Torrey Honors Institute - Undergraduate


The Torrey Honors Institute is a general education program in the liberal arts for undergraduates at Biola University. It is dedicated to forming leaders through the study of the master works of Western civilization, with a special emphasis on the Bible and Christian authors. Students in the program, who come from a variety of majors, are outstanding examples of academic ability, Christian character, and potential for leadership. They learn in a rigorous discussion group format to think and express themselves clearly in both verbal and written forms.

Program Plan

The Torrey Honors Institute is the most rigorous general education course of studies at this University. Its courses fulfill the liberal arts requirements for a four-year degree at Biola in the following areas: Communication, English, Literature, Fine Arts, History, Philosophy and Behavioral Science. Torrey courses also fulfill the biblical and theological studies requirements (30 credits) for a four-year degree at Biola. Students need 60 credits in Torrey to satisfy these general education requirements. To gain a four-year degree, students must meet all other academic, social, and spiritual requirements of Biola University.

Torrey Certificate

A student who completes the full Torrey program (64 credits including thesis) will be awarded the Torrey Honors Institute Certificate. A student need not graduate from Biola University to receive the Certificate, and a student can graduate without earning the Certificate. Certificates are presented at a special ceremony.

Advanced Placement Credit

Although most Torrey students will have earned Advanced Placement credit in high school, they will not be exempted from any Torrey required classes. Advanced Placement courses are helpful in preparing the student for Torrey, but not equivalent to Torrey classes in style, content or rigor.

Transfer Students

The Torrey Honors Institute does accept transfer students in some cases. In exceptional cases, owing to outstanding academic merit, applications for admission from transfer students may be considered. Transferred credits may satisfy some standard Biola general education requirements, and major prerequisites not covered by Torrey coursework; however, they will under no circumstances be accepted as satisfying any Torrey Honors Institute course requirements. Students who leave the Torrey program, and who wish to transfer their credits in Torrey to Biola's general education program should first consult the Office of the Registrar.

Torrey Houses

The curriculum included in the Morgan and Johnson House models meet the general education requirements as reflected below. However, the content is encapsulated in either 4-credit (Morgan) or 8-credit (Johnson) models.

Torrey Off-Campus Programs

Torrey Off-Campus Programs offer opportunities to live and study away from the Biola campus for credit. Students read books, attend lectures, participate in discussion groups, and visit cultural points of interest in the area they are visiting. Past Torrey Off-Campus Programs have included trips to Rome, Europe, and Cambridge. The credits from these programs may be applied to Morgan House YMDT 310, YMDT 325, YMDT 410 and/or YMDT 465; or Johnson House YMDT 304, YMDT 401 and/or YMDT 402. With approval, YMDT 492 may be substituted in place of YMDT 480.

Torrey Off-Campus

Torrey Off-Campus consists of an intensive tutorial experience that takes place during Interterm or Summer sessions. Students read books, attend lectures, participate in discussion groups, and visit cultural points of interest. Torrey Off-Campus provides the opportunity for spiritual bonding and intellectual growth in a more intensive and intimate environment than is possible during the school year. Students are supervised and led by a tutor in the Torrey Honors Institute and are able to interact with other stimulating leaders.

YMDT 492Torrey Off-Campus1-4
Total Credits1-4

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Torrey Honors Institute, students will be able to:

  1. Grasp and analyze key structures of a text(s) (ULO 1).
  2. Demonstrate proper and growing self-knowledge (ULO 2).
  3. Contribute in intellectual discussion confidently, critically, and charitably (ULO 3).

Admission Requirements

The Torrey Honors Institute is highly selective. The average applicant to Torrey is among the top ten percent of students planning to attend Biola University in terms of academic, social, and spiritual leadership. High school students wishing to apply to Torrey should take four years of each of the core disciplines. Torrey applicants should have completed successfully some honors or Advanced Placement work, if such is available at their high schools. Students wishing to enroll in any courses in the Torrey Honors Institute must have outstanding skills in both written and spoken English. The prospective student will demonstrate the former in the Torrey application and the latter by a personal interview.

Morgan House Curriculum Requirements

Program Courses
YMDT 110Greek Thought (Meets ARTS 100, COMM 100, COMM 200)4
YMDT 111Old Testament Beginnings (Meets BBST 103)4
YMDT 122Church Fathers and Life of Christ (Meets BBST 165)8
YMDT 125Greco-Roman Thought (Meets BBST 210; ENGL 112, 230)4
YMDT 214Medieval and Reformation Thought (Meets HIST 100 or 101; PHIL 214)8
YMDT 217Pauline Epistles (Meets BBST 306)4
YMDT 220Early Modern Thought (Meets HIST 200; Behavioral Science)8
YMDT 226Wisdom Literature (Meets BBST 209)4
YMDT 310Revivalism and Romanticism (Meets BBST 251)4
YMDT 325Nineteenth Century Thought (Meets BBST 354)4
YMDT 410America (Meets BBST 300/400, BBST 365)4
YMDT 465Twentieth Century Thought (Meets BBST 465)4
Total Credits60

Johnson House Curriculum Requirements

Program Courses
YMDT 101On Origins (Meets BBST 103; ENGL 112)8
YMDT 102On Desire (Meets BBST 209; ARTS 100; COMM 100, COMM 200)8
YMDT 205On Community (Meets ENGL 230; HIST 200)8
YMDT 202On Knowing God (Meets BBST 210, BBST 251)8
YMDT 303On the Cosmos (Meets HIST 100 or HIST 101; PHIL 214)8
YMDT 304On Learning and Knowledge (Meets BBST 165, BBST 354; Behavioral Science)8
YMDT 401On History and Rhetoric (Meets BBST 300/400, BBST 306, BBST 365)8
YMDT 402On the Future (Meets BBST 465)4
Total Credits60

YMDT 490, 491 and 492

Students may receive credit for the following courses via registration for YMDT 490, YMDT 491 or YMDT 492 with permission of faculty mentor and program director: YMDT 3041, YMDT 310, YMDT 325, YMDT 401, YMDT 4021, YMDT 410, YMDT 465.

Students may combine YMDT 490, YMDT 491, or YMDT 492 to replace a maximum of 16 upper-division credits throughout their undergraduate career, while taking no more than 12 credits of the same course number. Any requested substitution beyond this is subject to written approval from the director.


 Johnson House students may substitute 8 credits of YMDT 490, YMDT 491, or YMDT 492 in place of YMDT 304 or YMDT 401 or 16 credits of YMDT 490, YMDT 491, or YMDT 492 in place of YMDT 304 and YMDT 401.