• Our Modern Languages Program offers students grounding in Spanish, French, German, and Italian, plus the opportunity for a Minor in Spanish, French, and German or a combination of any two of those three languages.
  • The Classical Languages Program offers grounding in Latin and Greek plus the opportunity to Minor in either or both.

You’ll benefit from the Abbey’s language minors if you:

  • express yourself well, or want to improve your communication skills
  • want to experience great literature in the authors’ own words
  • are fascinated by words, their meanings and their histories
  • want a true Classical Education
  • enjoy poetry, mythology, history or science
  • are interested in philosophy
  • want to read the Vulgate Bible or explore the Greek New Testament

Languages at the Abbey offer an essential component of a Liberal Arts education, support majors in a variety of subjects, and open students’ horizons to include whole new worlds of experience outside the Anglosphere.  Our language classrooms are dynamic places where students discover the joy of learning and communicating – both with each other and, through the written word and film, with people from other cultures and eras.   We believe no language is truly “dead” and we use active, creative teaching methods at every opportunity. Language study adds an essential dimension to many major programs and gives our students a qualitative edge when they leave us for graduate school or the job market.  Our ultimate goal is to help our students make their languages a part of themselves and thus become true citizens of the world.

With a Modern or Classical Languages Minor from Belmont Abbey College, you will be able to pursue a broad variety of careers in such areas as:

    • International Business
    • Tourism and Hospitality
    • Law and Criminal Justice
    • Government
    • Health Care
    • Library and Museum Science
    • Editorial work, Advertising and Social Media
    • Ministry or Religious Life
    • Counseling
    • Teaching
    • Informatics
    • Creative Writing

Our Minors can give students a huge boost in their preparation for graduate school entrance exams such as the LSAT, GRE and GMAT.

The Abbey Difference:

The Abbey’s Classical Languages Program offers students a learning experience different from what people usually mean when they speak of “the Classics.”  Our Latin and Greek classes are not limited to ancient, pagan literature alone but explore and embrace medieval Christian and modern works in these languages.  The classroom experience is enlivened by spoken-language games and storytelling, and given solid grounding through more traditional reading, writing and translation exercises.   Classical Language studies at the Abbey give students direct access to the original thoughts of the writers and thinkers who laid the foundations of modern literature, philosophy and the sciences.

Our Modern Languages Program offers beginning through advanced-level language instruction.  Students have found our small class sizes and individual-study opportunities helpful in bridging the gap between high school and college-level language study.  Modern Language studies give students access from the inside to the international world of culture and business.  Alumni have found their language coursework helps their resumes stand out from the pile when they enter the job market or apply to graduate school.

Beginning in Spring of 2021, we will be adding Russian to our language offerings.

Program Requirements:

Students pursuing a minor in Classical Languages study Latin or Greek or both languages. Five courses need to be taken with a grade of “C” or better (including the 101 level, if necessary for the student). At least three courses must be taken in sequence in either Greek or Latin (GK101, 102, GK201, GK202, OR LA101, LA102, LA201, LA202). The remaining two courses can be 1) two introductory courses (101 and 102) in the other language, or 2) continuing language classes in the same language (GK301 and above or LA301 and above, as Directed Studies), or 3) one 300 level language course and one approved course from another department (listed below), which feature Greek or Latin-writing authors (of any period) in translation, and in which the student accomplishes an additional, specially approved project, to the satisfaction of the Program Director.   For students who have significant credits already in hand, placement exams are available to help accelerate their progress toward the Minor.

Students wishing to receive Classical Languages Minor credit for any non-language courses listed above must complete, to the satisfaction of the Program Director, an individual classical language assignment pertaining to the material of the course, requiring at least ten hours of separate study.

See also the full BAC Course Catalogue.

Minor requirements:

Introductory Level

  • LA 101 and LA 102
  • GK 101 and GK 102

Intermediate Level

  • LA 201 and LA 202
  • GK 201 and GK 202

One Additional Language  (LA 301, 302; GK 301, 302; LA 399; GK 399)  or Literature Studies in translation.

