About the Honors College

The Honors College curriculum starts with the premise that good leadership requires a clear sense of what ought to be done and how best to do it. Such an understanding starts with examining life’s most important questions: Who are we? Why are we here? Who is God and what is our relationship with him? What are our responsibilities to others? What is good? What is true? What is beautiful? These questions, which raise issues of meaning, value, and purpose, are the backbone of the Honors curriculum. Students study classic works that address these questions and prompt serious discussion.

In this vein, the Honors College intends to produce scholarly disciples, equipped and worthy to assume positions of leadership, having grown in wisdom, virtue, faith, and eloquence.

The Honors College core curriculum comprises nine courses that lead to an Honors Humanities major (a minor is also available). Completion of the major waives all of the university’s General Education requirements, which means students do not need to take General Education courses. Honors Humanities is not a standalone major; Honors scholars also complete an additional major in their field of study. Both majors can typically be completed while graduating in four years.

Distinctive Features

  • Each course is a study of primary texts; no secondary textbooks are required.
  • All courses are writing-intensive; no traditional exams.
  • Courses are centered around twice-a-week small group colloquies, preceded by an introductory faculty podcast discussion prompt.
  • Oxford-style tutorials are taught by APU faculty scholars.
  • Focus on leadership and citizenship as well as faith, wisdom, and virtue.
  • Students participate in weekly plenary lectures and writing groups.
  • Student publication opportunities are available.
  • A unique service-learning project complements studies.
  • Multiple pathways to a degree, including a second major instead of General Education courses.

Honors Blog

Life of the Mind and Soul, a blog led by honors faculty member Joseph Bentz, Ph.D., professor in the Department of English, features interviews, debates, book reviews, and Bentz’s personal reflections. Hear from Bentz and guests as they discuss literature, faith, current events, writing, and more.

Life of the Mind and Soul

  • Will Novels, Movies and Video Games All Blend Into One?

    Is the day soon coming, or has it already arrived, when consumers won’t see much difference between reading a novel, watching a movie, and playing a video game? Over the past year, I have seen lots of...

  • Why the Cell Phone May Save the Novel

    I like to watch people’s reading habits when I’m at airports and on airplanes. During several recent flights, which included some lengthy layovers and delays, I noticed that not very many people were...

  • OJ Simpson? Never Heard of Him, Or Johnny Carson Either

    When I started seeing the headlines and news segments marking the 20th anniversary of the OJ Simpson murder trial, my first thought was that the whole tawdry saga still felt too recent to be wrapped in...