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Honors Foundation Courses

Meet the Faculty!

Dr. Ross

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Dr. Trish Ross

I am a historian with broad interests in the histories of religion and of science.  My research currently centers on the history of science, medicine, and religion between 1500-1800. In the Honors Program, I teach classes on the histories of science and religion, including foundational sequence classes on the development of science and religion from the ancient world to the present. I grew up in a beautiful spot in rural Northeast Pennsylvania that instilled me a great love for nature and being out in it. I like puns, books, dogs, music of almost all kinds, basketball, tennis, and soccer. I enjoy traveling, cycling, running, and hiking. 


Why do you love teaching honors freshmen and/or honors in general?
Teaching in the Honors Programs is one of the great joys of my life because I love the fact that I can help build and be part of a community with students and colleagues, both inside and outside the classroom.  


What is your favorite thing about honors classes?
My favorite thing about Honors classes is that they are small enough that I can really get to know each student and that there is a chance for everyone to share and contribute to our class.


What is your preferred title? For instance, would "Honors Faculty Fellow" be appropriate?
Resident Assistant Professor
 

Dr. Dever

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Dr. J. Dever

J. Columcille (Colum) Dever, a native of North Carolina, is Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities and Resident Assistant Professor in the Honors Program at Creighton University. Dr. Dever joined the Honors Program in 2021 after completing his PhD in the Department of Theology (History of Christianity) at the University of Notre Dame, where he focused on patristic and medieval theology, the history of biblical exegesis, and modern Catholic systematic theology. He holds an M.T.S. from Duke Divinity School (2015), where he focused on Early Christian Studies, and a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in Philosophy and Classics (2011). Dr. Dever’s teaching and research interests focus on the intersection of classical and Judeo-Christian texts and culture in Late Antiquity the Middle Ages, the theological interpretation of Christian Scripture, and the engagement of art and literature with theology, ancient and modern. 
 
Why do you love teaching honors freshmen and/or honors in general?
 
 “With my friends as companions,” says Xenophon’s Socrates, “I open up and scrutinize the treasures the wise men [and women] of old have passed down by writing their books. If we see some good thing, we point it out and think it a great gain if we can be useful to one another.” I love teaching in Honors because it preserves something essential about the Socratic vision of education that I admire so much, while elevating, even transfiguring that vision in the light of the Catholic and Jesuit tradition. We don’t only care about the cultivation of the intellect in Honors, but aim to care for the whole human person, educating the mind and the heart in how to live a good human life. For the early Christian authors I study, living well requires cultivating the habits of patience and discernment that will enable a person to grow in what St. Ignatius Loyola calls “devotion,” or “ease in finding God.” In Honors, I get to share with students the breadth and the depth of the Christian vision of reality, in which “seeds of the Word” have been broadcast throughout the diverse genres and media we thoughtfully engage and discuss together. Finding God there, in the aspirations of ancient philosophy, the pathos of epic poetry and drama, the search for meaning in contemporary literature and film, as well as in the biblical and historical sources foundational to Christian faith, can help us see how God is working in our own lives, to understand ourselves as known and loved by God, and to find meaning in loving and serving others for God’s “greater glory.”     
 
What is your favorite thing about honors classes?
 
I was drawn to the study of theology because of its capaciousness. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, the subject of theology is God, first and foremost. But it’s also, St. Thomas thinks, about everything else in relation to God. One of my favorite things about Honors classes is that I get to do theology – to think and write and talk about God – but I also get to think and write and talk about (almost) everything else! I get to do that, because the Creighton Honors students actually want to have those big picture conversations, to ask and earnestly seek answers to those enduring questions of human concern that you can’t help but ask once they grab ahold of you. We get to search for answers to questions about the nature of the human person and the practices constitutive of the good life, in light of humanity’s relationship to God and creation as members of a community committed to seeking and finding the truth. So, my favorite thing about Honors classes is the students in them, who are striving to develop as independent thinkers and conscientious moral agents capable of achieving all of their noble aspirations, whatever their specific vocation may be. 
 
What is your preferred title? For instance, would "Honors Faculty Fellow" be appropriate?
Postdoctoral Fellow in Humanities and Resident Assistant Professor