Essay / Culture

How Do I Learn From Experience If I Don’t Have Any?

Earlier this summer, I got an email from John Buchanan, a current student in the Torrey Honors Institute: Hello, Dr. Jenson. As you may be told from time to time, you are the mentor that seemed sensible to talk to regarding the subject of this email…Probably because

Essay / Education

The Opening Question (Torrey 101)

At the Torrey Honors Institute, we teach by questioning. The professors in the program gather with students around a great text, and inquire into the text by interrogating the students. We call the professors “tutors” to signal the fact that they are co-learners along with

Essay / Education

Divine Education

One of our semesters at Torrey Honors Institute is called On Learning and Knowledge, and it is an excellent thematic investigation of epistemology, philosophy of education, and even pedagogy, among other things. Our juniors in this course read Plato and Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas, Frederick

Essay / Education

A University Should Be a University

I am fairly certain that John Henry Newman’s The Idea of a University has been on the required reading list of the Torrey Honors Institute since I began working here eight years ago. Given how we teach in Torrey, however, I had never had the

Essay / Education

Hebrews: The Mind-blowing Finale

The book of Hebrews is the grand finale of the first semester in the Torrey Honors Institute. After the freshman fall, the curriculums for Torrey’s two houses take their separate ways: the Morgan House following a roughly chronological path to bring them up to the

Essay / Education

George Steiner Learns to Read Greek

Just a few pages into George Steiner’s 1999 autobiographical work Errata: An Examined Life, he tells a story about how he started learning Greek at age 5. No, “Greek at 5” isn’t the amazing part. The amazing part, to me, is that he grew up

Essay / Education

Only the Lonely

I happened to be re-reading Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment the same weekend that we hosted a recruiting event for the Torrey Honors Institute. As I spent time reflecting on my membership in this learning community, I noticed the stark contrast of the radical isolation that

Essay / Education

Free Stuff at Biola

The Winter 2013 issue of Biola Magazine is out (here for the website, here for the pdf), and its cover story is about the university’s new initiative to give away loads of educational content. Check out the Open Biola site to see how much they’ve managed to put

Essay / Education

Newman, Benedict, and Torrey

Over at the blog of the American Society of Church History, Torrey’s Dr. Greg Peters reflects on some lesser-known writings of John Henry Newman. Newman’s most famous book about learning was his Idea of a University, but he also explored the ideals of Benedictine monasticism

Essay / Education

General Honors 1920 and Torrey Honors 2012

In the Torrey Honors Institute we read Western classics; then we sit in a circle and talk about them. This peculiar form of education (and the list of classic books) can be traced back to the General Honors course offered at Colombia University beginning in

Essay / Education

The Best Bible Institute in Los Angeles

I teach classes at the best Bible Institute in Los Angeles. I also work at Biola University, but that’s different. Biola was founded as a Bible Institute, way back in 1908. The founders of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles knew all about colleges (Lyman