The Honors College Faculty
Dr. David Davis
Dr. Davis is an Associate Professor of History, specializing in medieval and early modern European history. He writes reviews and essays for The Wall Street Journal, The New Criterion, and The American Conservative and is writing a book on divine revelation before the Enlightenment. Dr. Davis claims that reading Herodotus, Erasmus, and Pascal changed his life, but we aren’t sure if that is a good thing. He is generally suspicious of his smartphone, but can’t seem to live without it. And when he isn’t gardening, hiking, or learning new words from his wife, he can usually be found drinking coffee and reading Welsh poetry (or wishing he were).
Dr. Barbara Elliott
Dr. Barbara J. Elliott is Scholar in Residence and Assistant Professor of Liberal Arts, teaching in the Honors College at HBU. Her career spans serving in The White House, working as an international television correspondent, and launching an outreach to refugees fleeing communism as the Berlin Wall fell. Following God’s nudge in prayer, she followed the stories of their lives to document the role of Christian faith in resisting communism, resulting in the book Candles Behind the Wall: Heroes of the Peaceful Revolution that Shattered Communism. After living in Europe nearly fourteen years, she returned to the US and founded the Center for Cultural Renewal. She followed the next nudge from God, this time to find the people transforming lives in America’s inner cities, which resulted in her next book, Street Saints: Renewing America’s Cities. She planted a model ministry in Houston, the WorkFaith Connection, which transitions people from prison, homelessness, addiction, or joblessness into a new job and a new life. With her husband, W. Winston Elliott III, she has been doing great books Socratic seminars since 1996. (The Great Conversation continues day and night in the Elliott home.) An enthusiastic interdisciplinary learner, she is fascinated by the relationship of the True, the Good, and the Beautiful in cultures both ancient and modern. She is the author of five books and scores of essays, and an artist who wishes she had more time to paint, play the piano, or sing. As the mother of four children, she is astonished to find she is now the grandmother of eleven, with another on the way.
Dr. Christopher Hammons
Dr. Christopher Hammons is the Director of the Center for Law and Liberty and a professor of Government at Houston Baptist University. He teaches courses in constitutional history, political philosophy, and presidential politics. He has published works in a variety of places including the American Political Science Review, the Albany Law Review, The Journal of Law & Public Policy, Education Next, the Houston Business Journal, and the Houston Chronicle. Dr. Hammons is the recipient of several teaching awards and is a strong advocate of a classic liberal arts education, using primary texts in history, philosophy, and politics to teach about contemporary social and political issues. He is a sought after speaker on the American Founding, and has given several presentation in the Houston area on George Washington, the Constitutional Convention, and the American Founding. Dr. Hammons lives in Sugar Land, Texas with his wife and two children.
Dr. Gary Hartenburg
Dr. Gary Hartenburg is the Director of the Honors College and an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Houston Baptist University. His primary research interests are in ancient philosophy, especially Plato and his student, Aristotle. He enjoys thinking about the history and philosophy of education and recently completed a book on Aristotle’s philosophy of education. One of his favorite aspects of the Honors College curriculum is the study of the history of astronomy and physics, beginning with Plato’s Timaeus and Aristotle’s Physics, continuing through Ptolemy’s Almagest, Copernicus’s Revolutions, Galileo’s Dialogue, and Newton’s Principia, and closing with Einstein’s Relativity, Heisenberg’s Physics and Philosophy, and Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. He and his poet-wife homeschool their children in the suburbs of Houston.
Dr. Anthony Joseph
Dr. Joseph is a Professor of History at Houston Baptist University and program coordinator for HBU’s Master of Arts in History. He specializes in early American history, American legal history, and the history of the unborn child. He is a co-editor of two volumes of The Documentary History of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1789-1800 and is currently writing a book on the unborn child in American history. In his free time Dr. Joseph enjoys songwriting, listening to vinyl records, and following the fortunes of the San Antonio Spurs. For maximum relaxation, he is not above watching paint dry, when the opportunity presents itself.
Dr. Julianna Leachman
Dr. Leachman is an Assistant Professor of Literature, specializing in the literatures of Russia and the U.S. South. She has published in The Faulkner Journal and has an essay forthcoming from the University of Notre Dame Press on Flannery O’Connor and the nineteenth-century Russians. As the mother of three daughters, Dr. Leachman is equally versed in Fancy Nancy books and princess movies as she is in Faulkner and Dostoevsky novels. Hailing from the great state of Alabama, Dr. Leachman found her way to Houston by way of Nashville, Charlotte, and Austin. She’s married to a Houston native, Taylor, who serves as an Associate Pastor at Christ the King Presbyterian Church.
Dr. Robert Llizo
Dr. Llizo is an Associate Professor of History, specializing in Medieval Europe and Early Modern England. His research focus is medieval monastic and mendicant history and spirituality, Patristic and Scholastic theology, and the Mediterranean world. His love of the medieval world was sparked by reading Arthurian literature and C.S.Lewis’ “The Discarded Image.” He is a native of Cuba, but was raised in Los Angeles, CA, the product of Lutheran and Brethren schools. He got his BA in History at Biola University, his MA at California State University, Los Angeles, and his PhD at Claremont Graduate University. At Claremont, he was encouraged to take an interdisciplinary approach to his study of history, incorporating literature and philosophy, which prepared him well to teach in Great Books programs such as the Torrey Honors Institute at his alma mater Biola University, and the Honors College at Houston Baptist University. He is a self-described “Generalist” as much as he is a Medievalist. His hobbies are reading, taking long, contemplative walks, and fishing (whenever he can).
Dr. Micah Snell
Dr. Micah Snell is an Assistant Professor of English. His academic interests are Classics, poetics, big novels, and the intersection of faith and literature generally, but mostly he never seems to shut up about William Shakespeare. When not in class he can usually be found talking to students in his office about all matters academic and personal. An ordained Anglican, he is a spiritual director and retreat leader. He likes boats, fountain pens, DIY projects, bonfires, camping, Blue Bell ice cream, and Lego. Messing around in the kitchen, his best recipes are borscht, brioche, and crème brûlée. Sometimes he suspects that his smart phone is trying to do him in. He and his wife Jennifer met on the first day of class in college, homeschool their five children, and are the founders of the George Herbert Charity.
Dr. Philip Tallon
Dr. Tallon is an Assistant Professor of Theology. In addition to leading discussions for the Honors College, he serves as the Chair of the Apologetics Department and as the Graduate Director for the School of Christian Thought. When he’s not helping his lovely wife raise their four children, he likes to think and write about the relationship between theology and the arts. He’s the author of The Poetics of Evil (Oxford, 2012) and The Absolute Basics of the Christian Faith (Seedbed, 2016). He frequently reviews movies for Christian Research Journal.