In an increasingly interconnected world, an urgent and increasing 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. Major courses and electives include:
Students may also choose electives in International Economics, Comparative Economic Systems, Modern Chinese History, African History, and more. 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. IPP Practicum provides students with the opportunity to become involved in practical issues of current salience. In recent years students have assisted in editing the International Journal for Religious Freedom and joined other projects involving religious freedom and persecution, and others have participated in conferences at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
IPP Practicum also allows students who participate in PHC’s award-winning National Model United Nations team to earn credit while they undertake role-playing as a foreign diplomat, learn how the UN operates, and connect with students from around the world at the culminating national conference in New York City. Students may also earn credit by writing for the student peer-reviewed Journal of International Social Affairs, which affords them further opportunity to hone their analytical skills and knowledge in a field of international politics that is of direct interest to Christians but which seldom receives the attention it deserves.
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 is also leading the effort to create study-abroad opportunities for PHC students and has provided for-credit study trips to Poland and Hungary (2017) and Russia (2018), with plans now being developed for a full semester of studies abroad.
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. In recent years the IPP program has organized for-credit study trips abroad, most recently to Poland, Hungary, and Russia. Plans are now being developed for students to spend a semester in France in the spring of 2020 and other locations after that.
Our faculty are active globally as well, participating in and leading international research efforts such as the Institute of World Politics, the Global Home Education Conference, the World Congress of Families, Fulbright Scholars, Christian Concern (London), the Ordo Iuris Institute for Legal Culture (Warsaw), the European Parliament, the European Christian Political Movement, Russian Society of Political Scientists, and more.
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.
Director, International Politics and Policy Program