Political Science is one of the most popular degree programs in colleges and universities across the nation. At Grace College, students find rich opportunities to learn the inner workings of the political process while being challenged with the Christian responsibility to promote peace and justice in a troubled world.
Students who want a Political Science degree along with a concentrated focus on foreign language work are encouraged to complete the BA in Political Science. This degree program retains the strong emphasis on both theory and applied learning as well as the strong integration of faith and learning. Those who do not desire a language component, but want the ability to conduct statistical research should choose the BS option.
Examples of courses in this major:
This course includes several approaches to political philosophy. First, it provides a general overview of the dominant political ideologies from the ancient to the contemporary world. Second, it provides a general survey of some of the most influential political thinkers whose writings and theories have given rise to the modern political landscape. This will focus heavily on the development of western political thought but may include selections from Islamic civilization, southeast Asia, or other non-western contexts. Third, this course will include an introduction to more recent thinkers, or even popular personalities, whose work is relevant to the intersection of faith and politics.
This is an examination of the structure and interplay between state, county, and local governments. Issues such as social security, zoning, welfare, public health, and the environment will be examined from the point of view of how they originate at the local levels, yet how they exist and grow within federal guidelines. This contains a module on Indiana politics and history.
This is an investigation into the principles and concepts which govern the relationship of the United States with the nations of the global community.
From major world religions to a host of small religious movements, the variety of religious expression in America is almost endless. Indeed, religious pluralism and diversity has become one of the defining features of American society. Naturally, this diverse religious landscape has not taken shape over night. Rather, it has developed over centuries and has included a complex spectrum of theological approaches, ethical positions, charismatic men and women, ordinary citizens and even political involvement. This course is meant to provide students with an introduction to the religious diversity in America while emphasizing its historical context and development.
This course examines the religious origins, political development, and geographic expansion of the Islamic World and its relationship to western society. It addresses the relationship between Islam, Judaism and Christianity, examines the Crusades, the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict as well as recent political tensions between the United States and the Middle East since the 1970s. It also examines perceptions of Islam as well as the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and Jihadist movements.
The individuals who will challenge you to learn:
B.A. in Humanities, Columbia International University; M.A. in Church History, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Ph.D. in Religious Studies (Historical Division), University of Iowa
Dr. Jared Burkholder specializes in American religious history. He has published research on the history of American evangelicalism, eighteenth century Moravian communities, and Anabaptists in North America. Dr. Burkholder teaches courses in American history, politics, religion, and the Middle East. He has traveled and researched in Europe, led a group of students on a study tour of Mexico, and is engaged in various writing projects including co-editing a history of Grace College and Seminary entitled Becoming Grace (BMH 2015). He enjoys do-it-yourself home projects, restoring antique clocks and traveling. Jared and his wife, Connie, are originally from Pennsylvania and have three children.
B.A. in History and English, Spring Arbor University; M.Sc. in British History, University of Edinburgh, U.K.; Ph.D. in British History, University of Edinburgh, U.K.
Dr. Mark Norris is Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, professor of European and world history, and he advises pre-law and social studies education students. Dr. Norris is engaged in various writing projects dealing with Tudor England, the history of India, and religion in America during the early part of the twentieth century. Additionally, he co-edited a volume on the history of Grace College and Seminary entitled Becoming Grace (BMH 2015). Dr. Norris has taken students on study trips to Scotland, India, and to areas in the South that were instrumental in the Civil Rights movement. He also is coach of the Grace Mediation team. Dr. Norris and his wife, Marla, have three children and live in Warsaw, Indiana.
B.A. in History, Bob Jones University; Transition to Teaching - Social Studies Education, Grace College; M.A. in Biblical Studies, Baptist Bible College; ACSI Educator's Certificate, Secondary Social Studies
Professor Elrod specializes in Political Science and teaches several courses including World Geography, American Government, and Introduction to Political Thought. He has taought social studies at the secondary school level for ten years. He will begin working toward his doctorate in political science in the fall of 2013. Joseph is a baseball enthusiast and has a goal of visiting every major league baseball field in the country. He and his wife Emily have three children and live in Lafayette, Indiana.
Some of the positions you can obtain:
Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, and manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.
Those in government positions write legislation, promote political platforms, represent their constituents and support the nation’s legal structures. Naturally, they are required to understand political history, the campaign process, the internal functions of government and the relationships that governments throughout the world have with each other.
Many government and federal agencies, both domestically and internationally, employ a host of individuals from the public sector to fill positions in security, administration, intelligence, and relief efforts. A degree in Political Science provides an excellent foundation for these areas of employment.
There are various ways that those with a strong background in Political Science serve our society through their expert knowledge and experience. Media outlets, news agencies, government officials and public administrators hire specialists to provide informed and thoughtful insights about today’s political landscape and current events.
Political scientists are often employed as educators who teach at the college or university level. More than delivering content in the classroom, professionals in this area engage in the political arena by writing books, conceptualizing new political theories and making connections between political history and today’s political climate.
A background in Political Science lends itself well to serving as an advocate for any number of social issues in which individuals may get involved. From lobbying congress to coming alongside the oppressed and needy, there are a myriad of ways to call attention to society’s problems and address issues of human and civil rights. Much of this is often done in conjunction with public institutions, government agencies, as well as federal and local legislation.
What others are saying:
The Department of History and Political Science at Grace College has challenged me to think objectively about historical events and topics in order to present a fair and accurate assessment of the past. This valuable skill has spilled over into most aspects of my life and has provided me clarity in studying and preaching the word of God.
- Tiler Reese, B.A. History (political science minor), graduating 2015
The Department of History and Political Science provides an engaging and helpful approach to politics. I have found my professors to be knowledgeable, professional, and truly concerned for my spiritual health and as a result, I'm challenged every day to consider the way my faith intersects with current political issues. The department is training leaders that will skillfully engage our society's political landscape.
—Nathan Landrum, B.S., Social Studies Education (political science concentration), 2012