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"Creating Engaged Citizens in Their Communities, Their Nations, and the World".

Director: Dr. Jennie Schulze, Political Science

Professors: Anna Scheid, Theology and Tim Vincent, 


Fall 2018

Current Challenges for Liberal Democracies (POSC 116C-01 - TR 12:15-1:30pm), Dr. Jennie Schulze, Political Science

This course introduces students to the major challenges facing liberal democracies in the international system today. Major topics include the global democratic recession and the challenge of strong authoritarians, as well as the challenges of immigration, global inequality, environmental degradation, and the new security challenges brought by the rise of religious based terrorist organizations, such as the Islamic State. Throughout the course, students explore these issues from a policy perspective.

Religion & Global Conflict (THEO 264C-01 - TR 10:50am-12:05pm), Dr. Anna Scheid, Theology

This course offers a foundation in religious ethics related to conflict and its resolution. It explores the ways that religion can be a motivating force for both violence and peacebuilding. The course will examine the teachings of Christianity and Islam on the moral questions surrounding warfare, and it addresses major religions as well as indigenous traditional religious practices on post-conflict reconciliation, peacebuilding, and conflict resolution

Thinking & Writing Across the Curriculum (UCOR 101C - MWF 11:00-11:50am)

This course is designed to serve as an important bridge between the reasoning and writing that make a successful secondary experience and the reasoning and writing that are expected in college. For Timothy Crusius and Carolyn Channel, editors of a popular college text, The Aims of Argument, the difference boils down to the following: "Like the high school research paper, college writing requires research. Unlike the high school paper, which typically requires that you obtain information, organize it, and restate it in your own words, most college assignments will require inquiry into sources"(168, emphasis in text). This emphasis on closely examining and evaluating sources is essential for writing that is informed by knowledge of four types of argument: 1) arguing to inquire, 2) arguing to convince/persuade, 3) arguing to establish causality, and 4) arguing to propose. Together we will explore timely and relevant examples of all four types of argument and develop greater skill in employing them in the critical reading and informed writing that we undertake in this course and beyond. In addition, we will address a variety of technical issues, using the course handbook as our guide. Overall success in this course depends upon a willingness to think critically, carefully consider the thoughts of others, and communicate effectively in conversation and writing.

This course is part of the CIVITAS Learning Community and is closely connected to the community engagement experiences that we will be involved in this term. The theme of CIVITAS is "Engaged Citizens in their Communities, their Nations, and the World." Many of our readings and writing choices will connect to this theme.


Check out photos and testimonials from students about CIVITAS's community engagement, and view a PowerPoint slide presentation about what CIVITAS students have done in their learning community.