Thiel College

Course Offerings


HON 109: Becoming Human: Love, Power, Justice
3 CH

This First-Year Seminar course gives students the opportunity to think together about what it means to become a human being by considering the three big questions of love, power, and justice. If love is the reunion of that which is separated, power is the quest of the free individual for understanding and action that shapes the self, and justice tends to the structuring of life in such a way that power's questing can eventuate in love-then these three big ideas each play an essential role in the process of individuals becoming full human beings. This course also serves as an orientation to college life, to the Dietrich Honors Institute, and to participating in a seminar.

HON 111: Oral and Written Expression I
3 CH   /  Offered Every Fall

This course for first year Honors Program students integrates fundamental components of oral and written expression by focusing on similarities and differences between the two forms, emphasizes an introduction to learning in the liberal arts tradition, a comparison of academic and professional disciplines, critical thinking skills, ways of identifying and testing evidence and hypotheses, and the use of primary sources in writing and speech production.

HON 112: Oral and Written Expression II
3 CH   /  Offered Every Spring

This course is a continuation of HON 111. It refines the skills introduced in HON 111 and provides further opportunities for formalizing the components of oral and written expression and multidisciplinary learning. The course enables students to refine their critical thinking and problem-solving skills in their oral and written analyses of the various subjects and styles of academic writing and oral expression. Students master documentation of sources and extend their knowledge of research skills and oral and written delivery modes.

HON 113: Communicating Effectively: Grammar, Dialectic, Rhetoric
3 CH

The 'trivium' of the classical liberal arts includes grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric, which deal respectively with language, reasoning, and persuasion. The art of grammar teaches the student to speak and write well. The student learns about dialectic or logic or reasoning by engaging in the give and take with others students and the teacher and reflecting on the process of thinking through discussion, debate, argumentation, and questioning. In rhetoric the student learns the science of communication and the art of persuasive writing and speech.

HON 114: Creating Culture: Ancient, Medieval, Modern
3 CH

Students are introduced to highlights in the history, literature, art, music, philosophy, and religion of western humanities. Greece and Rome are emphasized in the ancient period; civilization and thought of the Mediterranean area and Europe are stressed in the medieval period, culminating in the Renaissance; and the Reformation and early modern developments are underscored up until 1789 or the beginning of the French Revolution. Big ideas and major people are lifted up for each period, with connections being drawn from one period to the next.

HON 115: Western Humanities I
4 CH   /  Offered Every Fall   /  WIC

This two-semester sequence surveys material and cultural history from antiquity through post-modernism. The interdisciplinary approach encourages students to discover connections between historical periods and artistic style periods in the areas of philosophy, religion, art, architecture, music, literature and theater. Students are encouraged to reflect critically on the connections they discover and find relationships to their own lives and experiences. This discovery/reflection model helps provide students with a context by which to understand the values of humanity both as they are expressed in the past and as they are expressed in their own lives.

HON 125: Western Humanities II
4 CH   /  Offered Every Spring   /  WIC

This two-semester sequence surveys material and cultural history from antiquity through post-modernism. The interdisciplinary approach encourages students to discover connections between historical periods and artistic style periods in the areas of philosophy, religion, art, architecture, music, literature and theater. Students are encouraged to reflect critically on the connections they discover and find relationships to their own lives and experiences. This discovery/reflection model helps provide students with a context by which to understand the values of humanity both as they are expressed in the past and as they are expressed in their own lives.

HON 128: Interpreting Scriptures: Jewish, Christian, Islamic
3 CH

In religious communities writings can take on a sacred aura and serve important functions for adherents of the given faith. This is surely the case within the three major monotheistic traditions of the western world. This course uses historical-critical methods to examine the Hebrew Bible of Judaism (the Old Testament of Christians), the New Testament of Christianity, and The Qur an of Islam. In learning the way to interpret these texts, the focus falls on their meaning for life in the contemporary world.

HON 132: Interpreting the Jewish-Christian Scriptures/Honors
3 CH   /  Offered Every Spring   /  WIC

The purpose of this course is to assimilate the content, understand the structure and wrestle with the meanings of the writings included in the Judeo-Christian Scriptures. As an Honors course, a minimum amount of time will be spent on lectures that rehash either the content of the text or the biblical material. Class sessions will focus on discussion, centering upon questions, problems and insights precipitated by the readings. A basic assumption of the course is that participants will take responsibility for a thorough reading of the text and related biblical material in preparation for class.

HON 212: Interdisciplinary Course I: Identity
3 CH   /  Offered Every Fall

The first semester of a year-long integrative course. Through a consideration of the concept of identity, students will participate in a variety of ways to gain skills in problem-solving, speaking, receptiveness to critical discussion of ideas, value-centered decision-making, self-reflection and self-discovery.

HON 222: Interdisciplinary Course II: Identity
3 CH   /  Offered Every Spring

A continuation of HON 212.

HON 312: Interdisciplinary Course III: Creativity
2 CH   /  Offered Every Fall

This course focuses on the topic of creativity in its broadest sense, as a concept relating to an overall approach to life experience, and also its specific applications to the arts, sciences and humanities.

HON 322: Interdisciplinary Course IV: Independent Project
2 CH   /  Offered Every Spring

In this course students apply the work of Honors Interdisciplinary Course III by choosing a project related to their own special interests and working independently with the course professor and a mentor. The project integrates library research with students' own original contributions, culminating in a public presentation of the project. (Students who study abroad may fulfill these requirements by completing a project following their international experience.)