About Honors

Foundational and Integrated Discovery 

The JBU Honors Scholars Program is distinctly different than High School Honors programs. The program does not rely on a heavier work load, rather smaller class sizes and seminar structures encourage deeper engagement with class subjects and encourage community among students, faculty, and staff. In the Honors program, students’ progress through two tiers. In both tiers, students choose available curricular and co-curricular options based on individual strengths, gifts and career plans. This intentional approach provides students with individualized paths through their college career and allows students to tailor a cohesive, meaningful learning experience.   

Tier 1: 

Foundational Discovery in Freshmen and Sophomore Years (Recommended: nine to twelve hours)

Students build foundational knowledge in a variety of disciplines and contexts, including out-of-classroom experience. 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) 

Students explore connections within disciplines. Many students choose to take "integrated" seminars; Integrated Theology or PPE (Politics, Philosophy, and Economics), team-taught courses offered over a span of two semesters. Students are offered challenging experiences both academically and socially and may choose from various experiences such as internships and holding executive-level leadership positions.

Self-directed Discovery in Senior Year (Recommended: three hours)

Students have the opportunity to further explore their field of study through co-teaching, and Capstone Projects. At this point, students are responsible for setting learning goals and tracking their own development along with input from faculty or mentors. 

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 voted as one of fourteen "Women to Watch."  In 2008 she was awarded the 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 the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in 2008 and the Andrew W. Mellon Research Fellowship, Library Company of Philadelphia and 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. Hooten-Wilson currently serves as Associate Director of the Honors Program and Associate Professor of Literature. Dr. Wilson earned a B.A. from Pepperdine University, M.E. from University of Dallas and a Ph.D. in Theology and Literature from Baylor University. In 2014 she received a Fulbright Fellowship to teach at Charles University in Prague. She was a 2018 Fellow at the Center of Christian Thought at Biola University, and a finalist for the Hiett Prize in Humanities. Her books are: Giving the Devil his Due: Flannery O'Connor and Dostoevsky (Wipf & Stock 2017), which was a 2018 Christianity Today Book of the Year; The Search for Influence: Walker Percy and Dostoevsky (Ohio State UP 2017); and Reading Walker Percy's Novels (LSU Press 2018). In addition to serving on the Honors and Gateway committees at JBU, Dr. Wilson is the founder and Chair of the Board of Sager Classical Academy, a local Christian grammar school.

Caitlyn Bennett, Advisor and Co-Curricular Coordinator 

Mrs. Bennett’s roles include academic advising current and prospective Honors Scholars Program students. She is also responsible for coordinating events and experiences beyond the classroom. Mrs. Bennett earned a B.A. in Business Management with a minor in Christian Ministries at George Fox University, and an M.S.Ed. in Higher Education (College Student Personnel) at Southern Illinois University. Previously she worked in project management and Undergraduate Research with the McNair Scholars Program. Mrs. Bennett is passionate about helping all students utilize the skills and passions God has given them.