In an increasingly interconnected world, there is an urgent and increasing need for globally aware Christian leaders, professionals, and policymakers grounded in the fundamentals of faith and freedom.
To achieve this objective, the IPP track educates students in the contending theories, prominent actors, existing problems, possible 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:
Under the direction of a qualified faculty member or mentor, students in the International Politics and Policy track can explore a specific global issue (e.g., globalization and global governance, international religious freedom, human trafficking, economic development, comparative family policy, resource scarcity, trade agreements, ethnic violence, genocide, environmental degradation, etc.) through researching primary and secondary sources.
Several campus programs supplement the IPP major classroom experience. Patrick Henry College’s apprenticeship method requires IPP students to obtain real-world experience in an internationally-related internship. 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 embassies and other venues abroad. Students may also write for the student peer-reviewed IPP Journal, which affords them further opportunity to hone their analytical skills and knowledge of international politics.
Christians today are becoming more aware and active internationally. At Patrick Henry College we encourage this trend and equip our students to apply biblical principles to the study of politics and connected affairs globally, thereby furthering God’s Kingdom throughout the world.
Complementing the other tracks of the Government Department, including Strategic Intelligence, 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, and European Union and other intergovernmental and transnational organizations are subjects of interest and scrutiny. Without neglecting the traditional issues and questions of global politics, we have found that issues such as religious radicalism, political ideologies, religious freedom, family integrity and family policy, 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.
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 (internships and other applied projects) in important agencies and organizations with global reach, and some have served as interns abroad. Our award-winning Model United Nations team is highly popular among IPP majors, and participants in the IPP Practicum travel each year to UN Headquarters in New York to participate in UN conferences in cooperation with experienced Christian non-governmental organizations. Our Journal of International Social Affairs also exemplifies the kind of initiative exhibited by IPP students. In recent years the IPP program has organized for-credit study trips abroad, most recently to Poland, Hungary, and Russia, and plans are afoot to expand these opportunities.
Our faculty are active globally as well, participating in leading international research and pedagogical efforts, such as the Institute of World Politics, Fulbright Scholars, the International Academy of Apologetics, Evangelism, and Human Rights (Strasbourg, France), the Global Home Education Conference (Russia in 2018), and the World Congress of Families (mostly recently in Moldova in 2018). 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.