What is Civitas?

Intellectual challenge is at the heart of an Augustana education. Some students desire an even more academically rigorous and focused experience.  We encourage those students to become part of Augustana’s Civitas Honors Program. Civitas is the Latin word for citizenship.

The Civitas Honors Program encourages students to explore the characteristics of citizenship though small, innovative classes that explore contemporary issues as they relate to citizenship on the Augustana campus, in the United States and across the globe.

The foundation of the Civitas Program is Lutheran theologian Deitrich Bonhoeffer’s essay The Structure of Responsible Life. In it, Bonhoeffer explores the roles of deputyship, pertinence, justice, freedom and vocation in a life of citizenship. The Civitas program offers courses that explore these characteristics of responsible living and bridge academic disciplines. Some examples of Civitas courses include:

  • Justice: The Ethics and Ecology of Food
  • Justice - The Quest for Justice from Plato to Genesis to Job
  • Freedom - The Sound of Freedom: Music History and Literature of the Non-Western World
  • Freedom – Race and Freedom in America, 1600-Present
  • Pertinence - Germs Gone Wild: The Influence of Disease on Civilizations
  • Pertinence - Numb3rs: Modeling the Environment

Honors courses are not simply about reading more books or writing extra papers for standard college courses. Instead, the program offers courses with innovative content, creative teaching strategies, generous faculty/student interaction, and interdisciplinary foci that help students translate their education into action at the local, national, and global level.

Civitas is the college-wide, interdisciplinary honors program. Many students also choose to pursue departmental honors within their major(s).