History Department

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Grove City College    myGCC                       GCC History Dept.

Welcome to the Grove City College History Department

The History Department is one of the largest at Grove City College in terms of majors.  We offer two majors—a B. A. in History and a B.S. in Secondary Education Social Studies.  We currently have about 130 majors, about 2/3s of whom are history majors and 1/3 of whom are SESS majors.  Our six full-time faculty have many years of teaching experience and considerable expertise in their fields.  We are all active scholars who have published many books, articles, and reviews.  Nevertheless, our primary passion is teaching undergraduate students.  Our students consider us readily available, approachable, and interested in their welfare. 

We want to help students grow in their understanding of history, their ability to think critically, do research effectively, and write lucidly.  We want to help them prepare for careers in teaching, law, ministry, journalism, politics, business, and other fields.  The skills students develop in analyzing arguments and issues, research, writing, and speaking can help them work effectively in a variety of fields after graduation.  We also want to help students think biblically about history and life and to encourage them to advance God’s kingdom on earth.

The History program at Grove City College attracts many of the college’s finest students.  We are privileged to be able to work with such outstanding students and guide them in their intellectual, vocational, and spiritual development.

Come and share our excitement about learning, growing, critical thinking, scholarship, and service of God and people.

Statement of Philosophy/Mission for the History Department

The History program of Grove City College rests upon the belief that the study of history provides a valuable preparation for life and vocation.  Christian historical scholarship draws upon biblical presuppositions about the structure of the created order, the fallen nature of humans, and God’s redemptive plan in history.  The historical record is complex and ambiguous and thus, outside of Scripture, we are limited in our ability to understand precisely how God fulfills His plan in day-to-day events.  Nevertheless, Christian historians attempt to use their God-given reason to assess historical events critically and accurately.  We seek to select, arrange, and interpret past events, texts, movements, and individuals in accordance with our biblical presuppositions in a fair and balanced way that is sensitive to other, differing perspectives.  We encourage students to question assumptions and think independently and critically.

In short, we strive to help students develop a Christian mind and to use the principles and methods of history to examine and understand the world, especially the key individuals, institutions, policies, events, and organizations that have powerfully affected its development.  We seek to help our history majors, SESS majors, and students taking our courses as electives to serve God and others more faithfully and effectively in the contemporary world.

General Objectives for Students Majoring in History and SESS

History and SESS majors will:

  1. Demonstrate superior performance in the areas of cultural, political, social, intellectual, economic, diplomatic/military, and religious history in all time periods and locales.  This will be evidenced by performance on the Major Field Achievement Test in History that is well above average compared to history departments at other institutions.
  2. Develop a worldview that integrates historical understanding and the Christian faith and builds upon the moral and spiritual values inculcated by their families and churches.
  3. Display a knowledge of and appreciation for the Western cultural and intellectual tradition and a basic understanding of and respect for the cultural and intellectual traditions of the non-Western world.
  4. Demonstrate critical reading, writing, and thinking skills and essential research skills, including ability to read, comprehend, and critically evaluate sources in history, including articles in professional history journals and historical monographs.  (IL, WI)
  5. Demonstrate the ability to write sophisticated research papers using the Chicago Manual of Style. (IL, WI)
  6. Be able to present and defend historical theories and issues in a compelling and professional manner. (SI)
  7. Be competitive for graduate school opportunities and related matters such as scholarships, assistantships, and other awards.  Majors with excellent academic records will be able to compete successfully with those from other institutions in gaining admission to and financial assistance from competitive M.A. and Ph.D. programs.
  8. Serve their communities by applying a coherent biblical worldview informed by careful historical reflection.
  9. Be competitive and well prepared for careers in history and related fields, for further academic or professional study in fields such as law and the Christian ministry, or to teach social studies on the high school level in America’s finest public and private schools.

Grove City College |100 Campus Drive | Grove City, PA 16127

Phone: (724) 458-2000 | Fax: (724) 458-2979 | admissions@gcc.edu

Last Updated: 7/29/2009 | Site Maintained by: Dr. Gary Smith

©2008 Grove City College History Department