Laut Honors Program Ignatian Honors Seminar


The Ignatian Honors Seminar is the culmination of the Honors Program. It is the place where our very best students, who have distinguished themselves during their first two years of undergraduate study, are afforded the singular opportunity to model for the campus the fully integrated mission of WJU, to be men and women committed to 

  • An on-going love affair with intellectual experience and growth; 
  • A willingness to step forward and lead their peers and their community; 
  • A desire to serve with and among others.

Ignatian Honors Seminar Design
The Ignatian Honors Seminar is an unprecedented opportunity for outstanding students and the Mentor of their choice to select a topic and design a course of study together. The total student enrollment of the Ignatian Honors Seminar will usually be a minimum of 12: six seniors and six juniors.

Over the semester break and during the Spring semester, the juniors rising toward senior status in the Ignatian Honors Seminar will work in cooperation with the Director to recruit the following year's Mentor and begin developing a topic. During the Spring semester, the Director of the Honors Program will invite all qualified sophomores in the Laut Honors College to make Application for the Ignatian Honors Seminar. Once the Laut Honors College sophomores (rising toward junior status) are selected for the Ignatian Honors Seminar, they will join with the juniors (rising toward senior status) to work with the Director and the selected Mentor in planning a topic and preparing projects and presentations for the next year's seminar. 

Ignatian Honors Seminar Curriculum 
The IHS students and their Mentor will have great freedom to innovate in the creation of their seminar syllabus. Several mandatory agenda for the Ignatian Honors Seminar will ensure the continued connection of the IHS students to their peers in the Laut Honors College and the WJU campus: 

  • At least 14 but no more than 16 total meetings over an academic year, including sessions with at least two invited guests per semester; 
  • At least one activity planned for the Laut Honors College students, relating the Ignatian Honors Seminar topic to the LHC topic; 
  • A service-learning experience, related to the Ignatian Honors Seminar topic; 
  • A capstone research project on the seminar topic, integrated into a student's major and presented at the WJU Undergraduate Research Symposium, to be completed by all IHS students in either the junior or senior year;
  • When possible, a significant travel experience, related to the Ignatian Honors Seminar topic.

Qualifications for Participation
Juniors (HON 300): Must maintain a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA. Must attend meetings and other required events regularly (one missed meeting per semester maximum). Attendance is more than simply showing up: true attention is signified by engagement in the physical, intellectual, and spiritual experience of the program, which, at the level of the Ignatian Honors Seminar, implies genuine ownership of and responsibility for the success of the seminar's course of study. 
Seniors (HON 400): Includes all the qualifications for IHS juniors, plus active and creative participation in the IHS Research Project (if not competed during junior year).

The IHS Mentor will evaluate the students at the end of each semester, or more often as necessary. Students refusing genuine engagement with the program will be asked to resign. At any time, a student in the IHS may request to withdraw from the Ignatian Honors Seminar, but those holding Laut Scholarships will forfeit the remainder of their scholarship money.

Qualifications for Graduation with Ignatian Honors 
All IHS members who have met the qualifications for IHS participation will graduate with Ignatian Honors at the annual WJU Commencement ceremony in May. It is expected that IHS members will have completed all four semesters with the seminar. However, reasonable one-semester exemptions are available for: 

  • WJU course scheduling conflicts; 
  • study abroad; 
  • academic clinicals, internships, or other residencies; 
  • health or injury.

Ignatian Honors Scholars anticipating the necessity of an exemption are encouraged to contact the Director of the Honors Program and the IHS Mentor at once.

Ignatian Honors Seminar graduates will be distinguished by category at Commencement and provided distinguishing garb to augment the traditional academic gown. Because of the cumulative GPA requirement for Ignatian Honors Scholars, all IHS graduates will also graduate with some level of WJU "Latin honors" (summa cum laude, etc.).