The Honors Journal of Olivet Nazarene University

The name Olivet comes from Mount Olivet, or the Mount of Olives, a hill outside Jerusalem known in ancient times for its olive groves and which featured prominently in Christ’s life and ministry. Olives have been cultivated for thousands of years and hold rich theological symbolism (the olive branch as a symbol of peace, for instance, or anointing with olive oil). In selecting a name for this journal, we wanted a title that drew upon the symbolism and history in Olivet’s name itself.

ELAIA (el’AYE’ah) is the phonetic spelling of the Greek word for olive. The symbolism is apt in more ways than one: olive trees take years to mature and bear fruit, and the research contained in this journal is likewise the fruit of these students’ years of labor. Like the olive tree, we pray these students continue to grow, cultivate deep roots, and bear the fruits of peace and holiness in all their scholarly endeavors.

Current Issue: Volume 1, Issue 1 (2018)

Each fall, the Honors Program at Olivet Nazarene University admits a small number of academically-gifted students into its freshman class. From the moment they set foot on our campus, these women and men join a community of scholars, and together they read, reflect upon, and discuss the most important ideas of the past and present—all within a Christian fellowship. The first two years of the program involve a series of Honors courses, taught by a team of faculty and modeled on the historic “old-time college,” where small class relationships, interdisciplinary discussion, and debate prevailed.

In the junior and senior years, the Honors program shifts its focus away from the classroom to the laboratory or library. There, students work on a capstone scholarship project within their major that involves original research and writing. Honors students gain experience comparable to what happens at large research institutions, as they work one-on-one with a faculty mentor and alongside their classmates in research seminars to conceive and complete their individual projects. For our graduates— many of whom go on to advanced study in medicine, law, or other fields—scholarship becomes a deeply personal, transformative, and spiritually meaningful act. Throughout their four years, Honors students ultimately learn how to love God with their minds, as well as their hearts.

Over the years, the Program has continued to grow and flourish, and the depth of its research continues to increase. This inaugural journal represents the fruits of that development, containing capstone research projects from the 2018 Honors Program senior class and their faculty mentors. The Table of Contents is diverse, and in that way it is a crystal clear reflection of our program’s community of scholars. I, along with the members of the Honors Council, am gratified by the work of each student and faculty mentor printed within these pages. Congratulations, everyone!

- Stephen Lowe, Honors Program Director



ELAIA 2018
Stephen Case