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    Jul 21, 2024  
Lee University Catalog 2023-2024 
Lee University Catalog 2023-2024 [Archived Catalog]

Kairos Scholars Honors Program


The Kairos Scholars honors program at Lee University exists for students whose purpose is to get the most out of their undergraduate college experience. The program offers a quality academic experience under the instruction of some of LeeU’s finest professors. It also offers a chance to be closely involved with a dedicated group of people who want to round out college life with meaningful activities outside the classroom. Kairos Scholars take a holistic approach to the college experience, emphasizing community, service and learning.  


The Kairos Scholars Honors Program fosters community. It is the longest running learning community on campus. One of the primary elements of the program is a chance to work alongside students who share similar priorities and goals. Fellow 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.


Kairos Scholars value service. The program is best for people who have a vision not only for themselves but also for others. This goes well beyond checking off boxes to meet school service requirements. Most Kairos Scholars engage in far more service than the required hours simply because they have a heart for helping others. The hundred or so Kairos Scholars are widely distributed among academic and service organizations across campus, where they often take leadership roles. This is just another way Kairos Scholars serve their community.


Kairos Scholars are dedicated to and prioritize their lives around learning. About 36 credit hours (12 courses) available to Kairos Scholars are exclusive classes designed especially for them. These classes are taught by some of Lee’s finest faculty with degrees from Harvard, UChicago, Penn State, UToronto, Emory and Marquette. Students engage in active scholarship as part of their classes and as part of the larger community on campus. Many of them present research at state and national student honors conferences or engage in other intercollegiate academic activities as part of the academic societies to which they belong. 


The benefits to being a part of Kairos Scholars include participation in a truly engaged learning community. In addition, students in the program receive the following:

  • Early priority course scheduling for every semester
  • Direct access to the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences for issues and concerns
  • Many courses specially designed for Kairos Scholars only and other customized curricular choices
  • A full calendar of cultural and academic events for enrichment
  • Unique opportunities for service and participation on and off campus
  • Special study abroad programs and summer courses
  • Kairos Scholars graduation medallion, cords and diploma
  • Honors courses designated on the student transcript (upon request)  


The Kairos Scholars form a society that relies heavily on the involvement of its members. The officers (the Advisory Council) work hard on a full and active annual agenda. That agenda is designed around student participants, their needs, their priorities and a collective vision for meaningful collegiate engagement. While the commitment to Kairos is vital for students to receive the benefits it has to offer, students should understand that it is not so burdensome as to make it difficult to be a part of many other student organizations and endeavors.

To remain a member in good standing of the Kairos Scholars, therefore, each student participant is expected to:

  • Maintain the requisite GPA of 3.5
  • Work toward the completion of 24 honors credit hours
  • Attend Kairos General Assemblies
  • Participate in Kairos campus and off-campus events

Because the program is designed to be a genuine learning community, all Kairos freshmen must take HONR-LU101, the honors freshmen seminar, and HONR-EN110 Rhetoric and Research (regardless of AP or dual enrollment) in their first semester and at least one other honors designated course in their second semester (see the course listing for more details). 


To be eligible to apply or to join Kairos Scholars, students must qualify for the Presidential Scholarship at Lee University (minimum score of 27 on the ACT or 1290 on the SAT).

Those who meet the above minimal requirement and are interested in being selected for the Kairos Scholars can find an application at By following the instructions there and paying special attention to the posted deadlines, applicants will be eligible for consideration by the selection committee.

Course Substitutions

Courses listed below currently substitute for general or religion core courses of the university or represent additional requirements for the honors student.

HONR-491-493 Honors Special Topics   1-3 hours
HONR-LU101 Honors Freshman Seminar   1 hour
HONR-EN110 Honors Rhetoric & Research   3 hours
HONR-BS112 Honors Environmental Science   4 hours
HONR-HU201 Honors Foundations of Western Culture    3 hours
HONR-HU202 Honors Rise of Europe   3 hours
HONR-HU301 Honors Foundations of Modern World   3 hours
HONR-MT270 Honors Logic and Sets   3 hours
HONR-PH241 Honors Introduction to Philosophy   3 hours
HONR-PL250 Honors American Government   3 hours
HONR-PY200 Honors Understanding Human Behavior    3 hours
HONR-TH230 Honors Introduction to Theology   3 hours
HONR-TH231 Honors Introduction to Christian Ethics   3 hours
HONR-450 Honors Directed Study    1 hour
HONR-xx399 Honors Independent Study (xx-Discipline Specific)   3 hours

Honors elective hours may be acquired through Colloquium (1-3 hrs), through Contract Courses in the major (HONR-450) or through Independent Study courses offered in Summer Sessions or as part of an Honors Study Abroad opportunity (HONR-399).

Admission Procedures

The early deadline to apply to the Kairos Scholars Honors Program is in March, with regular applications due in May, and a final deadline in June. Specific dates can be found on our website at  Applicants will be selected or waitlisted following each deadline. A total of twenty students will ultimately be accepted to participate in the program by July.  Preference will be shown to those who apply early.

Once decisions regarding admission into the program are made, applicants will be notified via email using the contact information provided by the applicant. The program director will work individually with each student to ascertain the course schedule and academic plan that works best for them. Rising sophomores may also apply for the program, understanding that criteria for admission and likelihood of course load fit will differ on a case by case basis. The honors program is designed to coincide with any major course of study, emphasizing coursework within the general education core.