The PUC Honors Program is a learning community that aims to provide academically motivated students with a general education that will prepare them for a lifetime of critical thought, intellectual curiosity, aesthetic appreciation, and spiritual development. The program offers a discussion-centered "central texts" model of education that allows students to encounter and evaluate significant works of world art and culture in a Christian context. Established on the belief that knowledge is profoundly interconnected, the Honors Program is committed to integrated, interdisciplinary education designed to transcend the barriers between such traditionally separate fields as art, history, science, theology, and philosophy. By fostering an environment where faculty and students engage in vigorous conversation, a place is created for discovery and the free exchange of ideas.
The Honors Program is founded on the belief that the world of ideas is worth inhabiting for its own sake. The Program hopes that its students, regardless of their eventual chosen professions, will embark on a lifetime of wide reading, rigorous thinking, and ethical development. The value of a general education cannot be easily quantified–it manifests itself in the way a person treats others, makes important decisions, votes or acts politically, raises his or her children, and cultivates a spiritual life.
The world is not neatly organized according to different realms of knowledge; general education should not be either. While frequently overlapping, different disciplines–from theology to music to physics to literary theory–all present particular visions of the world. The Honors Program aims to set these fields of study side by side and see what they (and we) can learn from each other. The goal is synthesis rather than compartmentalization. To this end, our interdisciplinary seminars are often team-taught by teachers from different fields. An art professional might offer views on a poem or a theologian comment on a sculpture.
Honors seminars aim to create an environment for discovery and the free exchange of ideas, a place where student comments and questions help to guide lively discussions. The works we study and discuss in class are meant to be the beginning of an Honors student's education, not the end of it. Students are expected to read widely, to take electives that meet their personal interests and professional goals, to pursue ideas to their conclusions, and to seek out new opportunities for learning.
Honors students are expected to work hard, to be honest, to pay attention to detail, to enjoy learning, to be intellectually engaged, to rise to challenges, and to strive for excellence in all things.
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