Seniors in the Honors College participate in the Oxbridge Tutorial, a year-long capstone experience devoted to exploring a single, seminal text. The Oxbridge Tutorial project creates a space to engage in scholarly collaboration that results in a published book. Students form deep, meaningful friendships throughout their experience as they grow together as thinkers, writers, leaders, and lovers of truth.
Key Outcomes of the Oxbridge Tutorial
The Oxbridge Tutorial in the Honors College offers students a unique opportunity to engage and explore a seminal text or a single author’s collected works over the course of a year. Students analyze, appraise, and critique the ideas and arguments that are presented in their selected text. They gain practical tools to research thoughtfully in a collaborative process through shared research, peer editing, and publication. By engaging as a team with a selected text, they form deep relationships, not only as friends but fellow scholars. It is the culmination of a journey of learning how to have deep, meaningful relationships founded on big questions throughout our lives.
Featured Oxbridge Books
Since 2018, the Honors College has self-published Oxbridge books, including two selected for publication by an outside commercial publisher.
Class of 2020
Journey Back Again: Reasons to Revisit Middle-earth
The Lord of the Rings is much more than just an entertaining story with endearing characters and fierce battles: it provides a world that deeply connects to the human experience. Journey Back Again will guide you to discover ways that Middle-earth can delight, challenge, and inspire you. Journey back to Middle-earth and find new reasons to savor Tolkien’s masterpiece.
A Merrier World: Unsung Virtues in Tolkien’s Middle-earth
We have all been taught about common virtues such as courage and honor. But our childhood conceptions are often limited or even misleading. Humility, for example, is not thinking you are worse than others. Reverence is more than attending church or having good manners at the dinner table. Merriment is both broader and deeper than having an upbeat attitude. In A Merrier World, we explore the wisdom of Tolkien’s Middle-earth as we consider the hidden facets of virtues that have been overlooked, neglected, and misunderstood.
Estranged From Eden: Essays on Freedom, Grace, and Justice in Paradise Lost
The essays in this collection are inspired by what their authors view as the unique theological coherence of John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Even though the poem begins with the famous objective “to assert eternal providence, / And justify the ways of God to men,” Milton intentionally takes the long way around. Paradise Lost is poetry, not theology. In narrative-driven representations of free will, cosmic order, political rebellion, interpersonal identity, and the theology of grace, these authors locate Milton within the creative friction between the modern and the medieval.
‘Something More Substantial’: Moving Beyond Romance with Jane Austen
This collection of essays offers a variety of reasons for the continued appeal of Jane Austen’s novels, particularly, Pride and Prejudice and Emma. Though Austen is often categorized as a popular romance writer, her novels contain ‘something more substantial.’ These essays demonstrate what that “something” is by highlighting Austen’s wit and wisdom as a humorist, a feminist, a moralist, a naturalist, a psychologist, and a philosopher. Her movement beyond romance is one of the reasons her novels are still read and loved today.
The Tales We Tell: How Aristotle Uncovers the Power of Stories
What gives a story its power? How do stories draw us in? What elements of a story change us? What tricks cheapen modern storytelling? What components are needed to make stories great? The essays in this book explore what Aristotle says about what is necessary to tell a beautiful story. These authors show how Aristotle’s principles are required to make a story work, using Homeric epic, Shakespearean tragedy, novels, film, or even the personal narratives of our own lives
Class of 2019
Kingdom Come: How the Simple Truth of the Gospel Can Transform the World
Jesus teaches us to pray, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done.” He calls us to set aside our agendas and live in Christ’s presence. How then might the Kingdom manifest itself in our thoughts and actions? By investigating topics as diverse as interpersonal justice, theological paradox, abandonment to God, truth and mercy, the nature of the heart and spiritual powers, and the wisdom Jesus offers for social transformation within politics, theatrical storytelling, personal finance, and business, this book offers readers an invitation to discover how the teachings of Jesus help us live for the good of the world.
Tragedy and Triumph: Piecing Together Anna Karenina
“Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” What kills Anna Karenina and why does Konstantin Levin live after they both face the abyss? Why do we respect Anna so much in light of her tragic ending? Why is Levin’s triumph so hard won? The essays in this book trace the complexities of Levin’s triumph and Anna’s tragedy as they make their way through 19th century Russian society.