Some examples of approved courses in this category are:

  • EN 403 Medieval Literature: British Genres, 8th to 15th c.
  • EN 413 Dante
  • EN 417 Advanced World Literature
  • HI 350 History of the Benedictine Tradition
  • HI 355 The Vikings: From Pagan Pirates to Christian Princes
  • HI 360 The Crusades
  • HO 204 Honors: Greek Tragedy
  • HO 205 Honors: Greek Histories
  • HO 307 Great Texts in Modern Science and Philosophy
  • PH 314 Faith and Reason
  • PH 410 Philosophy of God
  • PO 401 Classical Political Philosophy
  • PO 402 Medieval Political Philosophy
  • TH 358 Major Figures in Theology

It is the student’s responsibility to see that all degree requirements for graduation are fulfilled.

In line with Belmont Abbey College’s nature as a small liberal arts college, our Modern Language classes are small enough at the lower levels to promote individual attention and at the upper levels often take the form of tutorials.  Though language, literature and culture inform each other and are, ultimately, inseparable, our main focus is on the languages themselves and on providing our students with a dynamic classroom experience that makes the languages they study a permanent part of who they are.  Students pursuing a Modern Languages Minor take either five courses in French or German or Spanish, or three in one those three languages and two in another, including Italian, Latin, or Greek.

Minor requirements:

Introductory Level

  • FR 101 and FR 102
  • GR 101 and GR 102
  • SP 101 and SP 102

Intermediate Level

  • FR 201 and FR 202
  • GR 201 and GR 202
  • SP 201 and SP 202

Additional Language Courses

  • FR 301, GR 301, SP 301, IT 101, LA 101, GK 101, GR 399, etc.

It is the student’s responsibility to see that all degree requirements for graduation are fulfilled.

Highlights of your Experience:

These are the sorts of classes you can look forward to with a Classical Languages minor from Belmont Abbey College.

This course assumes no prior acquaintance with Greek. You will be introduced to the Greek alphabet and be put on a path that can lead to knowledge of any of the four types of Greek: Homeric Greek (the language of the Iliad and Odyssey); Attic Greek (the language of tragedy, Thucydides, Plato and Aristotle); Koine Greek (the language of the New Testament and Church Fathers); Modern Greek. Depending on student interest, the class can concentrate on one or another of these, but the rudiments common to every type of Greek will be consistently presented.

Students learn the basics of Latin through games, storytelling, and a textbook which presents the language through the adventures of a Roman family of the time of Christ.  As a student, you will experience an immersion classroom in which you use your natural faculties of speech, hearing and observation to make the Latin language your own.  Some elementary-level class exercises are run by advanced students under the Instructor’s guidance.

This course will develop students’ Spanish communication skills.  Several films from the Spanish-speaking world will be shown as springboards for conversation.  The films will provide students the opportunity to listen to native speakers, as well as to read and write reviews of the movies.  All this provides a framework for conversing in Spanish in a natural manner and for building vocabulary through listening and speaking.

This course offers an in-depth exploration of a particular era of French history or movement in French art, literature or film.  Some examples of such topics are Great Saints of France, the French Revolution, French Impressionist Artists, Film Noir, etc.


Dr. Gerald Malsbary
Chairman of the Languages Department
B.A., University of California at Berkeley
M.A., University of California at Berkeley
Ph.D., University of Toronto

Dr. Svetlana Corwin
Associate Professor of Russian
B.A./M.A., Herzen State University
M.A., Appalachian State University
Ph.D., Emory University

Dr. Marina Riadi
Diplôme Supérieur d’Enseignement de Français, Sorbonne University
M.A., University of Vermont
Ph.D., Georgia State University
Doctorate in Theology and Pastoral Counseling, Graduate Theological Foundation

Dr. Nancy Llewellyn
Program Director, Classical Languages Minor
Associate Professor of Latin
B.A., Bryn Mawr College
M.A., Salesian Pontifical University-Rome
Ph.D., University of California-Los Angeles

Ana Miranda
B.A., Liberty University
M.A., Universidad Europea del Atlantico