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The history major focuses on the study and interpretation of the past. History students gather and record evidence about past events and people’s ways of life. They also evaluate that evidence to explain why certain social movements and cultural trends gained momentum when they did, and why certain traditional customs and mentalities endured at the same time.
Sattler’s history program places special emphasis on equipping students for meaningful cross-cultural relationships. We consider history an excellent training ground for building students’ capacities for analytical rigor. Yet at the same time, we believe historical studies help students form habits of empathy toward people unlike themselves. As students develop skills of contextualization, appreciating the social constraints that people have faced in different cultures and historical moments, we expect they will develop the Christian virtue of humility about their own ways of living in modern America.
Historical scholarship itself informs societies’ cultural values. History writers and history-tellers shape their own societies by influencing how intimately the public will wish to identify with their communities’ past and present traditions or institutions. Sattler College students will learn to think carefully about public memorializations of the past and the values that they are meant to instill or perpetuate. Students will thereby develop deliberative skills to (1) enter into historians’ interpretive debates about the present uses of history, and (2) use historical perspectives to become more active in communal decision-making.
On this point, Sattler College continues an approach to history that can be found among the Renaissance- and Reformation-era humanists, who called people “back to the sources” of the early Church to inform their individual lives and reform the prominent social institutions of their day. The humanist educators viewed history as an auxiliary to rhetorical instruction, holding up the classically-trained orator and letter-writer as a model for spiritual and community leadership. They also believed that rhetoric and history were gateways into the morally deliberative life. These subjects, they claimed, prepared students to rise to a wide variety of occasions in public life and expanded their capacity for civic responsibility: they helped students to make moral choices in moments of decision, formulate persuasive arguments during opportunities for advocacy, and share judicious words when asked for counsel. For the Renaissance humanists, learning to be a good writer and a good speaker involved empathizing with one’s audience and evoking common aspects of the human condition. History and rhetoric thus helped students to understand humanity better, and, in the process, to become more humane. This is our goal, too. As a Christian college, Sattler seeks to equip its students to make positive contributions to their church and other community associations through ethical leadership that is informed by the wisdom they have gleaned through their study of history.
A student majoring in History will:
Our curriculum emphasizes experiential learning where you learn by doing. Opportunities include:
History has long been the classic undergraduate major for students who go into career fields that require both analytical rigor and eloquent writing: law, journalism, editing and publishing. A bachelor’s degree in History will also open the door to teaching history and social studies in elementary and secondary schools and engaging a local or church community as a librarian, archivist, or historical society leader. Historians are active in public life through historical preservation work and through historical interpretation at museums, public parks, and historical sites. Each of these roles can support church and para-church organizations to fulfill their missions.
A special feature of the Sattler College experience is its extensive Core Curriculum. We believe students are more likely to flourish socially and intellectually when each entering class enjoys a common academic experience. When all students take part in a common set of courses, upper-level students will have a large body of wisdom and knowledge to share with the students following behind them. We are convinced that the most fulfilling way to learn is to teach. Our robust Core Curriculum makes such
Sattler Core Courses (45 credits)
Major (45 credits)Required Courses (15 Credit Hours):
Other History/Cross-Listed Courses (30 Credit Hours):
Majors must enroll in History or Cross-Listed courses that meet the following distribution requirements*:
*Courses may fulfill a distribution requirement for two categories at once, with approval of the History faculty advisor. These requirements are in addition to the Core Curriculum classes in the Western intellectual tradition.
Electives or minor