The California Baptist University Honors Program offers students an excellent academic experience. In a series of seminars spread throughout their CBU career, Honors Program students encounter the foundational, powerful ideas and perspectives that shape our culture and our world.
These seminars emphasize a close reading and thorough discussion of classic texts, and are interdisciplinary, integrative, and holistic in vision. Ultimately, the program has been designed to assist students in developing an intellectually informed Christian worldview.
Honors Program Concepts
The Honors Program consists of a series of special seminars that are interdisciplinary, holistic, and challenging—all offered with Christian worldview in mind.
Take the first term, “interdisciplinary.” Each seminar will typically involve subjects and readings that come from at least two traditional disciplines, and often three or more. A seminar might mix philosophy, political science, economics, and theology. Other seminars will combine different disciplines.
Now for the second term, “holistic.” Each seminar will come from, and work toward, a vision of how everything fits together into a comprehensive understanding of the subject. In these seminars, we are keen to formulate understandings of important, foundational matters that take into consideration broad historical knowledge, cross-cultural consideration, and perspectives from various fields.
And finally, the third term, “challenging.” The seminars are challenging because they address the deepest issues in foundational ways, from a variety of different perspectives. But these challenges make for the best sort of education, where student responsibility for demanding reading and responsible discussion lead to an unrivalled intellectual and educational experience.
Finally, what is Christian worldview? The special aim of the program is to help students develop a keen sense of what it means to think deeply and broadly about important matters while keeping faith in the forefront of their thinking. Within contemporary academia this can be a challenging task, since secular thinking has become the dominant paradigm for intellectual and artistic pursuits for the last century. Those who take faith seriously need to be re-trained to think about these ultimate concerns in a way that takes a Christian outlook seriously. It goes without saying that students are free to form their own views about all these matters, but the art of “thinking Christianly” is a prominent feature of these seminars.
A student should seek admission to the CBU Honors Program during either semester of the Freshman or first semester of the Sophomore year by filing an application with the dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.
Admission to the Program requires an application separate from regular CBU admission.
The Honors Program admission committee will review the student's overall academic record for predictors of success in this intensive seminar series. The applicant will also provide a writing sample through an admissions essay.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply to the University Honors Program?
Admission to the Program requires an application separate from regular CBU admission. The application can be submitted by post or as an email attachment. The Honors Program admission committee will then review the student's overall academic record for predictors of success and notify each applicant of its decision.
What is a seminar?
A seminar is a small college class (usually 5-20 students) where the instructor typically lectures very little. Instead, students diligently prepare for class by carefully studying and reflecting on the assigned readings in advance of the class. During the class, student participation constitutes the main content of the class, with students responsibly discussing the readings under the guidance of the faculty member who is leading the seminar.
Sure, these seminars look good, but is there also “real life” in the Honors Program?
There is real life. First, there is the camaraderie. Working hard on significant ideas with students in small classes - this is the recipe for real friendship and dialogue, which spills out of the seminars, into the dorms and the dining hall. Second, the Honors Program organizes special cultural field trips each semester, excellent opportunities to learn and have fun together.
Are there additional tuition costs or fees involved in Honors?
No. There is no fee to apply for admission to the Honors Program, nor are there any tuition fees for the seminars themselves beyond the usual tuition costs of studying at CBU.
If a student's schedule for a particular semester totals over 18 units, then a per-unit additional tuition fee is applied by Student Accounts. The Honors Program, however, has been crafted to minimize the possibility of a student's schedule totaling over 18 units in a term. Obviously, students in majors with very large unit totals, or students desiring to compress their academic programs into fewer than eight (8) semesters, will have difficulty keeping all of their semester unit totals at or below 18 units.
Do the Honors Program seminars count towards completing my CBU degree program?
All Honors Program seminars earn regular academic credit toward CBU baccalaureate degrees, just like any other course.
Most importantly, however, nearly all of the Honors Program seminars (17 out of 18 units) are designed to satisfy requirements in four areas of the new CBU General Education requirements. The degree to which the Honors Program seminars will work effectively in a specific student's academic program at CBU depends on that student's specific situation at CBU, most significantly including transfer units or Advanced Placement (AP) units. We will be happy to provide individualized academic counseling for each student to work through these questions.
Are these Honors Program seminars open to everyone?
Any student with the requisite SAT/ACT score and GPA (see Program Description document) can apply for, and may be admitted to the Program. Interested students who do not currently meet the eligibility requirements may be accepted on a conditional basis. In certain circumstances, the committee may ask for a personal interview.
Admission to the Honors Program requires a separate application after having been admitted to CBU. Admission to the Honors Program is generally restricted to students with high school Grade Point Averages (GPAs) of at least 3.5 and SAT scores of at least 1800 or ACT scores of at least 27.
Satisfactory completion of the Honors Program requires (for four-year students) satisfactory completion of 18 units of Honors Program seminars (eight  of those units at the upper division level) while maintaining an overall academic GPA of at least 3.5. Transfer students coming to CBU with 60 or more semester units of college credit need only complete 14 units of Honors Program seminars (eight  of those units at the upper division level), with at least a 3.5 overall GPA.
Students who satisfactorily complete the Honors Program are entitled to claim this distinction on their resumes. Their achievement will be recorded on their official CBU transcript and diploma, and will be acknowledged in the Commencement program and ceremony.