Essay / Education

20 things I wish I knew as a college student

I don’t know if you are like me, but as I look back on my college years I wish someone would have pulled me aside and given me some tips on how best to pursue an education at the university. So I decided to put


Essay / Education

What’s a Good Question?

In his visionary book Finding Common Ground, Tim Downs noted that “because Christians tend to be answer people, we’re not especially skilled at asking good questions; questions that aren’t simplistic, leading, or downright insulting.” Ouch. In Biola’s Torrey Honors Institute, we’re answer people, but we


Essay / Education

20 Things I Have Learned as a College Professor

As the start of the fall semester is almost upon me I have been diligently trying to complete my summer projects and prepare for my classes. As I was working it dawned on me that I am looking forward to the beginning of the year.

Essay / Education

Imagination: Association of Form and Content

In April 2013 Biola held its third annual Imagination Summit. It was an in-house event this year, organized for faculty by faculty, to stimulate creative thinking about how to teach a generation of students who are, as “digital ethnographer” Michael Wesch argues, significantly different from

Essay / Education

Made Ready by Conversation (Johnson)

What good is sitting around talking about books? This is a rather urgent question for the faculty of the Torrey Honors Institute as we start into another academic year, because we are leading our students once again into an extended season of exactly that. At

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