Testimonials from Honors College Alumni


Abbey-Hannah Brant, ’19
Nursing Major

“The Honors College teaches me to wrestle with hard questions about the meaning of life, suffering, and virtue; the Linda Dunham School of Nursing equips me to live out my answers to those hard questions.”

Abbey-Hannah Brant currently works as a registered nurse in the Houston area. She was recently featured on HCU’s Podcast “Think About It.” You can watch the full segment here.


Christopher Atkins, ’17
Christianity Major

“As I pursue graduate and postgraduate studies, I am confident that the Honors College at HCU provided me with a solid foundation upon which to build. In addition to providing me with a knowledge base, the Honors College helped me cultivate a disposition toward honest, critical, and charitable inquiry, as well as a desire to read deep and wide, placing primary texts in primary position. Perhaps most importantly, the Honors College at HCU set me on a path of interdependent and interdisciplinary learning, wherein divergent and diversified voices receive due attention.”

Christopher recently earned his Masters of Arts in Religion from the School of Divinity at Yale University. He specialized in Ancient Judaism, Early Christianity and Hellenistic Philosophy. He began his PhD in Religious Studies at Yale in the fall semester of 2020.


Paige Holden, ’17
Christianity Major

The Honors College challenged me to fall in love with learning in a way that I had never thought to do before. In high school I was a straight A student, not because I enjoyed school but because I valued good grades. During my time in college I learned how to read for the sake of learning, in order that I might be formed, shaped, and challenged by new information. That was an invaluable experience for me, and I am a better minister because of it. In order to teach my students well I must first know how to read, evaluate, and ask good questions, all things that the Honors College truly equipped me to do.”

Paige earned her Masters in Divinity from George W. Truett Theological Seminary in December of 2019 and has recently taken a ministry position in Memphis, Tennessee.


Mariana Carretero Murillo, ’16

“The Honors College gave me a window into the conversations that humanity has been having through the centuries. The lectures and conversations with the Honors College professors and classmates gave me the power to think and reason for myself and to articulate my thoughts to others. I believe the Honors College helped shape me into the person I am today and gave me skills that are useful in every aspect of my life.”

M.D. Baylor College of Medicine (Neurodevelopmental Disabilities) | May 2022


Isaac Brocato, ’16
Biblical Languages Major

“I was a Biblical Studies major at HCU, and am now planning to enter into a new field of professional study to pursue a degree in International Affairs. Because of my Honors College education, I look forward to this challenge with excitement. The rigor set before me in my new studies will be hard, but it is not daunting because I have passed through the rigors of an Honors College education. As an Honors College alumnus, I have learned what it is to be a student of the liberal arts. Being grounded in the classics and trained to think for myself, I venture into the world ready to take on any challenge with my abilities to read, reason and write well.”

Having completed his Master’s Degree in International Affairs from the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C., Isaac is currently conducting missionary work in Ethiopia.


Nicholas Van Cleve, ’15
Biblical Languages & Philosophy

“As an attorney, I am so grateful for my time in the Honors College. The practice of law involves analyzing and applying texts to a set of observations about the world. It also involves uncovering stories that make sense of that analysis.

In the Honors College, we were provided an understanding of philosophy, logic, literature, history, speech, art, and more. We learned how each of these areas help us better understand God’s world and how to discern between fact and fiction. We learned to analyze texts and write persuasively about our findings. The experience enhanced my ability to reason, communicate, and commune with students who shared a common interest in learning and making the most of their collegiate experience.

I consider it a privilege to use skills cultivated in the Honors College for the best interest of those I represent on a daily basis. Looking back, I would not have had my time at HCU any other way.”

Nicholas Van Cleve graduated from Houston Christian University with a double major in Biblical Languages and Philosophy in 2015. He then went on to complete his J.D. at the University of Houston. He now serves as a litigation attorney in the Houston area.

Larry G. Freeney Jr., ’14
Psychology Major

“The fact that it is difficult is proof that you are learning. The next step is to take the knowledge that you have gained and apply it to your everyday life, to who you are as a person. In psychology, and in counseling, we call this assimilation. We have this new experience or knowledge and we take what works for us and discard the rest. The Honors College is a journey of what you are going to take with you and how you carry it throughout your life. No matter how difficult it is, no matter how much you are struggling, stick with it. You have to want it to achieve it. If you do have the want, and the desire to learn, it is a stepping-stone. At the end of the Honors College program, you will realize how what you are learning from semester to semester is designed to be intricately integrated and how it works together to form one whole.”

Larry G. Freeney, Doctoral Candidate, MA, LPC, NCC is currently employed as a Parish Counselor at Rejoice Counseling Apostolate and is working on two certifications: AFC (Accredited Financial Counselor) and CCMHC (Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor). In his PhD program, he is ABD (All but Dissertation) in Counselor Education and Supervision.


Shelby Doyle, ’13
Philosophy & Government, Double Major

The Honors College brings together all kinds of seemingly different people who actually share something very unusual and specific: a reflective, diligent approach to their education. When you share something like that, friendships develop with unexpected people and with unexpected depth.”

Shelby is currently the director of Communications and External Relations for National School Choice Week.