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Honors Program - University Scholars

The mission of the ETBU Honors Program is to provide a tight-knit community of scholars in pursuit of the Christian intellectual life through the pairing of academic rigor with informed reflection for thoughtful engagement with the world. We accomplish our mission with an academic minor complementary to any major field of study offered at the university.


During their first and second years, students are immersed in a rigorous study of the Western intellectual tradition, framed by Christian faith, from antiquity to the present.


During their third and fourth years, students embark on an in-depth research project on a topic of their choosing, under the supervision of a faculty member in their major.

Students who successfully complete both phases of the Honors Program graduate "With Distinction," receiving a stole at Commencement from the faculty member who supervised their project.

Meet the Director

Dr. Zachary Beck

The Honors Program at ETBU helps students pursue the intellectual life, framed by the Christian virtues of faith, hope, and love. It is my great privilege to be a member of this community and to facilitate the students’ development into thoughtful scholars.

I was a student in the Honors College at the University of Florida, where I received my Bachelor’s degree (English—summa cum laude and political science—cum laude) and Master’s degree (English). I am an alum of the Christian Study Center of Gainesville, an organization that pursues meaningful, intellectual dialogue between faithful, orthodox Christianity and secular higher learning. I received my PhD in English from Baylor University. For two years during my doctoral program, I was the Resident Tutor of Arts and Letters at Baylor’s Brooks College; my wife and I lived in the college, taking part in its vibrant community. The Lord has used these and many other experiences to prepare me for this role, into which I step with great joy.

For further information about the Honors Program, I invite you to contact me. My phone number is 903.923.2267, and my email address is If you are on campus, please visit me in Scarborough Hall 406.


An Honors Project is designed to allow students the opportunity to conduct advanced research in their chosen discipline. The Honors Project culminates in graduating "with distinction" and special recognition during graduation ceremonies. The project is a four-semester program of individual research directed by a faculty member in the student's academic major and supported by an Honors Project Committee.

In order to be eligible for an Honors Project, a student must meet the following criteria:
   1) Have completed 60 hours by the beginning of the first semester of the project,

   2) Have completed 6 hours in their major area, and

   3) Maintain an Overall GPA of 3.5 with a GPA of 3.75 in the student's major.

*Individual schools or departments may have additional criteria. Consult with your Project Supervisor.

The project must be completed in the student's major. 

Honors Project Student Guide: This details the process to complete an Honors Project.

The project is initiated with the development of a formal written proposal during the first semester. An example of a successful proposal is available here. 

For more information contact:

Benefits of the Honors Program

The Honors Program curriculum provides an intellectual backdrop to students’ chosen fields of study; gives students needed context for study at the graduate level; and equips students with critical thinking, reading, writing, and discussion skills that will prove invaluable in the working world.

Students in the Honors Program see that intellectual pursuits are not reserved for those in the academy but have a productive, positive bearing in all vocations.

Educational Benefits

  • Interdisciplinary approach
  • Team-teaching
  • Small class sizes (courses capped at 15 students)

Financial Benefits

  • $2,000 scholarships for top-performing first and second-year students
  • $1,000 stipends for third and fourth-year students engaged in an honors project

Social Benefits

  • Fall Covenant Dinner
  • Spring Banquet recognizing graduating seniors
  • Fall Retreat
  • Spring Cultural Excursion
  • Student-faculty coffee hours
  • Movie nights
Qualifications and Requirements

Incoming freshmen and transfer students with fewer than sixty (60) credit hours are considered for acceptance into the Honors Program after they have completed the application below. Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.8 (on a 4.0 scale) and the following minimum test scores: a combined score of 1210 on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing + Math sections of the SAT or a composite ACT score of 25.

Application for incoming freshmen and transfer students is available below. 
Recommendations should be in the form of a letter.

Currently enrolled students with fewer than sixty (60) credit hours may be accepted into the Honors Program after they have completed the application below. In addition to a favorable recommendation and essay, students must have a minimum university GPA of 3.5.

Applications for current ETBU students are available below.
Recommendations should be in the form of a letter.

Although applications are accepted on a rolling basis, students who want to be considered for the
Honors Scholarship should submit their applications by June 1.