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A Home Away from Home: Belmont Abbey Honors College


With three tracks, the Honors College Great Books program maximizes flexibility while shaping student understanding of history, philosophy, and religion.


Just minutes away from Charlotte, NC, the Honors College at Belmont Abbey is unlike any other honors program. Drawing guidance from John Paul II’s encyclical Fides et Ratio or Faith and Reason, the Honors College is a four-year “great books” program designed to engage students who have demonstrated intellectual excellence and seriousness of mind in the pursuit of truth.

A Great Books Curriculum

At the heart of the Abbey’s Honors College is its distinctive Great Books curriculum, which serves as the cornerstone of intellectual inquiry. Drawing from the rich tapestry of Christian tradition, students delve into a diverse array of texts spanning ancient, modern, and Christian thought.

The Honors College provides a fulfilling Great Books program through 3 tracks for students:

Great Books Intensive Major

This 120-credit curriculum will not only shape your understanding of history, philosophy, religion, and much more, it will also give you a unique perspective on how to thrive personally and professionally.

Great Books Flexible Major

This 90-credit curriculum gives you room to explore 30 elective credits for a more customized academic program.

Great Books Core with Choice of Major

Explore ancient, modern, and Christian thought with the 75-credit curriculum while devoting 45 credits to your major.

The Honors College emphasizes the fundamental questions of human and divine realities. The answers to these questions are then placed in the context of the students’ lives, creating a solid basis for spiritual, professional, and personal happiness.

The Close-Knit Community

The most enduring aspect of the Abbey’s Honors College is its strong sense of community. Students are nurtured and strengthened throughout their studies through relationships with the program’s #1 ranked faculty and like-minded students. Here, students forge deep bonds with peers and faculty, creating a supportive and nurturing environment where growth is encouraged and celebrated. It is unsurprising that genuine and lasting friendships emerge in such an atmosphere and among young persons of excellent character.

Helen Behe, a 2023 graduate of the Honors College, remarks on the gift of this program: “Being in the Honors College means being a part of something bigger than yourself. It’s a community of students who, encouraged by their professors, approach each text with wonder and their unique way of seeking truth.”

Joined by a community of friends with shared aspirations and values, she is one of many students who have been transformed by this program, propelling them toward truth and goodness.

Learning Beyond the Classroom

Through travel opportunities and immersive experiences, Honors students are encouraged to broaden their horizons and engage with the world around them. Whether attending a symphony or embarking on a journey to Ireland, these experiences instill in students the confidence to navigate the complexities of the modern world and the skills they need to thrive in an ever-changing landscape.

Community and Cultural Events Include:

  • Lectures and conferences
  • Abbey By the Sea beach retreat
  • Study abroad in Ireland
  • Bonfires
  • Academic retreats
  • Dinners and parties
  • Honors Ball

Rooted in the Catholic faith, the Honors College equips students with the knowledge, understanding, and wisdom conducive to a happy life of genuine flourishing. A life of leisure and learning amidst the natural grandeur of the Abbey ignites in its students a passion for knowledge and invites gratitude to God.

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