About the Sociology Program
The sociology major within the Department of Sociology, Global Studies and Criminal Justice at Spring Arbor University provide students with an understanding of social order, social conflict and social change. Significant social issues are confronted by integrating sociological principles and theories with Christian faith. Students majoring in sociology will develop skills in social analysis and intervention that are applicable to families and small groups as well as complex organizations and communities.
At least 18 of the 30 credits in the major are upper-division courses. It is highly recommended that a sociology major consider spending a semester in one of the following locations: 1) Council for Christian Colleges and Universities: Washington, D.C. or Costa Rica; 2) Chicago: Chicago Semester; 3) Voice of Calvary: Jackson, Mississippi. If a sociology major takes one of these semester programs, six elective sociology credits can be earned which would be applied to the major.
Other programs within the Department of Sociology, Global Studies and Criminal Justice are:
Why should you choose SAU’s sociology program?
The Department of Sociology, Global Studies and Criminal Justice offers two programs leading to the baccalaureate degrees in sociology. The traditional sociology major is recommended for students planning to pursue graduate studies in sociology. This program provides a solid liberal arts foundation in social issues and social theory that can also be useful for students interested in public service, law, ministry and many other fields where a traditional liberal arts degree is valued. For students with specific interests in social change, the clinical sociology major is recommended. This program is designed to prepare the undergraduate student for a career in planned change, as it relates to social systems.
Concentrations in specific areas will allow the student to develop specialized skills and practical experience that will make the student better prepared for critical participation in the affairs of the contemporary world. Concentrations are available in social justice, community development, and international change and development. Concentrations in specific areas will allow the student to develop specialized skills and practical experience that will make the student better prepared to function as an effective agent of change in the contemporary world.
Courses, Course Descriptions & Four-Year Plan
The courses for the 34-hour sociology major include such subject areas as modern social problems, social stratification, statistics for the behavioral sciences, and spirituality, faith and justice.
View the course requirements and layout, course descriptions, a sample four-year plan, as well as learn more about the sociology program at Spring Arbor University in the undergraduate catalog.
The sociology major is designed to provide a solid foundation for graduate studies in sociology. Students planning to enter social work, teaching, business, communications, law and Christian ministry could also benefit greatly from a major or minor in sociology. Visit our career development section.
Gallant Fish, Spring ’14
My time at Spring Arbor was both an exciting time filled with great memories and a painful time of learning about the suffering that permeates the lives of so many in the world. After majoring in Global Studies and Sociology, I knew I wanted to pursue a career addressing issues of international human rights, particularly human trafficking.
I chose to attend law school because I wanted to equip myself with a skill that I could use to help bring freedom to those affected by human trafficking. I am currently in my third and final year of law school at Michigan State University.
While in law school, I have had several exciting opportunities to prepare for a career addressing human trafficking. After my first year of law school, I spent a summer with the Michigan Attorney General’s Office working with the Michigan Human Trafficking Commission. This was a great opportunity to learn about the steps that Michigan is taking to address human trafficking on a statewide level and the work that still needs to be done. During my second summer after law school, I interned with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan, where I was able to gain perspective on how the federal government is addressing human trafficking through prosecution. Both these experiences have shaped my perspective on how I can use the law to address human trafficking.
In addition to these internship experiences, I had the opportunity during my second year of law school to write an article focused on addressing human trafficking through the law. I argued in my article that federal and state human trafficking statutes could potentially be used to hold liable hotels who turned a blind eye to sex trafficking taking place on their premises. This article is currently in the publication process and will hopefully be a helpful tool for lawyers considering how to help find restoration for human trafficking victims.
On campus, there are a wide range of opportunities for students to get involved, apply what they’re learning in the classroom in a practical way, and meet students who have similar passions. Here is a list of just some of the opportunities available that might interest sociology students:
- Communidad Aqua Viva – This Free Methodist church for Spanish-speaking residents of the Jackson area was established in 2003 through the work of Spring Arbor students and residents of Jackson. The church offers students an opportunity to minister to the Hispanic people of Jackson as well as provide opportunities to practice speaking Spanish.
- 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.
- Spring Break Mission trips – During Spring Break, a handful of mission teams gear up and hit the road to minister to and serve people around the country and abroad. For information, contact Steve Newton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Relay for Life (event) – After cancer hit home for SAU students when a beloved chaplain and SAU student were diagnosed with the deadly disease, Spring Arbor students and staff banded together to organize a Relay for Life event on Spring Arbor’s athletic track. This annual event now takes place every spring.
Learn about the various activities and organizations available to students at SAU.