Thank You, Next: Honors Spring Courses

December 6, 2018




With one semester coming to a close and another right around the corner, everyone is trying their very best to get ready for new classes. We’re buying textbooks, emailing professors, and checking up on who will be in each of our classes with us. To hopefully alleviate some of the stressors that come along with that, and to highlight some of the amazing classes the Honors Program is able to offer this year, the Pulse is excited to give a little overview of a few of our spring class options.


Philosophical Foundations of Human Nature (PHIL 120)


A course all upperclassman can look to with nostalgia, Philosophical Foundations is one of the trademark and foundational classes of the program. It meets the core requirements while also integrating essential aspects of the Honors Program. The aim of the class is to encourage critical thinking in all students and work to help them develop intelligent and informed worldviews.


A section taught by Dr. Holder seeks to answer a series of questions, including: “What makes a human life meaningful and excellent?” “Do human beings have a soul, an immaterial essence?” And, “what are the political and social qualities of human nature?” The purpose of this course is to introduce and explore different traditions and philosophical methods that may further invoke questions regarding humanity and human nature. When asked to comment on the class as a whole, Dr. Holder offered up a paraphrase of Socrates: “Only examined life is worth living.”

Dr. Mann will also be teaching a section of this class.


Theological Foundations (THRS 117)


Similar to PHIL 120, Theological Foundations serves as a right of passage within the Honors Program. It meets core requirements, takes on an Honors spin, and gives everyone the opportunity to get to know their Honors peers. The class aims to expand students’ knowledge of religion while also calling them to contemplate their beliefs.


Dr. Gallagher Elkins’ course looks at why and how people “do” theology by looking at different arguments and the ways they have developed, adapted, or remained unchanged. The class also seeks to consider how theology is going to change and develop in the context of a changing world. Topics and ideas are applicable across time, location and traditions, and the course as a whole encourages open discussion and personal growth. Dr. Gallagher Elkins’ states that students should “anticipate insight, discomfort, delight, and growth” and find this class is particularly great because “students bring their questions, their commitments, and their whole selves to the class!”  


Dr. Park will also be teaching a section of this class.


Communio and the Norbertines (HUMA 337)


An upper level Honors course, this class looks to take the ideas learned in other Honors and core classes and apply them in the context of the founders of our college: The Norbertines.

Norbertine traditions and history are essential in this class, and they are all set against the backdrop of our well known ideology of communio.


Taught by Professor Sands, this course meets both an Honors course requirement, the Catholic Imagination Core and an Advanced Core requirement. Topics include the life of St. Norbert, the founding of the Order of Prémontré, the history of Abbot Pennings, early college history, St. Augustine, and more. Professor Sands finds this course particularly interesting and popular amongst Honors students because “gaining knowledge about Norbert, the history of the Order, and the history of the College gives students real insight into better understanding who we are and why we strive for true Communio on campus.”


Other classes offered through the Honors Program this semester include:

  • Preparing for Life After SNC (HONR 301) taught by Dr. Mann.

  • Social Inequalities (SSCI 408) taught by Dr. Carpenter-Siegel. This course meets an Honors course, and Advanced Core requirement and the Difference & Diversity Core requirement.

  • Honors Tutorials - including the ever-popular "Museum as Classroom" week in Chicago w/ Father Neilson and "The Holocaust: Memory, Historical Context and Present-Day Concerns" led by Visiting Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, Elliot A. Ratzman, in collaboration with the Norman Miller Center of Peace, Justice, & Public Understanding

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