The core curriculum of the Templeton Honors College includes coursework which addresses all the university general education student learning goals and indicators. The Templeton core also addresses the following further student learning goal, with associated indicators, which flows out of the college’s liberal arts mission.
An education rooted in the tradition of the liberal arts and sciences helps one develop a broad base of knowledge and a spirit of inquiry. It increases one’s understanding of the order of creation, as well as the nature of humans and the institutions they create, through engagement with coursework in the Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences.
- Knowledgeable about the Arts – able to demonstrate knowledge of the creative and literary arts as transformative expressions of individuals and cultures through courses grounded in combinations of history, theory, and/or practice of the arts
- Knowledgeable within the Social Sciences – able to demonstrate knowledge of socio-cultural and behavioral aspects of human experience through systematic, critical, and applied engagement with one or more of the social sciences
- Knowledgeable within the Natural Sciences – able to demonstrate knowledge of the natural laws and processes that describe the order observed in God’s Creation through the application of scientific reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and laboratory or field methodologies to investigate the universe, the physical world, or the biosphere
- Knowledgeable about Life Fitness – able to demonstrate a biblically-based understanding of bodily stewardship and physical fitness as it relates to good health, through the practice of physical activity
The THC curriculum is composed of five “strands” woven together over the course of four years into a coherent program aimed at forming whole persons who are equipped to be leaders in culture, society and their professions.
The Good: In this strand, students engage questions related to what it means to live a good life in a good society.
HON 101 The Good Life (3 credits)
The question of the Good Life is one of the foundational and most permanent human questions—to be asked by all of us. The ancients, both pagan and Judeo-Christian, saw two main ways of working out this question: the active life and the contemplative life. This is a course in Christian ethics and character formation, and is therefore designed to expose students to some of the classic questions and dilemmas humans have faced in pursuit of a life well-lived. With the help of great texts students will ask: What characterizes a life well-lived? How should we understand the “good”? Why is there evil? What is the nature of vice and virtue, and how can we habituate ourselves in virtue? What is justice? How can we live a life that is good for us as well as for our neighbor? And why is their suffering? (GE indicator addressed: Written Communication)
HON 102 Justice and the Common Good (3 credits)
In this class we engage questions about justice and the common good by examining major texts and thinkers from the classical, Christian, modern, and contemporary perspectives. Particular attention will be given to the validity and purpose of law, differing conceptions of justice and their practical consequences for regime type, the grounds of human dignity and integrity, as well as selected problems of meta-ethics. (GE indicator addressed: Knowledgeable in Doing Justice)
HON 210 The Active Life: Rhetoric and Discourse (3 credits)
Next to the contemplative life, Aristotle views the active life – the life devoted to the public affairs of one’s community – as the other major contender for designation as the good life. In this course, we will consider the merits of the active life through a study of its primary art: rhetoric. Student will reflect on the nature of rhetoric and its relationship to the good life, discuss the various modes and techniques of rhetoric, and practice rhetorical skills by creating and performing their own rhetorical discourses. (GE indicator addressed: Oral Communication)
HON 310 Modernity and the Good Society (3 credits)
The purpose of this course is to provide students with background and understanding of distinctly modern theories of society with a particular focus from the nineteenth century to the present. The course will explore the evolution and development of “modernity” less as an idea or epoch and more as a set of institutional transformations and practices. In the last two hundred years, changes in our understanding of the major spheres of human activity—political, economic, cultural, and religious—have revolutionized how human beings experience the world and their place in it. Our main framework of inquiry will be the empirical and theoretical methods of classical sociology, which take a macro-historical approach to making sense of modern times (College-specific indicator addressed: Knowledgeable about the Social Sciences)
Life Fitness (1-3 credits)
Students select from a list of course within the College of Arts and Sciences which address bodily stewardship and physical fitness as it relates to good health. (College-specific indicator addressed: Knowledgeable about Life Fitness)
Western Civilization: In this strand, students learn about philosophical, historical, theological, and literary ideas and movements that have shaped the cultures and worldviews of the modern West.
