Huntington College character-development programs honored by Templeton Foundation

HUNTINGTON, IN —Huntington College is one of 45 colleges and universities nationally to be honored by the John Templeton Foundation for exemplary faculty and curricular programs aimed at developing students’ character. The organization’s new publication, The Templeton Guide: Colleges and Universities that encourage Character Development, recognizes Huntington College in a section highlighting classroom programs that require students to examine, reflect on, and articulate a set of moral ideals and commitments.

Altogether, the new publication profiles over 500 college programs that inspire students to lead ethical and civic-minded lives. The first of its kind, the guidebook features exemplary college programs in ten categories:

First-Year Programs
Academic Honesty Programs
Faculty and Curriculum Programs*
Volunteer Service Programs
Substance-Abuse Prevention Programs
Student Leadership Programs

Spiritual Growth Programs

Civic Education Programs

Character and Sexuality Programs

Senior-Year Programs

Huntington College has often been cited in the publications of the John Templeton Foundation. For example, the Christian liberal arts college was among 135 institutions listed in the Foundation’s 1997-1998 Honor Roll for Character-Building Colleges. That year, Huntington College’s student volunteer center was highlighted as an exemplary program.

The Templeton Guide listing is the second national honor for Huntington College this semester. In September, Huntington was ranked in the top tier of midwestern liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report. The Year 2000 college rankings mark the fifth consecutive year Huntington College has been so honored by the national news magazine.

“Huntington’s mission is to educate men and women to impact our world for Christ, so character-development is central to all we do on campus,” said President G. Blair Dowden. Founded in 1897, Huntington College offers graduate and undergraduate degrees in nearly 50 academic concentrations.


* Excerpts from the 1999 Templeton Guide
section on Faculty and Curriculum Programs

"At Huntington College, all academic disciplines—the arts, humanities, and sciences – are viewed as living, breathing expressions of God’s creative work. As a Christian college, Huntington is not a refuge from the contemporary world, but an arena for encounter with that work and creative response to it. The comprehensive Character Throughout Curriculum Program teaches students to develop cognitive skills for the formation of ethical judgments, and to become responsible individuals who positively influence moral reasoning and acting within the community. The program has three aspects:

· The College Life Class. Incoming students study values and decision-making in this 10-week seminar held at the beginning of each fall term. Meeting in small groups, students are helped to make positive choices about lifestyle standards and interpersonal relationships.

· The Senior Capstone Course. Before graduation, all students take this course, which focuses on socially responsible Christian responses to societal problems. Within the context of a predetermined theme, students have the opportunity to enrich the campus community as they work together to conduct research, solve problems, explore ethical questions, and make public presentations.

· The Spiritual Formation Program. Students are afforded many opportunities each week to participate in religious services, including two traditional chapel services, a weekly student-led evening worship service, weekly small group discussions, and monthly convocations. Faculty and staff are involved as well, and guest lecturers are brought in frequently.

As a result of their experiences in the Character Throughout Curriculum Program, Huntington College students are prepared to address issues in uncommon depth. They leave college with the confidence to question prevailing opinion and the academic preparation to provide leadership in a morally needy world.”


Background on The Templeton Guide

The Templeton Guide recognizes programs that represent the best practices in the field of character development during the college years. The programs were chosen through a highly selective review process that considered clarity of vision and statement of purpose; institutional resources; involvement of institutional leaders; impact on students, faculty, campus and community; integration into academic study; longevity; external awards and recognition; and assessment.

Dr. Arthur J. Schwartz, Ed.D., Director of Character Development Programs at the John Templeton Foundation, believes the institutions profiled in The Templeton Guide “are a model for colleges and universities nationwide.”

“With The Templeton Guide we hope to help prospective college students and their parents who want to know what colleges are doing to promote the core values of honesty, self-control, respect and service to those less fortunate,” said Schwartz. “The Templeton Guide identifies colleges that encourage students to understand the importance of personal and civic responsibility, which will help them succeed in college and beyond.”

Further information about The Templeton Guide is available online at


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