Have a passion for justice?

You see today's demands on national leadership to address the issues you care most about through greater innovation. You want to move beyond textbooks to engage the actual experts and institutions working on the issues. You want a global perspective on national policy options. What does it take to formulate and advocate for policies in pursuit of justice? What does it take to gain the clarity and confidence you need to help you find your place professionally among those already hard at work on these issues?

ASP's public policy track investigates a pressing public policy issue being debated on Capitol Hill. We focus on the political difficulties policymakers face when economic, humanitarian, and national security priorities come into conflict with one another. How might biblical teachings on shalom and justice help us navigate the trade-offs? We directly engage policy advocates and political actors on all sides of the issue to hear them explain the reasoning behind their positions, their points of disagreement with their policy opponents, and their impressions of what is required for their policy agenda to succeed on Capitol Hill. 

Your education takes place outside the classroom through private briefings with think-tank specialists, U.S. House and Senate staff experts, and federal agency officials at their offices. Your research team conducts personal interviews with leading professionals in the executive branch, legislative branch, advocacy community, foreign embassies, and international organizations. You attend Congressional briefings and hearings, as well as think-tank conferences.

What do you gain from your hard work on the individual and group projects? You produce an original piece of research supported by Washington, D.C.-based field work and leave with stories to tell that help distinguish your applications to post-graduate programs and professional employment opportunities. If you are a major or minor in Political Science, Pre-Law, Public Policy, History, or International relations, then this track may be perfect for you.

The Politics of Public Policy

3 semester credits

In this course, students directly engage Washington, DCbased policy experts and organizations—governmental and non-governmental, national and international—to deepen their understanding of the roles and influence of various political actors and institutions during the formulation stage of policymaking. The course first introduces students to models of policymaking and the tools of policy analysis. Next, students will learn to apply these concepts to the study of both a foreign and domestic policy issue through desk and field research. By studying foreign and domestic policy simultaneously, students will be able to identify and explain the differences between them in political environment, policy participants, and public discourse. The course emphasizes written and oral communication through the development of professional memo-writing and presentation skills.  

The Politics of Public Policy Syllabus


Christian Political Engagement: Contemporary Perspectives and Practices

3 semester credits

This course provides students with an opportunity to learn how political theology is applied in the political environment of Washington, DC. The first course module focuses on key questions found in the discipline of political theology, such as, the relationship between theology and politics, the relationship between church and state, the role of religion in public life, and to what extent religious belief ought to shape our public discourse. The second module investigates how key features of modern and post-modern cultures—the context in which the faithful practice of politics takes place—influence mainstream political perspectives on identity, authority, justice, and community. The final module engages a variety of Washington, DC-based Christian political groups and professionals to better understand why different political identities and priorities exist within Christianity and the difficulties and concerns Christians share when putting political theology into practice. Classroom conversations incorporate reflections on internship and policy fieldwork experiences to deepen understanding of the real-world relevance of political theology and Christians’ own political responsibilities. 

Christian Political Engagement Syllabus


(Possible Credit: Political Theory, Public Policy, Political Science, Pre-Law, History, International Relations, Public Relations, Political Economy)