HON 160 Western Civilization 1: Greece and Rome (3 credits)
This course is the first in a four-course series in which we will read and discuss some of the books which made us who we are, so that we may understand ourselves and our world better. This first course investigates how the Bible was joined by the traditions of Greek and Roman thought and literature to lay a foundation for Western thought and culture. Assuming a knowledge of the Bible, we begin by reading great writers of ancient Greece and Rome, then examine how Augustine used, modified and criticized these writers in forming the tradition of Western Christian thought. (GE indicator addressed: Knowledgeable about the Western Tradition)
HON 161 Western Civilization 2: Medieval and Renaissance Europe (3 credits)
This course builds on what was investigated in the first semester, how a Biblical worldview was joined by a second great source, the tradition of Greek and Roman thought and literature, to form the Christian culture of late antiquity. Assuming you possess a knowledge of the great questions and ideas of the ancient world, we begin by reading some of the foundational texts of the medieval and Renaissance period, from them move to the brink of the modern scientific and skeptical world, and through all of them join the ongoing conversation about them and their impact on our own world. (GE indicator addressed: Argument and Analysis)
HON 260 Western Civilization 3: Modern Europe (3 credits)
This course is a study of Modernity, both as a period and as a concept–a problematic concept at the present time, which many people think of as postmodern. We will pay special attention to the interaction between European modernity and the heritage of Christianity. The course examines the new skepticism, the modern intellectual movement known as the Enlightenment, and a key literary movement in modernity, Romanticism. Finally it takes a critical look at the project of modernity from various points of view. (GE indicator addressed: Knowledgeable about the Arts)
HON 261 Western Civilization 4: The American Mind (3 credits, optional)
This course explores the development of theological, philosophical, literary, and political ideas in the United States. American political ideas have continually attempted to build a good and just society, balancing the needs of freedom and order by drawing upon classical and Christian sources. Churchmen and philosophers pondered the role of reason and faith in society and the individual, as the democratic environment of America offered new challenges and possibilities. While drawing upon their European heritage, American writers strove to create a distinct literary sensibility and aesthetic. Europeans grappled with perennial issues such as goodness, justice, reason, faith, freedom, and order for centuries. Americans offered their own answers, rooted in their particular culture and environment.
HON 300 Honors Seminars (1 credit each, optional; students may take multiple times)
During the third and fourth year, THC students can elect to take various Honors seminars. Honors seminars are designed to provide students an opportunity to consider specific texts, authors or subjects in a more focused, extended, and intensive way than a typical course affords. Meeting once a week for one hour, these one-credit classes of up to 12 students function in a seminar discussion format, reading from great texts and great minds about great ideas in a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary domains.
Sacred Life: In this strand, students become conversant with the biblical and theological texts and traditions that have formed and inform their understanding and practice of the Christian faith.
HON 140 Honors Old Testament (3 credits)
The books that we call the “Old Testament” provide the foundation of our faith in at least three ways: (1) they describe carefully selected events from creation through the fifth century BC/BCE; (2) they contain the poems, prayers, and reflections of wise and creative men and women of God; and (3) they report the declarations of God through his servants the prophets. This course offers an overview of the biblical books of the Old Testament (from Genesis through Malachi), according to the Protestant canon. We will read and study closely select portions of these books for two purposes: (1) in order to gain an overview of the Old Testament (its canonical arrangement and general contents, as well as “key” places, dates, people, and events); and (2) in order to begin to learn how to interact with the various genres of the biblical text in a thoughtful manner (i.e., biblical stories, laws, poems, and prophecies). (GE indicators addressed: Biblically Informed)
HON 141 Honors New Testament (3 credits)
The books that we call the “New Testament” [NT] continue the story and themes found in the “Old” Testament [OT]. Although they are not more inspired or more important than the OT, they support our faith in at least three ways: (1) they describe portions of the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ, from before the annunciation of his birth until his ascension into heaven and then his continuing ministry in and through the earliest Church; (2) they contain the writings in which early believers attempt to explain the significance of the life and ministry of Christ; and (3) they remind us of the continuing and culminating work of God. This course offers an overview of the biblical books of the New Testament (from Matthew through Revelation). We will read the entire NT in canonical sequence and discuss selected passages in order to (1) gain an overview of the NT (its canonical arrangement and general contents, as well as “key” places, dates, people, topics, and events); and (2) in order to continue learning how to interact thoughtfully with the various genres of the biblical text, especially biblical stories, epistles, and prophecies. (GE indicators addressed: Biblically Informed, Information Literacy)
