Honors Program


The Honors Program is a Christ-centered Great Books program for high-achieving undergraduate students at George Fox University.

Students enrolled in the honors program take one Great Books seminar each semester, in addition to major coursework and other electives within the university. Because the honors program provides a substantial liberal arts foundation, the program fulfills the general education requirements for all honors students, with the exception of one math and one lab science course.

Program Distinctives

  • Liberal Arts Foundation: The foundation provided by the Honors Program is an ideal complement to all fields of study, as students gain proficiency in writing, reading comprehension, oral communication, charitable discourse, collaborative problem-solving, analysis, and creative and critical thinking. Honors students also develop an awareness of the history of ideas, enabling intelligent, informed engagement with a range of contemporary topics. Most of all, students learn to cultivate a rich interior life and a clear moral sensibility that will enrich their own lives, as well as the lives of their neighbors.
  • Reading and Writing: The Great Books curriculum spans four years and is structured chronologically, beginning with the ancient world and ending in the present. In addition to reading and discussing the Great Books, honors students write essays that gradually progress in length and complexity, culminating in the Senior Thesis. Each course also includes smaller writing assignments and exercises, as well as comprehensive written and/or oral exams.
  • Christ-Centered Learning: Over the course of the program, honors students are deeply immersed in Christian theology and history. Each seminar course includes texts from prominent Christian voices of the era, and scripture is interwoven throughout.
  • Socratic Discussion: Within the seminar, professors use a modified version of the Socratic method, guiding the discussion through questioning, placing the responsibility of engagement on the students. This student-centered approach creates an interactive and dynamic learning environment in which students must be active, rather than passive, continually challenging each other to read and think more deeply.
  • Student/Faculty Ratio: Each seminar is moderated by two professors and limited to around 18 students, which results in an average student/faculty ratio of 9:1. This low student/faculty ratio allows the honors professors to closely mentor honors students, both within the seminar and in one-on-one settings outside of class.
  • Academic Rigor: Students in the honors program are expected to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above. Failure to maintain this standard may result in dismissal from the honors program.

Honors Requirements

(43 hours)

All honors students take blocks of 6-credit hours for six semesters, for a total of 36 hours. Students have the option of taking an additional 3-credit senior thesis course after completing the honors core.

Students must also meet the regular general education math requirement and take one lab science course. Collectively, these courses constitute the general education package for honors students.

Total hours required: 43 hours.

Core Requirements (36 hours)

Complete the following:
A Socratic seminar on the greatest works of the Ancient World, with an emphasis on literature and philosophy from ancient Greece and Mesopotamia, the Old Testament, and key touchpoints with the ancient Far East. Additional course fee required.
A Socratic seminar on the rise of Christianity in its Classical Roman context, featuring key texts of Roman literature and philosophy, New Testament gospels and epistles, writings of the Early Church Fathers, and Hindu and Buddhist scriptures.
A Socratic seminar on the greatest works of Medieval literature, philosophy, history, and theology, with a focus on the mystical and scholastic streams of Medieval Christian thought, as well as the monotheistic traditions of Judaism and Islam. Additional course fee required.
A Socratic seminar on prominent works of European literature, theology, political science, and philosophy during the Early Modern era. Emphasis on Reformation theology, Renaissance literature, as well as key touchpoints with the Scientific Revolution and New World colonization. Additional course fee required.
A Socratic seminar on great texts from the 18-19th centuries, with an emphasis on intellectual and political upheavals of this era in the realms of politics, philosophy, theology, literature, and science. Areas of focus include the Enlightenment, the American Revolution, Romanticism, Darwinism, Industrialism, and Marxism, as well as developments in Christian thought and practice. Additional course fee required.
A Socratic seminar on great texts from the 20th century, with an emphasis on major intellectual and political movements of this century in the realms of philosophy, theology, literature, and social science. Areas of focus include totalitarianism, existentialism, feminism, postcolonialism, and Christian responses to postmodernity. Additional course fee required.


Complete the following:
This course will expand students' appreciation for, and abilities in mathematics so that they understand it is present and useful beyond their previous considerations and experiences. As these boundaries are stretched, students will not only connect with the beauty and utility of mathematics but also the opportunity it will afford them to worship and serve God with greater impact. Problem solving, critical thinking and rigorous logical argumentation, implemented both formally and in relevant, faith based applications, will provide a rich soil for the cultivation of knowledge, faith and character. Additionally, various topics in financial mathematics will be covered. From simple and compound interest models to amortized loans, students will calculate and solve for relevant variables, then create spreadsheets to assist them in the empirical problem solving necessary for budgeting and comparative financial applications. The course will conclude by investigating mathematics in design and nature. The Fibonacci series will be used as a platform for these numeric patterns, which will necessitate the ideas of limits and infinite processes, leading into the basic concepts behind differential and integral calculus.

Natural Science

Complete the following:
This lab science course introduces the empirical study of the natural world, and explores the ways in which the patterns and processes of creation reveal and reflect the nature of the Creator. Unit 1 introduces students to the scientific process through an investigation of the origins of the universe. Unit 2 includes the physics of energy, its various forms, how we use and produce it, and the impact of our energy consumption habits. Unit 3 is an investigation into genetics, genetic engineering and the diversity of life on Earth. Throughout each unit students will learn and engage in empirical reasoning through laboratory experiments. This course highlights the roles of curiosity and intellectual humility in generating and responding to scientific knowledge. Emphasis is given to critical evaluation of questions at the nexus of science and faith, such as whether science and Christianity are in conflict, how do Christians think about the big bang theory and the theory of evolution, and how we may use scientific knowledge to make choices that honor God and extend His love to others. Additional course fee is required.