Spring Arbor University

Criminal Justice

About the Criminal Justice Program

Offered through the Department of Sociology, Global Studies and Criminal Justice, students majoring in criminal justice will acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for those who desire to become professionals in this field. Classes cover a range of topics, including the nature and societal impact of crime, a historical overview of criminological theory, current issues and practices in criminal justice systems, and political, administrative, organizational and cultural differences in state and national criminal justice systems. Special emphasis is placed on criminal justice policy and evidence-based evaluation.

Other majors offered by the Department of Sociology, Global Studies and Criminal Justice are:

Why should you choose SAU’s criminal justice program?

The greatest strengths of the Criminal Justice program come from its foundations in the Spring Arbor University Concept. The emphasis on evidence-based policy analysis reflects our commitment to serious study of the liberal arts. Our emphasis on restorative justice is a reflection of our commitment of Jesus Christ as our perspective. We are committed to creating students capable of critical reflection and analysis, rooted in Christian values, and ready to participate positively and critically in the contemporary world. These emphases reflect the mission of the Department of Sociology, Global Studies and Criminal Justice – social analysis for social change toward social justice.

Courses, Course Descriptions & Four-Year Plan

The courses for the 48-hour criminal justice major include such subject areas as crime, corrections and criminal justice, criminological theory, criminal law and court procedures, criminal justice policy, restorative justice, forensic psychology, substance abuse and society, constitutional law and international human rights. The program also offers a 12-hour endorsement.

View the course requirements and layout, course descriptions, a sample four-year plan, as well as learn more about the criminal justice major, and endorsement at Spring Arbor University in the undergraduate catalog.

Career Opportunities

The major will provide a solid foundation for those pursuing graduate work in the field, but will also have sufficient breadth so that students can go into careers in law enforcement, corrections, parole and probation, homeland security, and a variety of other careers in Criminal Justice. Visit our career development section.bestcolleges

To help students begin thinking about their future before entering the job market, BestColleges.com created a guide of the best careers for criminal justice majors. It highlights several common paths of employment, as well as a few out-of-the-box options. The guide also explores useful workplace skills learned in the major and provides a collection of resources to help new criminal justice graduates.

Professors at Spring Arbor University are committed to helping our students succeed after college.  Please visit BestColleges.Com Criminal Justice Career Guide for more information.

Our Alumni


Trooper Jonathan Walden, Spring  ’13

I graduated from Spring Arbor on May 11, 2013, and began my career with the Michigan State Police on May 12, 2013.  Not much of a break.  The beginning of any Michigan State Trooper’s career is attending a Trooper Recruit School at our Training Academy in Lansing, Mich.  I was a member of the 125th Trooper Recruit School. The twenty-two week academy is rigorous, and I became highly trained in Firearms, Defensive Tactics, Patrols and Report Writing, First Aid, Water Safety and much more.  In October 2013 I achieved my goal of becoming a Michigan State Trooper.  

Upon graduation, I was assigned to the Metro North Post, located in Oak Park, Mich., where I was assigned to road patrol.  In November 2014, I volunteered to become the Metro North Post’s Sex Offender Registry Coordinator where I keep track of and investigate the Registered Sex Offenders in the Metro Detroit area. This has kept me busy with attending training across the nation (California, Washington D.C., Michigan).  Also in this assignment, I have had the opportunity to become a Special Deputy Task Force Officer with the United States Marshal Service. I have enjoyed being able to go back to SAU yearly to network with Criminal Justice students currently attending the university.

When I’m not working, I am spending time with my wife, Emily (Miller) who also attended SAU for a short time.  We are currently living in Howell, Mich.  I am thankful SAU taught me to be a hardworking, dedicated individual.  These traits have helped me tremendously throughout my career.

On-Campus Opportunities

Spring Arbor University offers a wide range of activities and opportunities for students to get involved and apply what they’re learning in the classroom to real-world contexts. Here are some opportunities that might interest criminal justice students:

  • Interfaith Shelter Ministries – Interfaith Shelter is a homeless shelter located in downtown Jackson. Spring Arbor students spend one day a week serving food and visiting with the people of the shelter. They also lead small group fellowships and organize an annual food and clothing drive. For information about volunteering at Interfaith Shelter, please call 517.789.8735.
  • Law and Politics Society – LPS is a non-partisan student organization that wants to educate students about government and political issues and get them involved at a local, state, or national level. Visit the Law and Politics Society website.
  • Model Arab League (event) – Model Arab League is an event sponsored through the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations in which students learn about the politics and history of the Arab world as they study a particular Arab nation and then prepare to “represent” that nation at a mock Arab League summit. Every year, SAU sends a team to the Model Arab League convention held at a participating Michigan university. Learn more about the political economy major and the political science minor.
  • Social Work Club – Those students pursuing a major in social work greatly benefit from being a part of this group as the members help each other learn and grow and prepare to take the world by storm before and after graduation. Learn more about the social work department.
  • Multicultural and Intercultural Student Organizations – Students of any color or background are celebrated and supported on Spring Arbor University’s campus. With over ten organizations dedicated to fostering a dialogue between various ethnicities and promoting multiculturalism on SAU’s campus, there is something for everyone. Visit the intercultural relations website.

Learn about the various activities and organizations available to students at SAU.