A Christian Liberal Arts University, Est. 1846

Honors Guild

The Honors Guild unites students from across campus around intellectual curiosity and a desire to understand the ways culture, ideas, and faith impact the world. Honors students engage with an academically rigorous, interdisciplinary course of study, as well as co-curricular programming that integrate scholarship, critical inquiry, personal praxis, and social action.

All Honors Scholars will spend their freshman J-term on a scholarship-funded international trip with other Honors students and spend four years taking challenging classes taught by faculty committed to stretching you personally, academically, and spiritually.

J-term Trip

Each January, freshman Honors Scholars participate in an overseas study abroad program for the same cost as spending J-term on campus. Past trips have taken students to Ireland, Jordan, Israel, South Africa, the Bahamas, and China.

Read more about past honors trips on the Taylor Honors Guild blog.

Visiting Scholars

Each year, the Honors Guild chooses a theme and brings 3-4 scholars to campus to provide deeper understanding of the theme. The scholars' talks are open to the entire Taylor community. Honors students also have special talkback sessions with visiting scholars in the Honors Lodge. Past visiting scholars have included Miroslav Volf, Willie James Jennings, Soong-Chan Rah, Liz Dong, Matthew Soerens, Marilynne Robinson, and Kathleen Norris.

Past Honors themes include Simplicity and Sustainability, Everyday Activism, Vocation, Restoration & Reconciliation, and Orphans & Vulnerable Children.

Honors Courses

Honors courses are discussion-based courses that dive into the biggest questions of life. Honors students must complete 21 credit hours of honors courses. Most Honors courses simultaneously fulfill Foundational Core requirements.

Foundational Honors Courses

  • Interpersonal Communication for Intercultural Contexts (first year students only), 3 credits
  • Biblical Literature II (New Testament), 3 credits
  • Arts & Ideas, 4 credits
  • Contemporary Christian Belief, 3 credits
  • Ethics and Technology, 3 credits
  • Ways of Knowing, 4 credit
  • Forensic Science, 4 credits

All Honors Scholars are required to participate in one colloquium that counts toward their elective courses—or other courses such as vocational courses or C.S. Lewis courses. Colloquiums are discussion-oriented courses that focus on a particular topic, typically in conjunction with Honors' theme of the year.

Preview complete Honors Guild curriculum here.

Intentional Academic Community

The Honors Guild has special events to promote friendship among Honors scholars. Traditional events include cookouts, speaker discussions, film viewings, an all-Honors retreat, and trips to the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

Ockenga Honors Lodge

Honors students can study, do research, relax, and converse with visiting scholars in the Ockenga Honors Lodge, named for 1926 Taylor graduate Harold John Ockenga.

If you are intellectually curious and desire to think deeply on critical questions, we would love for you to apply for the Honors Guild.

Applying is easy:

Applicants are admitted through a competitive and comprehensive selection process assessing academic excellence, collaboration, and curiosity with the goal of selecting a strong cohort each year.

Application deadline: January 1
Interview dates*: February 18

*You will be notified by mid-January if you are invited for an on-campus interview. On-campus interviews are required for admittance to the Honors Guild.