities

  • Global Language (3–6 credits)
  • US Diversities (1 course)
  • Global Perspectives (1 course)

Senior Seminar

  • IDS 452/492 (3 credits)