2015 Summer Scholars Program in Liberal Arts & Leadership

Thrive Together

Grow intellectually and spiritually with honors college faculty and students

July 5-25, 2015     

The John Wesley Honors College (JWHC) invites rising high school juniors and seniors who aspire to Christ-centered academic excellence to join us on campus for a three-week immersion in a Christian liberal learning community. The 2015 Summer Scholars Program in Liberal Arts & Leadership gives students a glimpse into the special kind of academic experience the JWHC offers. Through coursework and numerous co-curricular opportunities, Summer Honors Scholars will explore and grapple with the big questions of human existence and develop a vision for servant leadership in community with honors college faculty, staff, and students. Summer Honors Scholars should graduate from this intensive program with an intimate understanding of what a collegiate honors education is all about and will be well-prepared to embrace their eventual college career as an expression of their kingdom-of-God calling.


The 2015 Summer Scholars Program in Liberal Arts and Leadership will be held on the Marion campus of Indiana Wesleyan University from July 5-25. Scholars who complete the program will earn four units of college credit (transferrable to any university) and are guaranteed an invitation to participate in the JWHC Interview Day and Scholarship Competition if they decide to apply for admission into the John Wesley Scholars Program.

Full-Tuition Scholarship
Scholars accepted into the program are only charged for room, board, and activities: $1,200. The cost of their honors coursework is covered by a full-tuition scholarship of $2,052 that is awarded to each accepted Scholar. 

Mark Smith

Exploring the "Big Questions"

Participants in the Summer Scholars Program in Liberal Arts & Leadership choose from a variety of academic options. Each Summer Honors Scholar will enroll in one of the following honors courses based on his or her interests:

Introduction to Healthcare & Humanities (3 credits)
Interested in healthcare and the natural sciences? This course gives students the opportunity to explore the health sciences and care of the sick and disabled through the lenses of the humanities. Through intensive readings and discussions, students will develop a deeper understanding of how healthcare relates to questions of truth, goodness, and beauty in the light of a Christian narrative of life and flourishing.  

The Literary Imagination of C.S. Lewis (3 credits)
One of the clearest, most beloved, and most influential Christian writers of the 20th century, C.S. Lewis creates for his readers in his works a concrete vision of Christianity centered on the love of God. In this course, we will examine Lewis’s articulation of his Christian faith as evidenced in his fictional works and in his apologetic texts. Through close readings of his works in their historical context, we will experience together how Lewis captures God’s grandeur, grace, and love in his writings.

Religion and Morality in a World at War, 1914-1945 (3 credits)
The “Great War” (1914-1918) is frequently described as the industrialized slaughter in the trenches by “secular” Western nations. Or was it, as one historian has recently argued, a 20th century Holy War, sparked and motivated by hidden religious impulses typically absent from the historical analysis? As for World War II (1939-1945), it is known by many as “The Good War”: a conflict depicted in stark black and white moral terms. But is “Hitler’s War” that simple? Students will wrestle with the history, morality, ethics, and conduct of the 20th century’s two “World Wars.”

Introduction to Business as a Christian Calling (3 credits)
Do you aspire to make a difference in the world through business? This course will introduce students to the nature and concepts of business, as well as help them to understand how a business career can become a holistic expression of a Christian life calling. The course will provide opportunities for critical and reflective analysis of various interdisciplinary issues that affect business today and culminate in the entrepreneurial development of new business ideas that embody kingdom-of-God values.

The Other Gospels: Orthodoxy and Heresy in Ancient Christianity (3 credits)
The historic Christian tradition settled on four canonical gospels as the authoritative witness to the Christian faith. But what should we make of the dozens of other “Christian” texts that circulated in the centuries immediately following the life of Christ such as the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Judas? This course will introduce students to the numerous extra-canonical texts as part of an exploration of how the Christian canon of Scripture developed and early Christians grappled with questions of heresy and orthodoxy (correct belief). 

Summer Honors Scholars also enroll in a special course, Liberal Arts & Leadership Seminar (1 credit), that introduces them to the nature and significance of a Christian liberal education and the patterns of servant leadership such learning should inspire. Among other activities, this course will include dinner conversations with IWU’s president, Dr. David Wright, about his book, How God Makes the World a Better Place; opportunities to interact with key community leaders about servant leadership; cultural events off campus; and mentoring in servant leadership and life calling by student leaders from the John Wesley Honors College and staff from IWU’s School of Life Calling and Integrative Learning.


Summer Scholars Faculty
A distinguished group of professors will lead summer honors scholars through their intensive coursework experiences, engaging students as master teachers and facilitating creative and integrative paths of learning.

Christian Askeland, Assistant Professor of Christian Origins (Ph.D., University of Cambridge)
Charles Bressler, Professor of English and Humanities (Ph.D., University of Georgia)
Matthew Sattley, Associate Professor of Biology (Ph.D., Southern Illinois University)
Mark Smith, Professor of History (Ph.D., University of Kentucky)
Rose Sprunger, Assistant Professor of Nursing (M.S.N., Indiana Wesleyan University)
Jack Wheeler, Associate Professor of Accounting & Business (Ph.D., University of Tennessee) 

Summer Scholars Staff
Natalie Davis, Director of Summer Scholars (M.A. in Anthropology, Ball State University)
Brian Clark, Coordinator of the Liberal Arts & Leadership Seminar (M.Div., Princeton) 

Summer Scholars' Testimonials


“Summer Scholars allowed me to engage in learning with many other eager students. It gave me the chance to explore the college environment and discover what I valued most in a college community. With its excellent professors and rigorous but enjoyable learning experiences, this program was a memorable opportunity to keep learning and discovering during the summer months.
    -Phillip Quinn, Summer Scholar 2013

“I absolutely loved the community that was created among the students in Summer Scholars. I came away from the program with several really close friends and a pretty solid idea that I was going to attend IWU the next fall. The practical experiences of living in a residence hall and taking a class was wonderful and really helped me to understand what college would be like. I learned a lot about my own learning style and how I needed to adapt to college life. I also discovered the Honors College and quickly realized that it was a learning community tailored to fit me! I would definitely recommend Summer Scholars to anyone who wants a taste of the college experience.”
    -Emily Stout, Summer Scholar 2013

“Despite being wary of going to a strange place full of strange people without any idea of how hard the classes would be, I had one of the best summers of my life. I thoroughly enjoyed the professors . . . they were fun and inviting, encouraging me to explore different points of view . . . I got to know what Indiana Wesleyan and their people believed in, and it solidified one of the best decisions I've ever made: returning to IWU as an honors college student. I wouldn't trade my experience in Summer Scholars for anything.
    -Olivia Anderson, Summer Scholar 2012


Qualifications and Application Requirements 

  • GPA of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • Summer Scholars application and community values contract, including a letter of recommendation from a teacher.
  • An official high school transcript.
  • An essay of approximately 400 words answering the question, "How should Christians participate in God's work to make the world a better place?"
  • $50 application fee (applied to room and board cost or refunded to those not accepted).

Complete and submit an application by email to jwhc.admissions@indwes.edu or by postal mail to the address given on the application.
E-mail jwhc.admissions@indwes.edu or call 765-677-1441 for any questions.