The Dawning of the Soul: Experiencing the Transformative Faith of St. Teresa of Avila
St. Teresa of Avila, born in 16th century Spain, left us volumes of insights detailing her personal encounters with the Holy Spirit. Her depth of devotion to God is both mysterious and inspiring. Every page carries the potential to ignite both wonder and envy at the intimacy she shares with God. The conviction that comes from engaging with and understanding her work has been transformational to generations of readers. This collection of essays offers an exploration of how implementing her work into everyday life can bring us closer to God in the 21st century.
Warnings from Outer Space: Backdrops & Building Blocks of C. S. Lewis’s Science Fiction Trilogy
The world is in peril—and so are our souls. In this fresh reading of C. S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy, the members of the Cosmic Colloquy draw on their diverse backgrounds to create a commentary filled with observations, interpretations, and significance. Under the direction of Dr. Diana Pavlac Glyer, these authors make a substantive contribution to Lewis Studies by not only providing insight into Lewis but also uncovering the implications of Lewis’s social criticism to reveal these Warnings from Outer Space.
The Honors Declassified Friendship Survival Guide: Classical Wisdom for the Era of Facebook
Social media has revolutionized many key aspects of human life—communications, entertainment, journalism, and perhaps most strikingly, interpersonal relationships. It is the supreme irony of our time, that never have we known so much about each other, and yet, never have we had less experience of true intimacy. This volume distills wisdom from the classic works On Friendship, by the greatest of the Roman thinkers, Cicero, and Spiritual Friendship, by the brilliant 12th Century Cistercian, St. Aelred of Rievaulx. This book is less an academic exercise, and more thoughtful young people sharing good counsel they’ve come to treasure with their peers struggling to make and keep deep friendships in the era of Snapchat and Facebook.
Class of 2018
The Bonhoeffer Alternative: A Counter-Cultural Approach to Theology, Society, and Relationships
The Bonhoeffer Alternative: A Counter-Cultural Approach to Theology, Society, and Relationships resulted from a study of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s corpus. The essays address how and why Bonhoeffer diligently endeavored to heal the breach that was intentionally divorcing Jesus’ ethical teaching on the kingdom of God and love of neighbor from the German Volk political movement. Some essays engage Bonhoeffer’s own personal spiritual journey of transformation; others highlight how and why the church and its leaders have an irreplaceable prophetic responsibility in society.
Solving Divine Problems: Perspectives on the Toughest Questions Posed by Dante’s Masterpiece
In Solving Divine Problems: Perspectives on the Toughest Questions Posed by Dante’s Masterpiece, students tackle things about Dante's Divine Comedy that left them confused, frustrated, or just plain mad. Why is there so much emphasis on the Virgin Mary? Why does Virgil scold Dante when he shows pity for those suffering in Hell? Why is the literary imagery so dense? Why is Beatrice so mean? Students describe their initial frustrations and assumptions, then dive deep into the research and share how they came to understand this great work and how they learned to appreciate what Dante offers.
Embrace the World: Exploring the Restorative Nature of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov
In their study of The Brothers Karamazov, students found themselves discovering again and again Dostoevsky’s uncanny genius for bringing to life irreconcilable perspectives and for displaying the contradictions active in every human soul. And they were grateful to have been invited so compellingly by Dostoevsky’s art to ask themselves with the fullest seriousness what it means—humbly and joyfully, in active love—to Embrace the World.
Chasing the Peacock: Millennials Explore the Grotesque World of Flannery O’Connor
Almost universally, a reader’s first encounter with Flannery O'Connor produces shock, confusion, occasionally horror, but also the haunting sense that they have stumbled into an invitation to “plunge into reality” and emerge better than they were before. In Chasing the Peacock: Millennials Explore the Grotesque World of Flannery O’Connor, students seek to share with their generation the good and even vital wisdom they have found for this ominous era in the strange tales of Flannery O’Connor.
Upon the King: Shakespeare’s Henry V and the Burden of Leadership
One group spent the year studying the theme of good leadership, especially the challenge of handling the burdens of leadership with grace. The book that resulted, Upon the King: Henry V and the Burden of Leadership, consists of studies of the challenges and consequences of ruling as portrayed in Shakespeare’s Henry V.
Note: This information is current for the 2020-21 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.