A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. (Proverbs 25:11)
Kairos (καιρός) is a Greek word denoting “the right time”, particularly in the sense of an opportune moment — to act decisively in this moment is to secure the blessings of fortune, while to pass it by is to forever lament its loss. The Kairos Scholars Honors Program at Lee aspires to be this sort of catalyst for undergraduate students, offering them an experience of contemplation, virtue, and true friendship.An undergraduate education is foremost an education of the soul, equipping young men and women with a vision of the life well-lived. Combining Lee’s commitment to liberal education with our Christian faith, Kairos begins the work of cultivation by committing itself to three pillars that will serve as the foundation for this complete life: Community, Service, and Learning.
At the heart of a liberal education is the desire to be changed by the things we learn. Rather than simply appropriate a collection of facts (ἐπιστήμη), we seek wisdom (σοφία), which allows us to understand these particular truths in light of the whole. One of the key ways this happens is through a dialectical community, emphasizing discussion among friends. Kairos develops this context through a cohort curriculum of the General Education Core — those classes that will serve as a foundation of knowledge for living well — as well as robust extracurricular programming. This significant interaction with one’s peers in the Honors Program builds familiarity, friendship, and trust — essential elements for genuine questioning and ultimately understanding.
Kairos alumni frequently remember the Honors Program as a sort of “home” for them at Lee. It is a place where, regardless of major, students can feel included and appreciated. Their shared vision and love of learning leads to a natural inquisitiveness that breaks down disciplinary boundaries. Kairos scholars take seriously the role of supporting one another during difficult portions of the collegiate journey, and they embrace one another’s dreams and projects. As they learn and serve together, Kairos scholars begin to understand their place in the larger community around them and hopefully their responsibilities as citizens of their localities, their countries, and the world.
Part of being in a community is learning a disposition of service. As members of the Body of Christ, we are committed foremost in our service to God. Part of the holistic development of Kairos students is the cultivation of a spiritual community where students worship together, pray together, and bear one another’s burdens. Therefore, mentoring is an essential element of the Honors Program, wherein upperclassmen volunteer to be paired with incoming freshmen. Students are also given the opportunity to serve Kairos as a whole, taking on leadership roles within the organization. These student officers orient the vision, trajectory, and execution of Kairos. Outside of Kairos, our students frequently serve in leadership roles throughout campus and are heavily involved in the university’s T.A. and tutoring positions. Finally, Kairos is dedicated to serving the broader community, and service projects are a required and integral component of their honors experience.
The facilitation of learning is, of course, the primary work of the university. Kairos is composed of students distinguished not only by their academic talent, but by their unique dedication to learning across the curriculum. The Honors Program cultivates this passion and ability by providing its students with small classes (usually fewer than 15 students) selected for the centrality of the questions they ask. These are taught by faculty known for both their disciplinary expertise and their ability to foster robust discussion.
We embrace the interdisciplinary nature of a liberal arts education, resisting the temptation to ask the joyless question, “When am I ever going to use this?” Karios students are the Biology majors who love poetry, Political Science majors who ponder theology, or Theatre majors who get excited about geometry. The Kairos curriculum utilizes a cohort model where students proceed through the General Education Core together, carrying conversations between classes and learning from each other, even as they learn from their professors. Honors courses emphasize discussion and analysis over memorization, and culminating in thesis-driven research papers. The courses are challenging, but in the best way: with a view to the development and success of the students who take them.
- Early Registration
- Honors Advising and Mentoring
- Access to unique elective offerings
- Special study abroad and summer programs
- Honors diploma and medallion
- A robust calendar of social, cultural, and academic events
- Active participation in the life of the community
- Regular attendance of Kairos extracurricular activities
- Maintain a 3.5 or higher GPA
- Complete a minimum of 24 honors credit hours upon graduation
- Minimum score of 27 on the ACT or 1290 on the SAT
- Commitment to the goals and principles of the program