Jacob’s enthusiasm for Poly Sci, Religion, and Philosophy has allowed him to combine his interests to best achieve his goals of becoming a preacher and ultimately helping others.

Jacob Dye is a sophomore Honors Scholar who self-crafted and combined his passions into his own major - “Political Science, Philosophy, and Religion." After graduation he plans on attending seminary and becoming a preacher. Jacob is involved in many things on campus including being the secretary for the Calliopean Debate Society, the coordinator for Encounter, and other Spiritual Life groups. He enjoys playing tennis, golf, fishing, hiking, and sitting around campfires with friends.

My career aspiration is to be a preacher of some sort, and I want to use that platform to truly help people and address injustices in the world.
— Jacob Dye '19

We believe the best way to learn about our Honors Program and the Interdisciplinary Honors Diploma is from our students. Therefore, we used this opportunity to ask Jacob some questions that you may have been wondering.

Q. Why did you decide to create your own interdisciplinary honors diploma? Describe the major/minor.

A. I created my own major for a few reasons. One of the biggest reasons was simply that I had a broad range of interests, but they mainly filtered down into the same issues, and the major I created helps me combine all of my interests into one area of study.

Q. How did the faculty/staff help in the process?

A. The faculty was wonderful to work with through the process. Dr. Welch (I’m sure going to miss her) was originally going to be my main advisor. When she left, she checked with other professors to ensure the classes I needed would still be taught, Dr. Adam Wells (who I haven’t even met in person yet) in particular made sure that the Philosophy of Religion course I needed would be taught. My advisors are Dr. Lane and Dr. Reiff, and they were both extremely supportive and enthusiastic of my self-designed major. They have even agreed to co-teach an independent study for me on "Religion and Politics."

Q. What are the advantages of self-designing your own interdisciplinary honors diploma?

A. The biggest advantage to self-designing is that I got to put together a list of courses that all directly related to each other and my field of study - the relation between religion and politics. It freed up space to take classes that were directly beneficial to my career goals. Also, seminaries these days are looking for graduates with comprehensive majors, so this major allows me to add that to my resume, while still taking the core religion classes they are looking for.

Q. What would you tell first-year students about self-designing an interdisciplinary honors diploma?

A. To a first-year student interested in self-designing, I would say not to rush into it. I didn’t make this decision until halfway through my second semester, and didn’t finalize it until the very last few days of the semester. Until then, explore your options and your interests. Take advantage of the liberal arts education that Emory & Henry provides, and allow other things to capture your interest. I knew from the start that I wanted to study religion and politics, but I didn’t know how well philosophy fit in until I had taken a philosophy class. Its great if you begin the process with an idea of what you want, but always be open to change, and don’t be afraid to try new things.


*All photos were provided by Jacob Dye