Sociology is the study of social life and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. The subject matter of sociology ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob, from crime to religion, and from the divisions of race and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture. In fact, few fields have such a broad scope and relevance.
Both academic sociology and Christian faith offer perspectives on human behavior and social life—partner perspectives in a dialogue meant to express a more complete and unified picture of the truth about social reality and human experience. Biblical insights and values clarify understanding of sociology, and sociology in turn teaches more about Christian faith.
“Christian sociology” provides an intellectual and spiritual foundation for personal development and service. Self-understanding comes from discovering connections with other people. It is through interaction in families, schools, churches, and communities that individuals develop as persons, and it is this mutual dependence that forms the basis for moral life. The heart for service, an important outcome of dependence on God and relationships with others, is practically manifested and modeled as God’s love through the actions of those who serve.
In keeping with the principles of liberal arts education, the mission of the sociology major is to lead students in exploring the relationships between individuals, groups, social institutions, and culture, to facilitate the development of skills necessary for the study and critical analysis of these relationships from the perspective of Christian faith, and to develop a community of scholars who have a solid grasp of social theory and research, and who are prepared to systematically confront social problems and enact change at all levels of society.
As a strong liberal arts major, sociology provides several options for students who complete their B.A. degree.
- A B.A. in Sociology is excellent preparation for future graduate work in sociology to become a professor, researcher, or applied sociologist.
- The undergraduate degree provides a strong liberal arts preparation for entry-level positions throughout the education, business, social service, and government arenas. Employers look for people with the skills that an undergraduate education in sociology provides.
- Sociology offers valuable preparation for careers in ministry, teaching, journalism, politics, public relations, business, criminal justice, or public administration—fields that involve investigative skills and working with diverse groups.
- Many students choose sociology because they see it as a broad liberal arts base for professions such as law, education, medicine, social work, and counseling. Sociology provides a rich fund of knowledge that directly pertains to each of these fields.
A total of 42 units is required for the major. A minimum grade-point average of 2.0 is required in these courses.
|Required courses should be taken in the following sequence:|
|SOC 120||Introduction to Sociology 1||3|
|SOC 298||Basic Sociological Theory||3|
|SOC 358||Human Diversity 2||3|
|MATH 130||Introduction to Statistics 3||3|
|Select one of the following:||3|
|Writing 3: Qualitative Social Research Methods 4, F|
|Quantitative Social Research Methods S|
|Select 21 units from the following:||21|
|Anthropology for Everyday Life 2|
|Social Psychology 5|
|Contemporary Social Problems|
|Comparative Family Systems|
|Sociology of Religion OS|
|Education and Society F|
|The Sociology of Gender|
|Field Internships 6|
|Social Movements ES|
|Crime and Delinquency|
|Social Stratification F|
|Contemporary Social Theory OS|
|Senior Seminar: Faith and Social Issues OF|
|Select 6 units from the following: 7||6|
|The Asian American Experience|
|The African American Experience|
|The Chicano(a)/Latino(a) Experience|
|General Psychology 1|
|Social Welfare Policy and Service|
|Aging: Implications for Policy and Practice|
Meets the General Education Humanities: Social Sciences requirement.
Meets the General Education Intercultural Competence requirement.
Meets the General Education Quantitative Literacy requirement.
Meets the General Education Writing 3 requirement.
Prerequisite: PSYC 110
Meets the General Education Integrative and Applied Learning requirement.
Includes courses not taken from elective list above.
|F||Offered in Fall only|
|S||Offered in Spring only|
|F/S||Offered in both Fall and Spring terms|
|EF||Offered in Fall in even years|
|ES||Offered in Spring in even years|
|OF||Offered in Fall in odd years|
|OS||Offered in Spring in odd years|
Program Learning OutcomesStudents who successfully complete this program shall be able to:
- Understand and evaluate social research, and also to develop well-designed research projects.
- Recognize the influence of race, class, and gender on human behavior and social conditions.
- Articulate the role of social institutions—family, religion, government—in shaping social life and identity.
- Utilize the comparative and historical perspective to evaluate the effects of the social context on cultural beliefs, values, attitudes and practices.
- Gain a sociological perspective on human behavior and the social order—including social structures and institutional practices—that empowers them to act in response to the Scriptural mandate to work for peace and justice.
- Describe their sociological education and the development of a sociological imagination in relation to Christian faith and life.