Whether you are looking to go on to graduate work or immediately to the workplace, a bachelor's degree in sociology will help you understand how humans are shaped by their interactions and will provide information on how to relate well with others in your world—all from a biblical vantage-point.
The Sociology major focuses on looking at the nature of social relationships and interaction with others through a biblical set of “glasses.” We believe the Bible has much to say about relationships with others, what can cause problems, and solutions to those problems. Sociology is the study of the development, structure, interaction and collective behavior of organized groups of human beings. Most people who think of themselves as sociologists or have the word sociologist in their job title have education and training at the graduate level. Most people who have earned a bachelor's degree in sociology apply their knowledge and skills to a wide variety of jobs in areas such as business, health care, criminal justice, social services and government.
The purpose of the Sociology major is to familiarize you with the content and concepts of sociology from both the Bible and the secular world and to prepare you for graduate school, work in the field or work outside of the field. You will take courses in various areas of sociology, including social problems, marriage and the family and leadership. We emphasize the practical side of sociology along with the content needed as a foundation. One of the greatest strengths of this major is the faculty, who will not only teach you, but also journey with you over the next few years. Our faculty have years of practical experience in the behavioral science field, and many continue to work in their various areas of expertise. Many are engaged in research, and all have a commitment to the Word of God as the foundation of their work. They are also committed to seeing their students succeed and grow, even after graduation.
Examples of courses in this major:
An introductory study of the principles and techniques of investigation and data collection in the social sciences. The course will deal with techniques of organizing, conducting, analyzing and presenting such data.
An introductory study of humans functioning in society. Basic principles of sociology will be discussed, including organization, structure, strata and problems in American society. Emphasis will be placed on observational techniques that will help to develop a spirit of active participation in the world.
A study of the family as a basic social institution with its cultural variations. Emphasis is upon premarital and marital factors that contribute to a successful marriage or to family disorganization. Christian ideals for wholesome courtship and family living are stressed.
This course provides an analysis of a section of major social problems related to social inequalities, problems of social institutions, behavioral deviance, global social problems we face today and the pathology of group relations.
An examination of the urbanization process, the dynamics of the urban “explosion” and its implications world-wide. Particular attention is given to subcultural groupings and to the social and subcultural interactions that characterize the urban experience. The inherent problems of urban growth and the enactment of urban policies designed to address those problems are also considered. Students are given first-hand exposure to the urban environment.
The individuals who will challenge you to learn:
B.A. in Psychology, Grace College; M.A. in Biblical Counseling, Grace College; M.Div., Grace Theological Seminary; Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Ball State University
Thomas Edgington joined the Grace College faculty in 1992. He is a licensed psychologist and mental health counselor, who has practiced in community mental health centers, church counseling centers and private practice. He is involved in ongoing research and has interests in marriage counseling and counseling depression and anxiety.
B.S. in Psychology, Grace College; M.A. in Counseling, Colorado Christian; Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology, Adler School of Psychology.
Joe Graham began teaching in the Behavioral Science Department in 2011. He brings a wealth of experience as a counselor, including work in group homes, community mental health centers and a church counseling center. As a licensed psychologist, Graham specializes in adolescents and marital therapy and has eight years of teaching experience.
B.S. in Criminal Justice and Psychology, Grace College; M.A. in Counseling, Grace College; Psy.D., Adler School of Professional Psychology
Kevin Roberts' special interests include integrated health care practices and behavioral medicine and addiction treatment. In addition, he is working with the Kosciusko County Health Department on a two–year research grant from the K21 Foundation to study behavioral health intervention in the treatment of diabetes. The basic hypothesis driving the research purports that it is possible to improve the long-term health outcomes of individuals diagnosed with Type II Diabetes by adding a psychological component to their treatment. His research is driving toward improved patient outcomes and health care efficiency through integrated care practices.
B.A. in Psychology, Grace College; M.A. in Counseling and Personnel, Western Michigan University
Cindy Sisson joined Grace in 2002, and is currently the V.P. of Enrollment Management. She also teaches in the college's School of Behavioral Science and School of Adult and Community Education. She and her husband have three children, and they attend Warsaw Community Church.
B.M., William Tyndale College; M.A. in Counseling, Eastern Michigan University; Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and Educational Leadership, Western Michigan University
Jim Swanson, vice president for Academic and Student Services, joined the Grace College faculty in 1995. In addition to his role in student life, he is an instructor in the GOAL Program and for the School of Behavioral Sciences. He has professional counseling licenses in Michigan and Indiana. His special interests include marriage and family, addictions, statistics and crisis intervention.
B.A. in Psychology, University of Michigan; M.S. in Clinical Psychology, Baylor University; Psy.D. Baylor University
Lisa Wooley joins the Grace faculty as assistant professor of behavioral science. She received her master’s degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from Baylor University and is a licensed psychologist in Indiana. She has worked for the Bowen Center for the past 15 years and has training in parent interactional training, with specialization in play therapy, child and adolescent therapy, trauma, sexual abuse, anxiety, attachment disorders and ADHD. Her theoretical orientation is on object relations and her primary research interests include play therapy, attachment issues and trauma.
Some of the positions you can obtain:
Providing wellness coaching, education, support and referrals to various health and wellness programs. Use techniques such as motivational interviewing, behavior change and cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to help people achieve optimal health and well being.
Manage client inquiries by gathering information and responding to questions. Work to research and resolve problems in a timely manner. Assist members in understanding and maximizing the benefits and use of their program.
Working under the direction of a social worker or psychologist, human services assistants help clients obtain benefits or services, monitor case records of clients, and report progress of the clients to the supervisor.
Demographers study the make-up, distribution and trends of populations. They also make observations about the causes and effects of population changes such as increases in birth rates or immigration. Demographers collect statistical data, analyze the data to identify any trends, and then predict future trends. These predictions can help governments, social service agencies and private companies to plan ahead. Demographers are sometimes called population sociologists. Sociology is a broader field than demography and is concerned with the characteristics of social groups.
What others are saying:
The sociology program at Grace stoked my sociological imagination. My eyes were opened to the different levels and social systems operating throughout society. I began to understand and desire to explore explanations behind the explanations I had received for social problems, inequalities and oppression in the world around me. The way Grace offers integration of psychology and sociology studies provides insight into macro and micro levels of social phenomena, which is unique and very helpful. The Christian perspective that Grace couches these disciplines in gave me a good foundation to pursue graduate level work in sociology with the confidence that my faith can coexist with social science inquiry.
- David Hartman, B.S., Sociology and Psychology (double major)