ACTC Mission, 2016
The Association for Core Texts and Courses (ACTC) is an international, professional, liberal arts organization dedicated to fostering the use of core texts (world classics and other texts of major cultural significance), in undergraduate education and the development of required or widely taken core programs steeped in such texts.

Organizing Statement, 1995
The Association for Core Texts and Courses brings together colleges and universities that promote the integrated and common study of world classics and other texts of major cultural significance. Members of ACTC advocate the growth of such programs in order to strengthen undergraduate education in the United States and Canada. ACTC challenges both aimless curricular choice and the current dominance of vocational, professional and specialized curricula. ACTC is committed to the education of free citizens, equipped to conduct their public and private lives informed by the best that has been thought and expressed in Western and other traditions.

ACTC advocates core text programs at all undergraduate institutions. ACTC helps initiate such programs and develops networks to support existing programs. ACTC addresses such issues as the status of core text programs within their curriculum, the recognition of and professional conditions for faculty who teach these courses, the development of materials appropriate for liberal education, the establishment of networks to encourage core text faculty to share their expertise, and the representation in the public media of this concept for interdisciplinary education based in foundational texts.

At stake, we believe, is the soul of higher education in a democratic society. An educated person should be equipped to live a disciplined and examined life, rich in the fullest expressions of our humanity and dedicated to civic and social service to others and to the exploration of the mystery and glory of our existence. As citizens of an increasingly interdependent world, our graduates must acquire the ability to exercise critical judgment in order to free themselves from instant truths and local passions. Integrated core text courses and programs introduce students to questions which are at once timeless in their philosophical significance and timely in their relevance for us.

Members and member institutions are invited to participate in annual ACTC conferences, publications, informational exchanges, staffing networks, public media presentations, and the organizing and leadership of the association. We welcome your inquiries, suggestions and support.

ACTC Divisions
ACTC is organized into two Divisions: The Annual Conference Division and the Liberal Arts Institute. The Annual Conference brings together institutions and attendees from around the world to discuss core texts and the programs found in universities, colleges, community colleges, and secondary education institutions with commitments to core texts. The Liberal Arts Institute Division conducts ACTC’s special projects on programmatic, curricular, pedagogical and research issues involving liberal arts and core texts.

Institutions may become sponsors or co-sponsors of an Annual Conference. Institutions which choose to lead in liberal arts core text education may choose to join the consortium of institutions which supports the Institute’s international development efforts.

ACTC Officers and Board

Institutional Membership

ACTC’s Conference and Institute work through the support of institutions, as well as individual members.


In a time when many question the value of liberal education, ACTC unflinchingly supports individual and institutional efforts to provide a core text, liberal arts education.


  • An Annual Conference of over 150 institutions and 275 participants, with panels and speakers about curriculum, pedagogy, uses and interpretations of core texts, and development, maintenance and support of core text, liberal arts programs. Attending institutions come from North America, Latin America, Asia, and Europe;
  • Annual Selected Proceedings, peer-reviewed;
  • Grants open to ACTC institutions, developed through ACTC’s Liberal Arts Institute at the University of Dallas; grants help to encourage faculty development, curriculum, pedagogy, web-bibliographies, and assessment based in core text, liberal arts education;
  • Participation in ACTC’s special-topic conferences, e.g., our “Intersection of Religious and Secular Cores in Undergraduate Liberal Education” conference at Rhodes College in the fall of 2014, or our earlier “Trends in the Liberal Arts Core: Cooperative Integration Between the Humanities and Sciences,” as well as cooperative conferences with other core curriculum associations and institutions;
  • Consulting, advising, and review services for institutions and programs concerned with liberal arts, general education, and core text programs;
  • Annual newsletter;
  • This website with
    • Job listing/job seeking online service for ACTC affiliated institutions and individuals;
    • Opportunities for students of member institutions to publish in the new ACTC-affiliated, online journal of University of Lynchburg: Agora: the Journal for Undergraduate Scholarly Papers.
    • Descriptions and links to over 200 core text programs;
    • Sample papers to help with members with publications.


  • Discounted conference registration fees for graduate students and teaching assistants at Institutional Member institutions.
  • ACTC Qualitative, Narrative, Liberal Arts Assessment: An assessment program, organized by institutional cohorts, that foregrounds core text teaching and student liberal learning in a narrative, rather than statistical, fashion.
  • ACTC Student conferences, 2022 at St. Vincent College, Latrobe PA.  Only available to students who belong to Institutional Members colleges or universities. Three student conference papers from Institutional Members will be chosen for publication in Agora: A Journal for Undergraduate Scholarly Papers 

ACTC Bylaws