The Asbury University Honors Program

The Asbury University Honors Program (AUHP) explores a range of enduring questions concerning our humanness. Questions like, “What gives people value?” “What are the implications of finding value in ourselves and others?”

Post-modern challenges to identity and difference have opened up the prospect of rediscovering images and ideas of human worth and value often left out of the overly quantitative and scientistic assumptions embedded into the enlightenment-infused modern understanding of humanity. As a result, conceptualizations regarding our humanness are being revisited; thinkers across the disciplines are considering anew the deep nature, meaning, and implications of terms like “me,” “you,” “us,” and “them.” Amidst this discussion lies an opportunity to recover a more sacred understanding of humanness, one in which all people possess unique status and are endowed with intrinsic value; our moral natures being interpreted not as mere social constructions, but as central features of our identity and key to understanding our responsibilities one to another. The AUHP invites students into a community of scholars who are engaged in an interdisciplinary exploration of human dignity and ethical human living anchored in the richness of historic, orthodox Christianity.

Asbury University, a Christian liberal arts school in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition, affirms a historic Christian understanding of human persons as intentionally created, but terribly fallen, yet greatly loved, and with hope and help for restoration and right-relationship with God and others. Furthermore, Asbury University upholds that the proper grounding for our common humanity and equality is anchored firmly in God’s sought relation to humans, each one of us a dearly loved image-bearer of Himself; as testified to by Jesus’ incarnation, call to repentance and discipleship, act of atonement, and invitation to participate in the divine life. The sacrificial love of God that restores right-relatedness, not only binds us together with other disciples of Jesus, but also compels us to recognize our social interdependency and responsibility and empowers us to live lives of service to all others. The AUHP takes up the task of exploring what is entailed in these profound claims through careful and reflective study of the human experience via the various academic disciplines of the arts, humanities, and sciences, with an aim towards facilitating transformative restoration.

Asbury University’s living and learning community is an ideal setting for an integrative, rigorous, curricular experience reflecting the width and depth of studies and programs exploring the origin and implications of human value. The AUHP will ever-aspire to comprehend more fully and accurately the Imago Dei and to educate students in light of this truth so that they may live virtuous lives and serve others more abundantly.

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Interviews & News

Dr. John Dickson comes to Asbury

On Wednesday evening, January 31st, church historian, professor, and podcaster, Dr. John Dickson, will be coming to Asbury University to offer a talk entitled, “Bullies and Saints: Lessons from 2000

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Karen Swallow Prior speaks at Asbury

The Asbury University Honors Program invited speaker for Spring ’23 was author and educator, Dr. Karen Swallow Prior. Click here to watch her talk entitled, “Christians, Imagination, and Social Imaginaries.”

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KET covers “Don’t Forget Us”

On January 27th, International Holocaust Memorial Day, Kentucky Educational Television (KET) aired a story on the documentary that Asbury University Journalism Professor, Rich Manieri, and his students wrote, shot, and

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Visiting Colloquium Speakers 2021/2022

Thursday Evening, Oct 7th

Dr. Chris Bounds, Professor of Christian Doctrine, Indiana Wesleyan University, Wesley Seminary

Topic: Human Dignity, the Imago Dei, and Wesleyan-Holiness Distinctives

Dr. Bounds will outline the Christian concept and historic significance of the Imago Dei with the Eternal Son’s incarnation, with particular attention given to Wesleyan-Holiness distinctives. Application of this core doctrine will be brought to bear on some issues associated with contemporary life.

Thursday Evening, February 10th

Dr. Calum MacKellar, Director of Research for the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics and Visiting Lecturer in Bioethics at St. Mary’s University in London.

Topic: Resurrecting Eugenics: Should only Healthy Children be Born?

With the possible selection of a future child’s health, athletic prowess or intelligence becoming ever more likely in the context of new developments in human reproduction, concerns are growing about the consequences of such selection on modern society.

Unnerving similarities between the discredited eugenic programmes of early twentieth century regimes may now be resurfacing under a new guise of a more ‘sanitised’ selective eugenics. There is, therefore, an urgent need to evaluate both current and future selection practices from a Christian perspective.

Thursday Evening, March 31st

Dr. Richard Weikart, Professor of History (Retired), California State University, Stanislaus

Topic: Are You the Image of God or a Cosmic Accident?

This presentation will examine the ways that many prominent Western thinkers in the past three centuries have contributed to the erosion of the Judeo-Christian sanctity-of-life ethic. Prominent intellectuals from the Enlightenment to the present claim that humans are the product of mindless, random, purposeless processes and thus have no intrinsic value. This has not only contributed to mass murder in communist and fascist regimes in the past century, but has also opened the door to widespread acceptance of abortion, assisted suicide, euthanasia, and transhumanism, especially among the educated elites.