Apart from being extremely enjoyable and enabling students to learn about the past – that is, to understand the past and, through it, come to a far better understanding of the present – history also offers students the opportunity to develop the skills necessary for Christian citizenship in the 21st century. History is one of the core disciplines of a liberal arts education. The B.A. in history offers a student a broad range of courses in historical studies. Students begin with foundational courses in American and world history. A variety of in-depth upper-level courses are available for students in three major fields in historical studies: U.S. history, European history and world history. Research and writing are emphasized in the program, as well as hands-on experiences through internships and study abroad. All history majors study a foreign language through the intermediate level.
The history degree as a whole offers various types of courses at different levels and in a wide range of subject areas. Students are required to master a variety of courses, in different formats, learning to deal with a wide intellectual and cultural range. Courses vary from general surveys to in-depth primary-source studies. Learning to understand the historical context of John Brown’s proclamation at his trial that his insurrection was “not wrong, but right,” or uncovering the details of the Dead Sea Scrolls from the Internet, are not only fascinating in themselves, but complex exercises that cultivate an understanding of the historical process.
Majoring or minoring in history can help prepare students for a variety of careers. History teaches rigorous analysis and interpretation of data. It teaches one to think outside of one’s own culture. Students learn to read critically, argue persuasively and write more effectively. An understanding of world events through differing lenses results. History majors include students planning careers in law, politics, journalism and business, as well as those planning graduate study in history or other disciplines.
The history faculty at Point will assist each student individually in constructing a course of study that includes a broad range of courses extending from the ancient through the modern world. These professors strive to model the way Christians do the work of history, and encourage history majors to do the same.
The senior thesis provides an opportunity for a senior majoring in English, history or humanities to complete an extended independent study project in preparation for graduate school. The project includes a rigorous research component on a topic of interest to the student and is supervised by a full-time faculty member. See Senior Thesis Procedure (PDF) and Senior Thesis Proposal (PDF) for more information.