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Department of History, Political Economy, Geography, and Social Studies

Message from the Chair

The Department of History, Political Economy, Geography, and Social Studies covers many of the disciplines that have sought to understand the connections between power and discontent, time, precedent and legacy.

History is the study of the effects of change over time on society, politics, culture, economics and religion. Although it is one of the most ancient disciplines of learning, the modern study of history started in the mid-nineteenth century in Germany as Leopold von Ranke first set the goal of historians to describe the past “as it actually was.” This is a surprisingly difficult task as all historians are colored by the interests and ideals of their own age. History then is not simply the chronicling of events of the past, but it is the careful argumentation of past evidence to show its most likely influences on its society around it.

As Christian historians, we know that God is sovereign over history, but we acknowledge that his purpose and reasons in history are beyond our comprehension. Yet we also know that the essence of Christianity is the remembrance of God’s actions in history through the death and resurrection of his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. So we confidently continue our study of the past as it both reveals ourselves, our world and the influence of God.

The study of politics and political economy at Spring Arbor University uses political philosophy, comparative studies, constitutional analysis, empirical theory and economic concepts to give students a broad-based orientation to the American political institutions, other models of governance around the world, and issues facing contemporary society. The discipline explores a pluralistic universe of opinion and method within a community of common commitment to lifelong learning and service. Equipping students to engage critically in the public arena as followers of Christ and active citizens is the goal of the disciplined study of politics.

Mark Correll

Department Chair 

For more information on the Department of History, Political Economy, Geography and Social Studies, please contact Dr. Correll:


Phone: 517.750.6317

Student Organizations

Students can either help out with Model UN or participate with Model Arab League events. Learn more below.

  • Spring Arbor Model UN: Each year Spring Arbor University hosts a high school Model UN Security Council. Spring Arbor students help manage, organize and judge this event.
  • Spring Arbor Model Arab League: SAU students role-play positions within the Arab League. The SAU team was honored as recently as 2007 for honorable mention, and we have had numerous awards for best delegate.

To learn more about the Model Arab League.

Careers and internships

History Careers

A major or minor in history at Spring Arbor University can prepare students for teaching at the elementary or secondary level. It also is good preparation for graduate school to study history or work in public history (museums, for example).

The study of history does not limit itself to teaching, however. It is an excellent general degree for any number of possible careers. It is an exemplary pre-law or pre-seminary degree. It also is suitable for work in government, foreign service and government intelligence. Furthermore, the skills learned in the study of history build problem-solving skills that are crucial for any career in the private sector.

Political Economy Careers

Political economy prepares students for entry-level positions in government and business, and graduate studies in economics, politics or law.


While no internship is expected for the history major, there are numerous opportunities available in the fields of public history – at libraries, museums, etc. One such opportunity is through the Chicago Semester,

Political Economy

In political economy, an internship of 3-10 credit hours is expected. There are numerous opportunities in Jackson and the surrounding areas. Many of our students have worked either with U.S. Representatives in Jackson or Washington D.C.; others work with other business and non-profit organizations that focus on community organization and political action.

Links and Resources

Read more about the field of history and political economy by accessing these websites.

  • H-Net is one of the top professional list-serves for students of various subjects. It also lists professional openings and graduate fellowship opportunities.
  • The American Historical Association is the top professional organization of historians in America. While its focus is specifically towards professional historians, they are also actively recruiting teachers and others who want to improve their historical arts.
  • The leading Political Science Association provides professional information for political science.

On the U.S. state website, get information about foreign service.