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History and Political Science

  • You are the kind of person who will not be satisfied by the status quo. Become an agent of change. Gain the knowledge and the experience to change the world through the Department of History and Political Science. 

  • Study of the past is a door to understanding the present and a guide to responsibility for the future.

    At Olivet, your study focuses on: 

    • the story of the human family, their options, choices and consequences
    • the story of God at work in the world through the Church and the human race
    • sharpening your skills in thinking, asking, researching, analyzing, writing and evaluating

    Your professors are committed to integrating scholarship with the Bible. Study the heritage and values of the past that define our civilization. Explore the relationship of faith and culture. Interpret facts, and identify trends and trajectories. Construct a framework for and develop your Christian worldview.

    Enjoy the many opportunities you have to develop your critical-thinking and research skills. Lively and challenging classes include discussion, debate and teamwork.

    In 2012, Olivet began partnering with the Center for Law and Culture, a non-profit organization now housed at Olivet that aspires to restore truth in law through educational initiatives in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Learn more about this partnership here. The new legal studies minor was launched in 2013.

    Putting knowledge to work

    Join Capitol Hill Gang, the political science club open to all students. Dedicated to increasing political awareness and fellowship among students, this group educates students about what’s happening politically, both nationally and internationally. Students vs. faculty debates and service projects provide additional learning opportunities.

    Two educational trips to Washington, D.C., are offered each year:

    Federal Seminar program (study trip): For nearly 50 years, our students have spent a week in our nation’s capital each January. This trip is sponsored by the National Association of Evangelicals. Attend seminars by congressmen, senators, Supreme Court justices, ambassadors and the public liaison from the President’s office. Listen, learn, ask questions and hear the experts’ answers.

    Additional opportunities

    Capitol Hill Gang trip (working trip): Get engaged in the activities of government. Interview congressmen and senators. Spend an afternoon as an intern in the office of a nonprofit or policy-making organization. Work for an evening in a community development program for a low-income neighborhood.

    American Studies Program (ASP) semester in Washington, D.C., helps you connect biblical faith with public life and vocation. Many internship opportunities are available with government departments and leaders, nonprofit organizations. Focus on domestic or foreign policy.

    Study abroad. Gain the understanding that only comes when you plant your feet in someone else’s backyard. Find a different perspective. See the world through someone else’s eyes. Gain a new understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of Western civilizations. Immerse yourself in life at a different level of economic activity. Become a different kind of Christian leader because of your experiences.


    Tailor your course of study to address your particular career goals. We help you prepare to pursue a career in the humanities, social sciences, law, politics, business, Christian ministry, education or other fields.

    Alumni careers include: Attorney, pastor, children’s minister, youth minister, high school teacher, master teacher, public policymaker, professor, Congressional staff member

    Companies and organizations that have employed our alumni: Teach for America, American Studies Program, Council for Christian College and Universities (CCCU)


    National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) (for Social Sciences Teaching)
    Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) (for Social Sciences Teaching)

    Areas of study:

    Geography Major, B.A.
    History Major, B.A.
    History Teaching 
    Legal Studies
    Political Science, B.A.
    Public Policy Major, B.S.
    Social Sciences, B.A.
    Social Sciences Teaching, B.S.  

  • History and Political Science
  • At Olivet, you will enjoy lively and challenging classes that include discussion, debate and teamwork.

  • Department Faculty

    Click on name
    for full bio.

    Stephen Lowe

    David Van Heemst

    Complete list of faculty