Whether you're interested in the ancient world, medieval and European history, American studies, world history or even public history, you'll find this is an exciting degree program with plenty of potential for academic and professional careers. Through course work and close cooperation with professors, students are challenged to consider issues of Christian faith and values within the process of understanding the past.
The History major offers students a wide range of courses in American, European and world history. This is the recommended degree for students who want to pursue a career in history or a related field. The major culminates with the History Capstone Seminar and a senior thesis. Beyond a solid academic base in the historical discipline, this degree program includes substantial opportunities for field experience that supplements coursework with practical knowledge that will last a lifetime.
Examples of courses in this major:
This global history course will examine important developments in the civilizations of Europe, Asia, Africa and the Western Hemisphere from the development of world trade in the 16th century to the rise of globalism in the 21st century. Themes to be investigated will include politics and government, art and ideas, religion and philosophy, family and society, science and technology, earth and the environment, and interaction and exchange. An emphasis will be placed on showing how these meta-themes are manifested in cultures throughout the world.
In this topical survey of the history of the United States to the end of World War II, students will be introduced to the major issues, developments and perennial questions that cut to the heart of American identity. The course will cover such topics as the ideological origins of the American nation, the historical relationship between state and national sovereignty, race and slavery, sectional tensions and the Civil War, social and religious movements, and the culture wars that continue to impact American society today.
A survey of the history of the ancient roots of civilizations beginning c. 3000 B.C. at the river valleys of Mesopotamia and Egypt and ending at the fall of the Western Roman Empire, 476 A.D. The remarkable contributions of the ancient civilizations of the Near East, the Greek city-states, China, India, Subsaharan Africa, Meso-America and the Roman Empire will be discussed.
This is an in-depth investigation of the geography, history and mythology of the American West. The effects of this Western image on Americans as a whole as well as global reactions to this image will be examined.
This course is an introduction to the cultural, political and geographical history of Latin America and the impact of Spanish and Portuguese colonization. As such, it examines the culture and history of Central and South America and, to a lesser extent, the Caribbean. It examines the region’s indigenous civilizations, society under colonial rule, independence movements and Latin America’s role in political events during the modern era. The course will have a special focus on Mexico and may be integrated with an on-site J-term study tour to Mexico City and the surrounding region.
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, 18th-century Moravian communities and Anabaptists in North America. 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 & 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 the dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, professor of European and world history, and he advises pre-law and social studies education students. 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. He co-edited a volume on the history of Grace College & Seminary entitled "Becoming Grace" (BMH 2015). 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. Mark and his wife, Marla, have three children and live in Warsaw, Indiana.
Some of the positions you can obtain:
Professional historians shape the way we interpret the past and bring it to life for others. Those employed in this field often teach at colleges and universities and conduct research in archives and historical facilities all over the world. Historians are involved in professional organizations and academic institutions, and they communicate historical narratives through the books they write and the articles they publish.
This field includes professions in organizations such as museums and historical facilities. Those in public history may even be involved in living history reenactments or have jobs within the national park system. Often, public historians work to preserve and organize collections of historical artifacts and documents. In this capacity, they must be specialists in the science of historical preservation and provide the public with access to the collections under their care. With a graduate degree, doors will open for careers at the state and national level.
Working within a library system provides many opportunities to serve as a resource for library users and researchers. In addition to being specialists in the care and cataloging of books and related materials, librarians provide a variety of services to the public, often functioning as educators and community leaders. Administrative positions are available with further graduate study.
An archivist is a professional who assesses, collects, organizes, preserves, maintains control over and provides access to information determined to have long-term value. The information maintained by an archivist can be any form of media (photographs, video or sound recordings, letters, documents, electronic records, etc.).
Writing is an integral skill for a career in history. Many writers, whether they produce fiction, nonfiction or work as a freelance writer, benefit from a background in history. They provide literature and writing services that are creative, insightful and accurate and which engage in contemporary trends and the needs of the marketplace.
Many sectors of the publishing industry are tied directly to the field of history. University presses, publishing houses, textbook providers and academic journals all employ a host of individuals who design, edit and publish books, educational materials and online resources. A strong background in history provides an excellent foundation for a career in the publishing industry.
Administer the affairs of museums and conduct research programs. Direct instructional, research and public service activities of institutions.
Escort individuals or groups on sightseeing tours or through places of interest like historical sites, which may include industrial establishments, public buildings and art galleries.
What others are saying:
The Department of History and Political Science at Grace College is dedicated to challenging students to adopt a faith-based, critical approach to historic and present realities. The department is the reason why I am now working to heal social injustices that have been ignored by Christians in the past!
- Benjamin Hyde, B.A., History, 2014
Some people say that history is not a practical degree. But as a current professional in public history and library science, I know otherwise. I am so glad that I chose to major in history at Grace College! Because of their emphasis on the practical side of history and skills in reading, writing and experiences in the field, I felt very prepared to enter the “real world." The history professors at Grace pushed me to strive for excellence in everything—both in academics and in my Christian life, and I can honestly say I would not be where I am today without their influence!
—Anna Klatt, B.S., History, 2010