Department Chair: Jennifer Hevelone-Harper
Faculty: David Aiken, Stephen Alter, Paul Brink, Ian DeWeese-Boyd, Mark Gedney, David Goss, Michael Jacobs, Ruth Melkonian-Hoover, Nicholas Rowe, Timothy Sherratt, David Wick. Part-time: Ute Possekel.
Political Science Program
MISSION: The Political Science program offers two majors: political science and international affairs, the latter in cooperation with the Department of Economics and Business. Both majors seek to provide an understanding of politics which is Christian in its presuppositions and substance, and comprehensive in its interests and concerns. Such an approach testifies … “to the God Who called [Creation] into existence, sustains it, and remains sovereign over it.” Additionally, it provides an intellectually coherent platform from which to join the larger conversation in academia, and resources to assist both faculty and students in taking their political responsibilities seriously and making informed contributions to the creation of a more just political order. Finally, it provides a solid academic foundation for further professional and educational involvement in the fields represented by the two majors.
Political Science Major
Honors in Political Science
In exceptional cases, political science and international affairs majors may earn honors by researching and writing an honors thesis over the course of the senior year. Under the direction of a faculty advisor, candidates will develop a thesis proposal in the spring prior to the senior year and, with approval of the Political Science Department, register for and complete 8 credits of independent research in the senior year (registered as POL 471 , POL 472 Research I, II). For honors, the thesis must be of high quality and sufficient scope, and must be defended orally before department faculty toward the end of spring term in senior year. The minimum GPA for honors candidates is 3.50; depending on the topic, substantial cognate coursework may be required junior and senior years. An honors thesis should be considered by students intending to complete advanced degrees in political science or international affairs. See department faculty for details.
International Affairs Program
MISSION: The international affairs major is an interdisciplinary program stressing integrated knowledge of economics and political science as applied to the international arena. The major is jointly administered by the Department of Political Science and the Department of Economics and Business. The program prepares students for a variety of international career and graduate school options by stressing a high level of language preparation, theoretical training in international political economy and a required international internship or field experience. Like the other majors offered by its sponsoring departments, international affairs has a strong liberal arts character, intentionally sharpening students’ powers of analysis, writing and speaking. Furthermore, issues of Christian stewardship, justice and leadership are an integral part of the program. These features help equip students for lives marked by Christian character and service.
International Affairs Major
Honors in International Affairs
In exceptional cases, international affairs majors may earn honors by researching and writing an honors thesis over the course of the senior year. Under the direction of a faculty advisor, candidates will develop a thesis proposal in the spring prior to the senior year and, with approval of the Political Science Department, register for and complete 8 credits of independent research in the senior year (registered as POL 471, POL 472 Research I, II). For honors, the thesis must be of high quality and sufficient scope, and must be defended orally before department faculty toward the end of spring term in senior year. The minimum GPA for honors candidates is 3.50; depending on the topic, substantial cognate coursework may be required junior and senior years. An honors thesis should be considered by students intending to complete advanced degrees in international affairs. See department faculty for details.
MISSION: The philosophy program introduces students to, and helps them develop competency in, four major areas of philosophy. The program (1) introduces students to the great ideas, arguments and figures from various philosophical traditions; (2) helps students gain proficiency in the intellectual skills necessary for critical and systematic thinking, reading and writing; (3) allows students to engage in a concentrated area of study within philosophy that leads to a capstone experience in their final year; and (4) encourages students to explore the relation of Christian faith to philosophical inquiry.
Study at the University of Edinburgh
The Philosophy Department has been a strong proponent of our majors participating in global education programs, and many of our majors spend some time studying abroad. Though we support a wide range of options in global education, qualified philosophy majors have a unique opportunity to study for a semester at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Applications for this program are coordinated through the Philosophy Department and the Office of Global Education.
Honors in Philosophy
For students who wish to pursue Honors in Philosophy, recommended for any student thinking of pursuing graduate studies, the capstone course for the concentration will be replaced by 8 credits of work developing and writing an honor’s thesis that will be defended before the department and prepared for publication in an appropriate scholarly journal. In order to be eligible for honors, a student must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 within the major and 3.0 overall.
MISSION: The History program introduces students to essential knowledge of the human past, helping them to gain insight into the dynamics of historical continuity and change as well as to develop those critical and interpretive skills which are vital to the discerning study of human experience. The program’s aim is to graduate well-informed individuals equipped for responsible world Christian citizenship and thoughtful cultural involvement. The program also provides students preliminary preparation useful for careers in teaching, law, government, Christian ministry, archival and museum work, and higher education and scholarship.
Honors in History
Highly qualified majors with junior standing are encouraged to consider pursuing history honors, which entails preparation of a research thesis under the guidance of a faculty director during two of the student’s last four terms at Gordon. Minimum requirement for application to the honors program is a GPA of 3.65 in the major and 3.00 overall by the first half of the student’s junior year, plus academic excellence and good writing skills as demonstrated in previous course work. Pending departmental approval of a student’s research proposal, the candidate will enroll in HIS 471 - Research I , HIS 472 - Research II , develop a substantial thesis paper, and defend the thesis orally to department faculty and fellow students. See advisor for further information.
Gender Studies Minor
Innovation & Social Enterprise Minor
CoursesGeographyHistoryPeace and Conflict StudiesPhilosophyPolitical Science