Welcome to the Grove City College Department of Sociology!

We hope you will find this site both informative and interesting. Some of the highlights of this website are: faculty pages, a listing of all sociology courses offered, information on careers in the field and graduate school programs, and more.


Left to Right: Dr. Steven Jones, Dr. David Ayers and Dr. Van Campbell


Questions or comments about the department?

Email  David Ayers, Dept. Head: DJAyers@gcc.edu


Department News


Congratulations to current Sociology major A. Lynn Phillips!  Her original survey research presentation, "Homeschooling Is An Art, Not A Science: The Impact on Homeschooling on Choice of College Major" won the Undergraduate Paper Competition at the Pennsylvania Sociological Society (PSS) 59th annual conference in Shippensburg on Saturday, October 24.  Lynn also had the opportunity to formally present this paper at the conference, and it will appear in the PSS academic journal in Fall 2010.  Using survey data from over 850 GCC students obtained last Fall in the Social Research Methods class with Dr. David Ayers, in this paper Lynn explores  the degree to which homeschoolers are less likely to major in natural sciences, math and engineering compared to students from private or public schools.  This study helps fill an important research gap in our understanding of homeschoolers' college choices.  The information could also be useful to homeschooling parents and others who may want their children to be more likely to consider careers in these areas.




Dr. Van Campbell was one of two teachers at a week-long pastor's conference in India, with 230 pastors from about 10 states in India teaching foundational Christian beliefs. Dr. Campbell also gave the a survey to 130 Indians.  This survey had been originally developed Sociology undergraduate major Mark Lyon-Vaiden did for a Senior Colloquium.  Below we see Dr. Campbell teaching to a full class of very spiritually hungry Indian pastors!

While in India, Dr. Campbell was also able to visit the site where Jesus' disciple, the famous "Doubting Thomas," died--in Chennai, India, in AD 52.  And he got to tour a 7th century king's palace complex on the UN World Heritage list called Mahabalipuram.

Dr. Campbell helped form a non-profit organization in 2008 called Evangelical Fellowship International, and a sister organization in India, India Evangelical Fellowship. EFI exists to do humanitarian and Christian ministry work in India and elsewhere. EFI sponsors orphans, provides educational and job-training help, and basic life-needs to poor Indians. As Director of Pastoral Education for EFI Dr. Campbell has conducted conferences for training poor pastors in Biblical studies and pastoral skills, and has published 2 books in India which will soon be available in English, Tamil and Hindi. He has also begun conducting research on changing patterns of marriage in India focusing on how globalization is altering attitudes and practices.


Dr. David Ayers critiqued the modern Sociological establishment in a lecture and paper entitled "The Deterioration of Academic Sociology (And Why It Matters)."   It was presented in a panel at GCC's Center for Vision and Values (CVV) "Faith, Freedom and Higher Education" conference in April, 2009.  Dr. Steven Jones also participated in this conference, as a respondent to Darryl Hart's "Why Robust Faiths Are Better Off Being Excluded From Higher Education," and interviewer of Dr. Lois Johnson, who is the Director of GCC's Office of International Education.  Moreover, he presented a paper entitled “Pervasively Sectarian? Sociological and Legal Realities of Religion and Higher Education in America." The video of these and other presentations from this conference are available at the CVV's April 2009 conference web site.  

Dr. Ayers also stayed busy in his beloved Cultural Anthropology this past year.  His essay "Cultural Anthropology," with full-color photos and illustrations, appears in the new Omnibus IV: The Ancient World (Veritas Press, August 2009, pages 765-76, edited by Gene Veith, Douglas Wilson and '94 GCC alum G Tyler Fischer).  It is a historical, critical overview of the field from a classical, Christian viewpoint.  In the Summer of 2009, Dr Ayers also participated in reviewing James Peoples and Garrick Bailey's highly-regarded Introduction to Cultural Anthropology text Humanity (Wadsworth/Cengage).  This was to support the development of the next (10th) edition  of this text, which is used at GCC.


Department alumnus Jonathan Hill recently completed his Ph.D. of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame.  This Fall, Dr. Hill will begin teaching in the Department of Sociology at Calvin College, where his teaching duties will include the introductory course, and Sociological Theory. Commenting on the quality of the one-year theory sequence he took with Dr. Ayers in 2000-01, he remarked that it "was probably the best course I took while at GCC - far better than the theory course I ended up taking in grad school."

© 2009 Grove City College Dept. of Sociology.

This site is maintained by the Chair of the Sociology Department, Dr. David J. Ayers

Last updated August 2009.