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Home > Professor's Prague Summer Complements PHC's IPP Track

Professor's Prague Summer Complements PHC's IPP Track

October 11th, 2010

By Sarah Pride

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 441-8722

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Dr. Stephen Baskerville and one of his daughters in Prague in 2009

Patrick Henry College’s Director of the Government: International Politics & Policy (IPP) track at Patrick Henry College feels a burden to introduce more Christians to the world of international politics. To this end, Dr. Stephen Baskerville, PHC’s Associate Professor of Government, hopes to take students to Prague next summer. He and his children spent this past summer in this millennium-old capital of the Czech Republic, and Dr. Baskerville has also taught previously at Palacky University in Prague.

“We live in a global world,” he says, “and I’m struck both by how little work Christians in the United States do abroad and by how far a little goes.”

Christians have an essential perspective on international affairs, Dr. Baskerville explains. When he reads scholarly journals in his discipline, he says he is most struck by the “topics that are not being addressed,” such as sex trafficking and child soldiers. So while PHC students have participated successfully in National Model United Nations (NMUN) competition in New York City, and though many travel abroad for summer internships and language studies, he would like to see them get involved in the real United Nations.

“The United Nations creates huge bureaucracies to handle things like women’s issues, without critically addressing if this is the best way to actually make a difference,” states Dr. Baskerville. “International affairs are a huge battleground of the secular left. A small number of Christians is making a huge difference. But the secular left is largely unopposed.”

In previous years, a student in a college program such as the IPP track would automatically head into foreign service. Now, a Government: IPP major opens up any field, since “everything is international.

Enjoying some of the beautiful medieval architecture of the Czach Republic

“Everyone wants people with international training,” Dr. Baskerville says. “Corporations certainly do. Churches want them for missionary work. An IPP student can do anything, cultural or corporate.”

PHC’s Government: IPP track first came into existence in 2007. Since then, IPP students and graduates have worked at high-level internship positions at the White House, the US Department of State (Denmark), the Department of Defense, the Heritage Foundation, Cisco Systems, Inc., The Atlantic Council, and the Project for National Security Reform. Most recently, the IPP students have developed a new scholarly journal, which they publish once each semester. Articles travel through an editorial and peer review process before publication. They will post the journal to the Patrick Henry College website when the Fall 2010 issue is released.

Meanwhile, Dr. Baskerville looks forward to introducing PHC students to one of his favourite European cities. Anglo-American University, where he taught a class in Prague this summer, offers a summer study program, and he knows of a network of youth hostels maintained by a Christian couple. While he has not formulated anything official yet, and the trip may still be a few years removed, he reflects that the “pockets of Christian influence all through Europe” might very well “like to see colleges like PHC overseas; they would send their children.

“We are seeking to internationalize what we are doing here [at PHC],” he says. “We in the IPP track want to spread its influence abroad.”

Dr. Stephen Baskerville is the author of more than eighty articles on fatherhood and family issues, and he has appeared widely on national radio and television programs including The O’Reilly Factor, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Court TV, Think Tank, Janet Parshall’s America, the Albert Mohler Radio Show, and others. Dr. Baskerville is internationally known for commentary on the family courts in America and other democracies.