“All truth is God’s truth” is an expression commonly used by Christian colleges and universities to express our commitment to the discovery, synthesis, teaching, and publication of all that can possibly be known. We believe it is important for Christians and especially Christian universities to be committed to truth in all of its manifestations because of one simple fact – we believe that the one God of the Bible, the God who is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is the world’s true creator. All things came into existence by the power of this one God. In fact, the Scriptures clearly state that all things were created by the word of the one true and living God of Scripture and that this was accomplished through his living Son, the Word of God, Jesus the Lord (John 1). All that is comes from him. There is not a square inch of reality outside the umbrella of God’s creative insight and power. Once you admit that all existence is a result of the power, word, and work of God, then the obvious implication is that all that can be known – all truth – is God’s truth.
Since Houston Baptist University‘s mission is within the world of higher education, it is our Christian obligation to learn, assimilate, teach, and disseminate all that can be known. All the schools and disciplines at HBU strive towards these ends. The Honors College is a particular instance, by special means and learning modalities, of our efforts to accomplish these goals.
During my interview process at HBU, a long-time faculty member, joined and supported by others, asked me – should I become the president of HBU – if I would be interested in seeing the University start an Honors College. I answered enthusiastically in the affirmative. Thus, the first task force I appointed as soon as I became HBU’s president on September 1, 2006, was charged to investigate the feasibility and potential implementation of an Honors College.
Today in the Honors College
That first task force was a resounding success. The Honors College today has undergone changes, but it still reflects the commitments of those earliest days. We wanted students to have the benefit of an interdisciplinary core curriculum; the opportunity to interact with primary historic texts/literature and great works of art and music; and the freedom to have intensive and engaging experiences in small classes and seminar settings characterized by lively discussions, writing, and the reading of those great texts.
Today, the Honors College serves about 200 students at HBU and continues to be an outstanding experience for all who enter it. Students in the Honors College have majors from across the University while they also participate in the special interdisciplinary classes described above.
Every year since the inception of the Honors College, I’ve had the opportunity to lead a seminar on the nature of a Christian University. Also, I’ve been privileged to speak at many of the special Honors College commissioning services and have, on an almost yearly basis, presented a lecture on some biblical or theological theme. These experiences remind me of the aspirations of the entire University.
What about the job market?
In these days of economic challenge, parents often – rightly, I think – ask, “What can you do with an Honors College experience in the job market?”
My answer is, “Almost anything.”
Honors College students are prepared, as are our students in all the schools and colleges across the University, not only to have competencies in certain areas, but to think critically, engage in lively discussions and debates, and be unafraid to offer opposing opinions – all within the framework of deep Christian conviction and insight.
In many ways, what we strive for in the Honors College experience is the same thing we provide across the University – small classes, professors who are open to all kinds of questions, and a cutting-edge education grounded in the historic insights of classical learning in the humanities and sciences (as received down through the centuries) and in the great truths of the Christian faith.
Related college and worldview blogs:
- What a Christian school is [not]
- Tips for being a successful college freshman
- Where does a Christian worldview come from?
The Honors College at Houston Baptist University
In the co-curricular program offered by the Honors College, students have opportunities to attend art museums, symphonies, ballets, and operas, as well as take part in service opportunities. This three-year program with an optional fourth year has many advantages: smaller-than-average classes that are discussion-based, early course registration every semester, and personal mentorship from HBU professors. The Honors College is available to students in every major at HBU, and those who complete the program graduate with distinctions. See here the incredible list of books that students in the Honors College read throughout their HBU careers. Learn more about the Honors College at HBU.edu
If you know a high school or junior high student who would benefit from an education based in the Great Texts similar to that of the Honors College, learn about The Academy at HBU here.
I am currently writing a young adult fantasy series, Hamelin Stoop. The first two volumes are available. Learn more about the series at HamelinStoop.com or Amazon. The book trailer of the first volume is below.