Testimonials from Current and Former Academy Students
My experience at the Academy has been one of immense personal and intellectual growth through which I have become a more confident and inquisitive student. The curriculum is rich and challenging, the conversations are vibrant, and the professors care deeply about developing each of their students to their full potential. The Academy is also a wonderful transition between high school and college education, offering real college courses, just at a more manageable and personable level. Students also have the benefit of experiencing college life, including walking around campus, interacting with professors and college students, and having access to career services. The Academy prepares the up-and-coming college student better than any “college preparatory” school, because it is college.
For me, the Academy had it all: high quality classes and professors, a strong atmosphere of friendship among students, and a strong emphasis on the teachings of Christianity. The classes were able to challenge even the most academically minded students and demanded high levels of reading, writing, thinking, and discussing. But despite the serious academic challenge, the discussion atmosphere remained lighthearted and friendly; all four of the different professors I had for my Great Books courses were passionate about what they taught and cared about students deeply. For the first time I felt like I was able to establish a meaningful relationship with a teacher outside of the classroom. Lastly, the focus of professors, students, and course material is always on Christian development of the whole person. It was important to me that my academic experience in high school helped me grow in my faith, and the Academy was able to do that far more than I imagined. Reading foundational theological works such as Calvin’s Institutes, Augustine’s Confessions, and Aquinas’s Summa Theologica were vital in solidifying my own worldview, and even provided a platform from which to examine secular texts.
The Academy has prepared me well for the next phase of my education in college. It has helped me to develop valuable skills like critical thinking, analytical reading, and articulate speech. The Academy has not only helped to develop me as a student, but the professors have also invested in me as a person. The relationships that I have developed as a student in the Academy are truly what makes it a special place where truth and knowledge can grow organically.
One of my favorite aspects of the Academy is the small class size, which allows for discussion. One short phrase in a book can lead to many different conversations in class. I really appreciate that the classes are mostly discussion rather than lecture.
The Academy positively impacted the academic aspect of my life. I learned so much from the discussion of the texts and the texts themselves. Whether we were discussing Jonathan Edwards, Kant, or the Illiad I always felt that every discussion was lively and intense. In addition, the way the professors used the Socratic method of teaching invigorated a higher sense of learning for me. I truly appreciate the amazing experience and knowledge I gained during those 5 years at the Academy.
The Academy at HBU introduced me to brilliant works of literature and caused me to fall in love with classics and with learning. The teachers taught be about the Good, the True, and the Beautiful and encouraged me to look for glimpses of them within every text. It has been extremely helpful to have that background in my experience with the Honors College so far. I’m so grateful for the experiences I’ve had at the Academy.