About Honors

Two Tiers: Foundational and Integrated Discovery 

The JBU Honors program is a unique honors program. Rather than simply offering a list of honors courses students may haphazardly choose over four years, our Honors program offers two “discovery” tiers. In both tiers, students choose available curricular and co-curricular options based on individual strengths, gifts and career plans. After completing the requirements for the first tier, students promote to the second one.

This intentional approach cuts down on busywork, providing students with individualized paths through their college career and allowing students to tailor a cohesive, meaningful learning experience.    

Tier 1: Foundational Discovery in Freshmen and Sophomore Years  (Recommended: nine to 12 hours).
Students build foundational knowledge in a variety of disciplines and contexts, including out-of-classroom experience, which may or may not pertain to their major. In this tier, faculty and mentors set learning goals and track student development.

Tier 2: Integrated Discovery in Junior Year (Recommended:  six to nine hours) and Self-directed Discovery in Senior Year (Recommended: three hours).
Students explore connections within and between disciplines and contexts. Many students choose to take "integrated" seminars, Integrated Humanities or Integrated Theology, team-taught courses offered over two semesters. Students are offered challenging experiences both academically and socially. Both faculty mentors and students are responsible for setting goals and tracking development.

Students build on curricular and co-curricular experiences, exploring and acting on original ideas. Students may choose from other senior-level experiences such as internships and holding executive-level leadership positions. At this point, students are responsible for setting learning goals and tracking their own development along with input from faculty or mentor. 

Honors Staff

Dr. Trisha Posey, Director 

Dr. Posey earned her Ph.D. in American History at the University of Maryland. Before that, she lived in Canterbury, England, where she finished her M.Phil. She received a B.A. in History from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. Recently, Dr. Posey was awarded the Faculty Excellence Award and the One of Fourteen "Women to Watch" in 2016 by JBU peers.  In 2008 she was awarded Rookie of the Year teaching award. She also was a finalist for the Fulbright Teaching/Research Award (Uganda) in 2013. She received a research fellowship from Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in 2008 and the Andrew W. Mellon Research Fellowship, Library Company of Philadelphia Historical Society of Pennsylvania in 2005.

A recent research project on a 19th century farm school on Thompson's Island in Boston Harbor, was published in the Massachusetts Historical Review. She is also interested in the history of slavery in the United States as well as the enduring legacy of racism left by slavery. More recently, she has begun researching and writing on Christian higher education in Africa and has led faculty workshops on faith integration at Uganda Christian University.  She is passionate about teaching American history, the history of poverty in the United States, American slavery, and African history.

Dr. Jessica Hooten-Wilson, Associate Director 

Dr. Wilson currently serves as Associate Director of the Honors Program and Assistant Professor of English. Dr. Wilson earned a B.A. from Pepperdine University, M.E. from University of Dallas and a Ph.D. from Baylor University. In 2014 she won a Fulbright Fellowship to teach at Charles University in Prague. She served as guest speaker at Pepperdine University in 2016. Her books are: Giving the Devil his due: Flannery O'Connor and Dostoevsky (Wipf & Stock 2016), The Search for Influence: Walker Percy and Dostoyevsky (Ohio State UP 2017), and A Guide to Walker Percy's Novels (LSU 2018). She currently serves on the Honors and Gateway committees, along with the Vocational Task Force with Career Development. Dr. Wilson, also serves as Director of the Giving Voice Writers Festival held each fall at JBU which features workshops and public performances by established writers and musicians.