John Wesley Honors College (JWHC)
The John Wesley Honors College (JWHC) is a community of committed learners at IWU which seeks to glorify God through the creative pursuit of academic excellence and spiritual vitality.
JWHC students are a select group of bright and ambitious students who take seriously Christ's command to love God with all one's heart, soul, and intellect. They desire, above all, to use their gifts and talents to make a difference in the world for Christ. Such students recognize that, in whatever career they choose to enter, a rigorous liberal arts education will foster the sort of intellectual skills and virtues necessary to achieve this goal. The JWHC provides a learning environment in which such students can thrive and prepare to pursue lives well-lived in service to Church and society.
Through smaller, inquiry-based, discussion-oriented classes, JWHC students engage their studies with extraordinary self-investment and creativity. The honors curriculum's focus on depth and relevance means that JWHC students spend less time on busy work and more time engaging primary sources, learning through hands-on experiences, and grappling with the enduring significance of course material for their life and faith. JWHC students are challenged to ask tough questions, to enrich their understanding of life's complexities, and to reflect critically on the relevance of their faith to contemporary issues. The Honors College also offers numerous co-curricular opportunities, both on and off campus, that allow students to connect these learning experiences to the broader world in which they live.
Ultimately, the JWHC strives to produce graduates who can compete intellectually with the best and brightest of their peers globally. But perhaps more importantly, the JWHC aims to nurture graduates who are adept at drawing faith, learning, and career into an integrated life calling.
Students participate in the JWHC either as John Wesley Scholars or as Mary C. Dodd Honors Students. John Wesley Scholars enter the Honors College as freshmen and participate in a comprehensive "liberal learning and life calling" curriculum that fulfills many of their general education requirements and enriches the coursework in their majors. Mary C. Dodd Honors Students join the Honors College as sophomores or juniors. They participate in the same Liberal Learning and Life Calling curriculum as John Wesley Scholars, but pursue a condensed version of the coursework that accommodates their previous collegiate experience and the shorter time frame before graduation. Students are chosen to participate in these curricular programs through a highly selective application process.
John Wesley Honors College is committed to pursuing continual program growth by establishing an Honors Humanities major and minor in the near future. This major will serve as a rigorous interdisciplinary core curriculum that enriches students' preparation in a particular major field of study with an engagement of the big questions of human existence. Accordingly, Honors Humanities will not be offered as a stand-alone major. The minor provides a less concentrated program of humanities enrichment for students enrolled in the standard general education curriculum.