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Honors Program

The Huntington University Honors Program is a community of scholars from various academic backgrounds who love to learn and are skilled in engaging in the liberal arts inside and outside of the classroom. 

HU’s program fosters a culture of challenge and support and is interdisciplinary, providing a foundation for major disciplines and pre-professional programs. Special curricular and extracurricular opportunities serve as a point of departure for a lifetime of meaningful “face-to-face” encounters with God and God’s image-bearers.

The program intends for students of all disciplines to work together through deep, well-informed conversation to understand and solve problems in the world around them. 

The Honors Program requires the completion of the following for a total of 10 credit hours:

  • Two Honors courses for three credit hours each: HN 121 Design Thinking for a Creative Life and HN 421 Meaning in Life.
  • Three one-hour seminars in selected topics, including but not limited to Aesthetics, Leadership, Power and Corruption, Individual and Community, and Being Human. 
  • A one-hour research paper or some other culminating project taken during the senior year that integrates the student's discipline with one of the themes from the honors program.

Honors students who have difficulty fitting both HN 121 and HN 421 into their academic schedule (transfer students, scheduling complications, or other reasons) may petition to substitute HN 121 with a seminar course and complete the Honors Program with a total of eight credit hours.

Incoming college freshmen and sophomores with a 3.5 GPA and a teacher’s recommendation are eligible to interview for a place in the Honors Program. Please send inquiries to honors@huntington.edu.

Courses in Honors Program

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HN 121 Design Thinking for a Creative Life
(3 credits - Spring)

This course will cover multiple different kinds of design thinking, from developing products to creating and running non-profits. Students will begin this course by examining the role of compassion and open-hearted engagement in design. In the second part of the course, students will engage with local community leaders, business incubators, art collectives, etc. to find people who have excelled in a variety of disciplines. The goal will be to create something, such as a product or a service, and gain an understanding of what it takes to create an idea and then see it through to fruition.
Prerequisite: Admittance into the Honors Program

HN 301 Honors Colloquium: Aesthetics
(1 credit - Fall Every Three Years)

This course will focus on two classic Greek texts with special attention to an understanding of the aesthetics that helped shape Western views of beauty and art. Discussions will center around key themes that run throughout each text. An example of texts would be Plato's "Republic," Aristotle's "Poetics" and Longinus' "On the Sublime."
Prerequisite: Admittance into the Honors Program

HN 302 Honors Colloquium: Leadership
(1 credit - Spring Every Three Years)

The focus of this course will be two classic Roman texts with special attention given to a discussion of leadership and how it is defined within the context of the chosen texts and Roman culture. This will lend itself to broader discussions about what makes an effective leader. Sample companion texts would be Virgil's "The Aeneid" and one or more of Plutarch's "Lives" such as his "Caesar."
Prerequisite: Admittance into the Honors Program

HN 303 Honors Colloquium: Christendom
(1 credit - Fall Every Three Years)

This course will focus on Christendom with special attention given to classic Christian texts. Engaging in the individual text's portrayal of the Christian worldview will be emphasized, with particular attention given to themes like the notion of sin or other relevant issues raised in the texts. Texts that could be paired would be Augustine's "Confessions" and Dante's "Inferno."
Prerequisite: Admittance into the Honors Program

HN 304 Honors Colloquium: Power and Corruption
(1 credit - Spring Every Three Years)

The focus of this course will be the notion of power and corruption that often follows the precepts of the sort of leader Machiavelli describes. Two texts that could be paired would be Machiavelli's "The Prince" and Shakespeare's "Richard III."
Prerequisite: Admittance into the Honors Program

HN 305 Honors Colloquium: The Individual and Community
(1 credit - Fall Every Three Years)

This course will focus on the tension between being an individual and living in community with special attention on the role an individual plays in developing community as well as the role the community plays in serving the common good. A pair of texts which could be paired for this exploration could be "The Communist Manifesto" by Marx and Engels and "The Second Treatise of Government" by John Locke.
Prerequisite: Admittance into the Honors Program

HN 306 Honors Colloquium: Being Human
(1 credit - Spring Every Three Years)

The focus of this course will be centered on a key question relating to what makes us human. This might include an exploration of human physiology, the mind and our emotions or the soul, ultimately considering what separates us from other animals. Texts that could be explored together might be Darwin's "Origin of Species" and Freud's "Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis" and the influence that these theories have had on an understanding of ourselves and our place in the world.
Prerequisite: Admittance into the Honors Program

HN 308 Honors Colloquium: Christian Essaying
(1 credit - Fall Every Three Years)

The course begins with a session on the origins of the essay as a literary form. This will be followed with reading and class discussion of essays from two to three Christian writers who have excelled in the form. Potential writers may include G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, Flannery O'Connor, Wendell Berry, and Marilynne Robinson. The course concludes with each student's short essaying in response to the readings.
Prerequisite: Admittance into the Honors Program

HN 401 Independent Honors Project
(1 credit - Fall, Spring)

Students in the Honors Program complete this independent project during their seventh or eighth semester of study. The project must engage one or more of the texts studied in previous honors courses and must relate to the student's major field. Students will design a project in a medium of their choice. Projects are led by the Director of the Honors Program and supervised by a faculty member in the student's major.
A form describing the project is completed and submitted before a student can be registered.
Prerequisites: Admittance into the Honors Program and completion of five out of six Honors Colloquium courses

HN 421 Meaning in Life
(3 credits - Fall)

This course will cover the major answers to the questions of the meaning of life and meaning in life. The sorts of questions considered include: What would make a life meaningful? What impact would the existence of God have on living a meaningful life? How do death, suffering, failure, loss, despair, etc. affect the meaning of one's life? What kind of character must one have to live a meaningful life? What pursuits bring meaning? Can one lose meaning in one's life? What kind of harm is that loss? How do disabilities affect the meaning of a life? What kind of meaning do the three great Christian virtues of faith, hope, and love produce? How do the concepts of eternity, heaven, and hell impact the meaning of life?
Prerequisites: Admittance into the Honors Program and junior or senior standing

HN 490 Independent Study
(1 to 4 credits - Fall, January, Spring, Summer)

A study of various aspects of the liberal arts, the subject area of which will be determined by the instructor according to student interest.
Prerequisite: Consent