HON 240 Introduction to Christian Theology (3 credits)
This course aims to introduce students to the Christian tradition of theological reflection on Christian faith and life, addressing topically the historical formation of basic Christian doctrine concerning Scripture, the Trinity, creation and providence, Christology, grace, salvation, the Church, sacraments and Last Things. (GE indicator addressed: Formed in Christian Thought)
HON 480 Honors Capstone (2 credits)
The Honors College core curriculum has been designed to nurture in students the cultivation of a rich, integrative, and coherent worldview—a worldview devoid of the common artificial divisions between academic pursuits, spiritual formation, cultural appreciation, and community life. The Honors Capstone is designed to revisit and, in some cases, recover the richness and coherence of an integrative humanistic, Christian worldview. Of particular importance for fourth-year students preparing for graduation, the course is posed as an opportunity for reflection and preparation for their vocational future. (GE indicator addressed: Formed in Christian Thought)
Scientific Thought: In this strand, students examine the philosophical, historical and theological development of modern science. They learn about scientific methods and the nature and interpretation of empirical data as they come to better understand the natural world and what it reveals about its Creator.
Choice of two from:
HON 201 Cosmology (3 credits)
In this course, students will study humankind’s preconceptions and understanding of the structure and origin of the universe and how these views have influenced belief systems and history. Includes observatory experience. (College-specific indicator addressed: Knowledgeable about the Natural Sciences)
HON 203 Theories of the Origin of Life (3 credits)
The purpose of this course is to examine the common assumptions made by both sides in the debate over the origins of life. Evolutionary mechanisms need bear no terrors for a consistent biblical theist. Neither logic, nor doctrine, nor physical data need be transgressed or ignored within a concursus model of God’s providential activity. The course will support this thesis of potential harmony through discussions in history, theology, and philosophy, as well as through analysis of the scientific data of current evolutionary biology. Far from removing us from our transcendent roots, a theistic view of evolution can give significance and meaning to the human struggle against evil, and to our search for significance in a spiritual cosmos. (College-specific indicator addressed: Knowledgeable about the Natural Sciences)
HON 204 Mathematics in the Western Tradition (3 credits)
This course engages in a study of mathematical thought in the Western Tradition from Euclid, through modernity and to the present. Attention is paid both to the mathematical work of key figures, and the relationship between their mathematical system and the concurrent development of philosophical thought. Students will read the primary texts of mathematicians and philosophers, learn fundamental mathematical skills, and explore the ways in which mathematical thought has influenced, and been influenced by the broader tradition. (GE indicator addressed: Quantitative Reasoning)
One laboratory science course from College of Arts and Sciences offerings (4 credits) (GE indicator addressed: Scientific Reasoning)
Global Awareness: In this strand, students become familiar with people, practices and worldviews outside their own traditions and cultures, as they reflect on their own place within the global human community.
Global Diversity (3 credits)
Students select one course from a list of offerings within the College of Arts and Sciences which offer sustained, direct engagement with one or more cultures outside the Western Tradition. The purpose of these courses is to help students cultivate knowledge and skills necessary to appreciate and interact productively amid the diversity that characterizes human cultures. (GE indicator addressed: Knowledgeable about Global Diversity)
Foreign Language (3-6 credits)
Language both reflects and shapes human culture and human thought. Because of this, studying a language other than one’s native language helps students better understand how reality can be interpreted and expressed in significantly different ways. All THC students are required to demonstrate the ability to communicate in a language other than their native language at a novice high level or higher (i.e. to successfully complete a 102-level or higher course in a chosen language). (GE indicator addressed: Knowledgeable about Global Diversity)
Study Abroad (credit varies based on program)
All THC students are required to complete a study abroad or study away experience, typically for one full semester. Rather than just being an “add-on,” as study-abroad opportunities often are, the THC semester away is seen as an integral part of the overall curriculum. Being removed from familiar surroundings and immersed in a different cultural context helps students develop broader perspectives, listen to and better understand differing points of view, empathize with ”strangers” in their home setting, and deepen their commitment to justice in a global context.