International Politics and Policy Major at Patrick Henry College

By Rachel Cochran

Our world is becoming increasingly interconnected. Access to other parts of the world and cultures is more common today than it ever has been. As such, there is an ever-increasing need for globally aware Christian leaders, professionals, and policymakers grounded in the fundamentals of faith and freedom.

Patrick Henry College’s International Politics and Policy (IPP) major is a response to that need.

The purpose of the IPP track at Patrick Henry College is to prepare Christian leaders for success in international policy, law, business, and humanitarian work. The track educates students in the contending theories, prominent actors, pressing problems, varying approaches, and current opportunities in foreign policy and international affairs.


IPP students learn from professors at Patrick Henry College who are experts in international policy, theory, and research.

Patrick Henry College requires IPP students to complete classes in a wide variety of subjects beginning with International Relations, Foreign Policy: Theory and Practice, and Comparative Politics. However, it also forces students to think about the ethical conversation of international affairs in Theory and Ethics of International Relations, Ideologies and Revolutions, and International Law.

Students get a deeper insight into different cultures and countries through European Politics, Politics of Developing Nations, and Area Studies where students can spend a semester abroad through Patrick Henry College’s Global Studies Program.

Electives at Patrick Henry College may include International Economics, Comparative Economic Systems, Modern Chinese History, African History, and more.

Students in the IPP track can explore a specific global issue like globalization and global governance, religious conflict, human trafficking, economic development, family deterioration, resource scarcity, free trade, ethnic violence, genocide, environmental degradation, etc. through researching primary and secondary sources.

Students at PHC are then required to draft a policy report articulating a strategy for US involvement that would ultimately be forwarded to relevant government officials.

Apprenticeships at Patrick Henry College

Patrick Henry College holds to a unique apprenticeship methodology that focuses more on guiding students to their ideal vocation. Apprenticeships in the IPP track offers students practical experience, through internships and other apprenticeship opportunities, some in foreign settings.

The IPP Practicum at Patrick Henry College provides students with the opportunity to become involved in practical issues of current salience. This is a vital part of training them to be international leaders.

In recent years students have assisted in editing the International Journal for Religious Freedom and joined other projects involving religious freedom and persecution, and others have participated in conferences at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

The Patrick Henry College IPP Practicum also allows students who participate in PHC’s award-winning National Model United Nations team to earn credit while they undertake role-playing as a foreign diplomat, learn how the UN operates, and connect with students from around the world at the culminating national conference in New York City.

Students may also earn credit by writing for the Patrick Henry College student peer-reviewed Journal of International Social Affairs, which affords them further opportunity to hone their analytical skills and knowledge in a field of international politics that is of direct interest to Christians but which seldom receives the attention it deserves.

Patrick Henry College students and graduates have worked at high-level internship positions in the White House, the US Department of State, the Department of Defense, Heritage Foundation, Sysco, The Atlantic Council, and the Project for National Security Reform, as well as at embassies and other venues abroad. This provides a great launching pad for students wanting to get real experience in their field.

Patrick Henry College also offers opportunities for students to study abroad with its Global Studies program. This program allows students to spend an entire semester in a foreign country, where they can learn about other cultures and gain an unforgettable experience.

Why Study International Politics and Policy?

Patrick Henry College encourages an effort on the part of Christians to actively participate and positively influence other nations. PHC seeks to equip its students to apply biblical principles to the study of politics and connected affairs globally, thereby furthering God’s Kingdom throughout the world.

This is not only to fulfill the Great Commission but to help students assume positions of biblical leaders at the forefront of international affairs and to shape global trends. This world is in need of Christian leaders who are instructed in the ethics of international politics and have a deep understanding of the international situation.

As a part of Patrick Henry College’s classical, Christian, liberal arts education, the IPP track offers a rounded curriculum in international affairs.  Considering the interests of many PHC students and families, we give special emphasis to the study of religious and social affairs internationally, where we aspire to exercise leadership.  The machinery of global governance, such as the United Nations, European Union, and other intergovernmental and transnational organizations are subjects of both interest and scrutiny.

Without neglecting the traditional issues and questions of global politics, we have found that issues such as family integrity, religious freedom, marriage and sexuality are either ignored in their increasingly important international dimensions or are addressed largely within narrow ideological limitations. Patrick Henry College is committed to an unwavering biblical worldview and desires to remedy this deficiency and offer balanced perspectives on these trends.

An IPP degree from Patrick Henry College is awarded within the context of the Government major, but it can equip students to enter a variety of globally important professions, including diplomacy, law, business, government, missionary and humanitarian work, and work with intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.

Patrick Henry College is committed to excellence and providing a high-quality education, lifting high both faith and reason. Which is why the school seeks to offer a comprehensive liberal arts education that challenges students with high academic rigor.

Patrick Henry College’s faculty are active globally as well, participating in and leading international research efforts such as the Institute of World Politics, the Global Home Education Conference, the World Congress of Families, Fulbright Scholars, Christian Concern (London), the Ordo Iuris Institute for Legal Culture (Warsaw), the European Parliament, the European Christian Political Movement, Russian Society of Political Scientists, and more.

Patrick Henry College wants to equip students to overcome the challenges and opportunities that are unfolding before Christians internationally. For those who love studying the world of international affairs and defending justice, PHC’s IPP Track is for you.


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