The John Wesley Honors College was established in 1998 as the first “honors college” in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Last fall the JWHC community marked the 15-year anniversary of its founding with a special dinner during homecoming week. My role at the celebration was to offer a brief history of the JWHC from its first incoming class of 24 students to its current status as a full-fledged, comprehensive honors college. As I prepared for this task, I was reminded of the challenges and frustrations that accompanied our efforts to develop the JWHC into its full potential as an honors community. But in the midst of reminiscing I was also overwhelmed with a deep sense of gratitude for all the highly gifted and committed faculty and students God has brought into the JWHC. The Lord has used these special people to develop our honors college into so much more than a community of academic excellence. Indeed, as various honors college alumni shared reflections at the dinner on how the JWHC has impacted their lives, it became crystal clear that our community of academic excellence exists to plant seeds of truth, goodness and beauty that the Lord nurtures and cultivates into lifelong intellectual and spiritual growth. For all the recognition the JWHC has received in recent years as a national leader in Christian honors education, and for all of the curricular successes we have enjoyed as we implement our exemplary core curriculum, it is the postgraduate lives of our students that testify best to God’s transforming work in our honors community. What a privilege and a blessing it is to work and learn in the midst of faculty, students and alumni who are committed to lifelong learning as a participation in God’s abundant and creative love.
On that note I am proud to commend to readers this latest issue of the Aldersgate Review. As always, we trust that our annual magazine will provide an engaging window onto the life and accomplishments of our learning community. But we likewise hope that the following articles, reviews, creative writing and updates will inspire readers to think more deeply about God’s truth, goodness and beauty as the substance of their everyday lives. We are also pleased to include in this issue the cover story (“Did Jesus have a Wife . . .”) as a way of welcoming our newest faculty member, Christian Askeland, into the John Wesley Honors College. Lastly, this publication would not be possible without the wise and careful editorial work of Sara Scheunemann and the graphic design skills of Bailey Haskins (JWHC alumna 2012).
Grace and peace,
David L. Riggs
John Wesley Honors College
Download the full issue at Aldersgate Review 2013-2014.