In an increasingly interconnected world, an urgent and growing need exists for globally aware Christian leaders, professionals, and policymakers grounded in the fundamentals of faith and freedom. The purpose of the International Politics and Policy (IPP) track at Patrick Henry College is to prepare Christian leaders for success in international policy, law, business, and humanitarian work. The IPP track educates students in the contending theories, prominent actors, pressing problems, varying approaches, and current opportunities in foreign policy and international affairs
IPP students learn from professors who are experts in international policy, theory, and research. IPP major courses include:
Major elective credits are earned through the Global Studies and Service (GSS) program. This program, built on a partnership with ISA Veritas, allows students to spend a semester in one of five cities (Paris, Prague, Rome, Seoul, and Dunedin), completing twelve elective credits at a local university, serving in a local church or Christian organization, and traveling with ISA Veritas on special outings, from Berlin, Germany to Normandy, France. Learn more about the GSS program here.
Students in the International Politics and Policy track can explore a specific global issue (e.g., globalization and global governance, religious conflict, human trafficking, economic development, family deterioration, resource scarcity, free trade, ethnic violence, genocide, environmental degradation, etc.) through researching primary and secondary sources. Students are then required to draft a policy report articulating a strategy for US involvement that would ultimately be forwarded to relevant government officials.
The IPP track offers students practical experience through internships and other apprenticeship opportunities, some in foreign settings. The IPP Practicum provides students with the opportunity to become involved in practical issues of current salience.
In recent years students have introduced the John Jay Journal of International Affairs to the program. Students can earn apprenticeship credit by collecting and editing research papers relevant to international politics and global affairs published each semester in the journal.
Students also obtain real-world experience in internationally-related internships. IPP students and graduates have worked at high-level internship positions in the White House, the US Department of State, the Department of Defense, Heritage Foundation, Sysco, The Atlantic Council, and the Project for National Security Reform, as well as at embassies and other venues abroad.
The IPP program also leads the effort to create study-abroad opportunities for PHC students and has provided for-credit study trips to Poland and Hungary (2017), Russia (2018), South Korea (2021), and Italy (2021). IPP students have the opportunity to study abroad with PHC's Global Studies & Service program.
For more information please explore the full course list here.
Christians today are becoming more aware and active internationally. At Patrick Henry College we encourage this trend and try to equip our students to apply biblical principles to the study of politics and connected affairs globally, thereby furthering God’s Kingdom throughout the world. We aim to help our students assume positions of leadership at the forefront of international affairs and to shape global trends. Complementing the other tracks of the Government Department, the IPP track offers a rounded curriculum in international affairs.
Considering the interests of many PHC students and families, we give special emphasis to the study of religious and social affairs internationally, where we aspire to exercise leadership. The machinery of global governance, such as the United Nations, European Union, and other intergovernmental and transnational organizations are subjects of both interest and scrutiny. Without neglecting the traditional issues and questions of global politics, we have found that issues such as family integrity, religious freedom, marriage and sexuality are either ignored in their increasingly important international dimensions or are addressed largely within narrow ideological limitations. It is our endeavor to remedy this deficiency and offer balanced perspectives on these trends.
An IPP degree is awarded within the context of the Government major, but it can equip students to enter a variety of globally important professions, including diplomacy, law, business, government, missionary and humanitarian work, and work with intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. We aspire to make the Patrick Henry College IPP track into an important force for influencing the global environment. Because of our proximity to Washington, students in the IPP track work in apprenticeships as interns in important agencies and organizations with global reach.
We are very excited about the challenges and opportunities that are unfolding before us internationally, and we hope and pray that you will join us to advance God’s work in many lands.