The Frederick M. Supper Honors Program exists to passionately cultivate the Faith, Character, and Intellect necessary to lead a life well lived. What do we mean by a life well lived? While the modern world suggests that the good life is a life of luxury, power, convenience, and status the Christian Liberal Arts tradition has long held that it is something greater. It is a life that reveres faith, character, and intellect and recognizes them as primary in the pursuit of happiness.
Traditional education is designed to fill you with the knowledge to help you succeed in your endeavors; The Honors Program, however, is designed to help you ask and answer the question “why” you pursue these endeavors. It is a desire to know “the why” that animates the distinctive students of the honors program. This education will lead to a well-ordered mind and soul and will both kindle your ambition and direct it toward just and proper ends.
The Frederick M. Supper Honors Program succeeds by establishing a community of scholars in pursuit of Wisdom. This community, consisting of faculty and students, encourages challenges, and supports one another in the endeavor to seek wisdom and to live well. Honors students are carefully selected by the faculty and share a genuine passion for intellectual contemplation and discussion, and members of this community provide leadership for the entire student body.
The Honors Program focuses on the primary sources of The Enduring Conversation — the books, the speeches, the works of music, art, and architecture, and the films, that record the history of ideas. This conversation addresses timeless questions and issues that continue to shape our worldviews. The Honors Program brings students into the Enduring Conversation so they can discover its wisdom, equipping them to become better scholars, better leaders, better participants in the marketplace, better citizens, and, most important, better Christians.
All members of the honors program have opportunities to earn credit with special coursework, travel/study, and research. Frederick M. Supper Honors Scholars satisfy general education or core requirements. Alternately, honors function like a minor for the Associates of the Honors Program.
Frederick M. Supper Scholars experience every aspect of the honors program and are awarded with an academic scholarship. For them, the honors program substitutes for their general education requirements. The six courses in the worldview sequence provide an overview of the great ideas and the thinkers who produced them. Here, students encounter primary sources (rather than textbooks) which explore the ideas which have shaped the human condition. Instead of reading about Plato, Dante, Luther, Shakespeare, Shelley, Lewis, and others, they read these authors’ own works and let them speak for themselves. In addition to addressing the basic worldview questions, these lessons provide context for other academic disciplines and serve to complement the student’s major.
The six worldview courses are taken sequentially (one per semester through the junior year). These classes are complemented by other honors coursework which features primary sources in Writing about literature, Rhetorical eloquence, Roots of American order, and Education and vocation and courses on special topics*
For honors fellows the program provides experiences that substitute for a minor, but this opportunity is so much more than an ordinary minor. They pursue a course of study on the history of ideas by completing 18 hours of their choosing from the following options: (1) honors special topics classes that examine the history of a singular idea like “justice,” “the good life,” or “suffering;” (2) honors coursework in the student’s major; (3) writing a thesis; or (4) travel study. This option adds depth and understanding to any major and will open your eyes to a world beyond your major.
A life of gratitude for the creator who is the giver of all good gifts.
A life of purpose, placing others and the common good ahead of oneself.
A life of conviction, giving distinction to first principles like the good, the just, the beautiful and the honorable.
A life of courage to follow the Truth where it leads.
A life of curiosity, embracing the examined life in the search of Christian Truth and integrity.
A life of creativity, understanding the nature of the human condition and formulating solutions to the problems which besets our own time.
A life of humility, submitting to an enlightened faith, which illuminates the world.
Life in the Honors Program resembles British residential colleges and early American colleges. Classes are small. Students read and discuss primary sources rather than textbooks. They take ownership in their education and motivate one another and themselves. Our students graduate well prepared for graduate schools and for careers.Dr. Tom St. Antoine Director, Frederick M. Supper Honors Program