Concordia’s honors program draws upon the vast and talented pool of professors from throughout the university to help structure and teach the honors curriculum. Our instructors represent a broad range of disciplines from environmental sciences to Greek and Roman history – and everything in between. Read on to meet the team who comprise our honors program faculty.

Kurt Bergdolt

Kurt Bergdolt
ART 121H

Joel Davis

Joel Davis
REL 371H

My honors humanities class brings together history, art, literature, philosophy, and theology, offering plenty of room for discussion and group presentations. Through these thoughtful and weighty exchanges, we all grow together in our knowledge and ability to dialogue. One unique aspect of our program is the emphasis on using the city as a classroom – comparing and contrasting art from two different periods at the Portland Art Museum, for example. For me, an honest conversation about the ways in which terror and oppression are understood and implemented in society is liberating. Only when we know the world as it truly exists can we proceed to try and make it a better place.

Ted Engelbrecht

Ted Engelbrecht
REL 371H

As a lifelong Lutheran, it is an honor and pleasure to be able to teach at Concordia. Through a long and varied career serving overseas in Asia, it is gratifying to be able to share some of my knowledge and experience of Asia with my students, hopefully bringing a different perspective to classes and learning. The interactive format of the class is a tremendous benefit to everyone involved. The possibility of more informed discussion and deeper treatment is a huge plus of the honors program and increases the knowledge for both the students and the professor.

Dick Hill

Dick Hill
Emeritus; HUM 351H

During my 40 years plus teaching career at Concordia, my goal remained the same: to “pay it forward” for all the great teachers who inspired me. Teaching honors students is a joy because they are willing to take on the “big questions” as we push each other to become better people and to create a learning community. Honors students are multi-talented: athletes, musicians, dancers, sci-fi buffs, and student leaders on campus. I feel especially energized in these classes and, like Hemingway’s description of writers, when I teach honors students, I get to use the 90% of the iceberg under the surface, as we get to know each other and dive deep into the topics we discuss. This humanizes the classroom. Teaching honors students is humbling, challenging — and fun.

Gerd Horten

Gerd Horten
HUM 288/488H

I like to teach honors classes because, quite frequently, the range of the conversation is wider and the perspectives expressed are often more diverse. And, if all goes well, we arrive at deeper and richer insights at the end of the day.

Kim Knutsen

Kim Knutsen
WR 304H

I love to teach honors students because they are not only smart and driven, they are often hilarious and very entertaining in the classroom!

William Kuhn

William Kuhn
MUS 121H

Chad Lakies

Chad Lakies
REL 401H

Honors courses are some of the most fun of my whole year. The best thing about them is that the students know each other so well from having taken a handful of courses together before they reach the one I teach. I get the great privilege of being able to step into that and enjoy the students while we explore some challenging but fascinating stuff together. They’re always ready to engage, always prepared with the course materials, and even go above and beyond to connect our course experiences with those from their life and other courses. I look forward to each hour I get to spend with honors students.

Erin Mueller

Erin Mueller
Director; HON 488

I have the privilege of teaching the honors senior capstone course where we contemplate what kind of world they will enter as they graduate. We explore how they see their futures from societal, political, psychological, spiritual, and other standpoints. It is highly fulfilling to get to spend some quality time with these students as they near the end of their Concordia journey. They have such insightful ideas to share, and they truly enrich my life. I continue to be encouraged by them and deeply hopeful of the future. It is a true gift to be a part of their Honors experience!

Reed Mueller

Reed Mueller
PSY 201H

Teaching the principles of psychology for honors students forces me to think more deeply about the value of the field to our communities and in individual lives. In teaching this section, I have to go beyond covering content to consideration of why the content matters. Working with honors students challenges my latent pessimism about the future. While there is much in our world that is troubling to me, I tend to be more hopeful when I stop and consider that our honors students are here because they desire to use their strong minds toward the positive transformation of society.

Tom Shuell

Tom Shuell
MTH/PSY 231H

Michael Thomas

Michael Thomas
REL 211H

Teaching honors courses allows me to learn along with my students. They come prepared to class, bring insightful comments, prompt me to defend my ideas, and are critical in their reception of information that is provided. They keep me on top of my game, yet they do this with respect. All professors want to teach bright and engaged students. We’ve dedicated our lives to teaching, and it’s a wonderful experience to teach students who are not only eager to learn but who are also willing to share their own thoughtful insights. It’s liberal arts education at its best!

Become a Cavalier! Submit your application for enrollment today.

503-280-8501
APPLY
GET INFO