Philosophy, Politics, and History Concentration

Mission Statement

The Philosophy, Politics, and History (PPH) concentration is designed to equip students with the ability to understand and evaluate contemporary culture by providing a sound overview of the central events, issues, and ideas that have shaped our world and then developing the critical and personal skills necessary to engage it from an informed and Reformed Christian worldview for the good of others and the glory of God.

Why Study Philosophy, Politics, and History at Providence?

The Philosophy, Politics and History (PPH) concentration explores the big questions and big ideas of human nature, human culture, and human communities. Philosophy examines (among other things) what is real, how that can be known, and how we should then live. Politics considers various ways the communities might live out the answers to such questions and history investigates how such ideas have been enacted in the past and why our current situation is as it now is.

The aim of such learning has traditionally been wisdom – a wisdom borne of exploring big questions and big ideas from multiple angles, especially by bringing them to texts that have stood the test of time. This program of study is rooted in great thinkers and their writings, thinkers from Ancients such as Plato and Aristotle, to Medievals such as Augustine and Aquinas, to Moderns such as Immanuel Kant and John Locke, to many contemporary theorists. By approaching Philosophy, Politics and History from an interdisciplinary humanities perspective such as this, rooted in a theologically informed Christian Worldview, PPH students gain knowledge, insight, and creativity as they seek to grasp what things truly matter and why, and how that redounds to the glory of God and the good of people.

God’s cultural mandate enjoins our participation in bringing His Kingdom shalom into every aspect and corner of human existence. By training students to engage such big questions and big ideas from a number of fields, this concentration enables them to grapple with questions of human flourishing theoretically, practically, and historically. Therefore, this concentration can be excellent preparation for careers not only in philosophy, politics and history, but also for law, public policy, and for seminary, among others.

The PPH concentration begins in the first year by laying the essential groundwork for critical thinking with a core focused upon economics, mathematics, philosophy, political theory, religion, and Western Civilization. Additional courses on composition and presentation require students to not only learn material but communicate information cogently and persuasively—essential skills in business. PPH majors are also introduced to entrepreneurial thinking that shapes the concentration in enrolling their first year in “Principles and Practice of Innovation.”

Second-year students complete additional studies in the liberal arts core while enrolling in two history classes, Greek and Roman History and Renaissance and Reformation, in the Fall and Spring semesters.

Upper-class PPH students enroll in classes on Classical & Medieval Philosophy, Modern & Post-Modern Philosophy, Ethics, Comparative Government, Democracy in America, and International Relations. Electives and other core course requirements round out a student’s academic preparation, before their program culminates in their participation in their Capstone project, the goal of which is for students to employ all of the elements of their Providence Christian education in independent research and exposition.

Concentration Learning Outcomes

After active participation and completion of the PPH program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate substantial comprehension of some of the major ideas, issues, debates, and texts from ancient, medieval, and modern Western philosophy, politics, and history.
  2. Understand the development of philosophy, politics, and history in relation to Christianity and in particular the Reformed tradition.
  3. Show competency with the critical thinking skills and conceptual tools, writing styles, and reasoning methods appropriate to philosophy, politics and history.
  4. Display the ability to engage with seminal philosophers, statesmen, and historians, both past and present, considering why, how, and to what end these disciplines provide us with an understanding of the human condition and our place in God’s created order.
  5. Exhibit facility in presentation and verbal communication skills appropriate to the philosophy, politics, and history disciplines that evinces both Biblical wisdom and Christ-like love.
Concentration Course Requirements
PPH Courses within the Liberal Studies Degree Core
HUM 110Philosophical, Political, and Economic Thought3
HUM 211Classical and Medieval Civilization and Culture3
HUM 212Modern and Post-Mod Civilization and Culture3
HUM 313American Civilization and Culture3
LBS 360Christ, Culture, and Contextualization3
Course #PPH Required Course Titles Units
PHL 312Classical and Medieval Philosophy3
PHL 315Modern and Post-Modern Philosophy3
PHL 340Christian Ethics3
POL 410Democracy in America3
POL 305Comparative Government3
POL 420International Relations3
HIS 265Renaissance and Reformation3
HIS 261Greek and Roman History3
Course #PPH Elective Course Titles Units
PHL 311Aesthetics3
PHL 454American Philosophy3
POL 211Politics and Culture3
POL 321The American Presidency3
POL 322The American Congress3
POL 411Constitutional Law3
POL 431Machiavelli and Shakespeare’s Politics3
HIS 266Nineteenth Century Europe3
HIS 267Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Europe3
HIS 331Comparative World History3
HIS 355Religion in America3
PPH Capstone Course Titles
LBS 499Capstone: Career Development and e-Portfolio3
HLS 499Capstone: Paper/Project and Presentation3
Concentration Course Map
Year One - FallYear One - Spring
New Testament INew Testament II
Composition IComposition II
Philosophical, Political & Economic ThoughtClassical and Medieval Civilization and Culture
The Christian MindLifespan Development
Intro to Public CommunicationPrinciples & Practice of Innovation
Year Two - FallYear Two - Spring
Old Testament IOld Testament II
World LiteratureIntroduction to Fine Art
Modern/Post-Modern Civilization and CultureAmerican Civilization and Culture
MathLab Science
Greek and Roman HistoryRenaissance and Reformation
Year Three - FallYear Three - Spring
Christ, Culture, and ContextualizationPrinciples of Management, Organization, and Communication
Comparative GovernmentChristian Ethics
Classical and Medieval PhilosophyModern and Post-Modern Philosophy
Elective Elective
Year Four - FallYear Four - Spring
Capstone: Career Development and e-PortfolioCapstone: Paper/Project & Presentation
Spanish I*Spanish II*
Democracy in AmericaInternational Relations
*Needed only if the Foreign Language requirement in the Core has not been met. If met, replace with an elective course.

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“Liberal arts is a conversation through which we obtain wisdom. True wisdom, then, founded in the fear and love of the Lord, engenders a desire for a deeper knowledge and love of one another, teaches us and aids us in forgiving and reconciling with one another and encourages us to explore together the limitless implications of our redeemed existence on this earth.”
Danielle D.
Class of 2015

“There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry ‘Mine’!”
Abraham Kuyper

Deeper Learning for Greater Wisdom