Spurgeon College announced on July 13, the launch of a 120-credit hour undergraduate Bachelor of Arts in History degree program, along with faculty-approved updates to the current Bachelor of Arts in Communication program.
The history program, which includes the same general education and biblical studies core courses required of all Spurgeon College students, also incorporates an additional 42 credit hours that focus on history and historical methods. Six credit hours of electives round out the degree track.
Andrew King, assistant dean of Spurgeon College, said the addition of the B.A. in History aligns perfectly with Spurgeon College’s mission of existing “For the Kingdom,” as it adds to the current diverse degree options for study and deployment of students in a variety of avenues both in the marketplace and ministry.
“Considering these marketplace degrees,” King said, “when we think of being for the Kingdom, we’re not considering training only in missions, the pastorate, or some other ministry-related field. This type of training can be seen, for example, through our communications degree, which can lead to working at ad firms, or our business degree setting a student up to launch into business leadership—all from a Christian worldview. I’m glad to see the history program join these programs to drive our broader focus and vision for Spurgeon College.”
For students specifically inclined toward serving in missions, King added the history curriculum provides valuable insight into the historical and cultural heritage of areas where they may serve or support as missionaries.
King explained that the B.A. in History program’s curriculum includes many of the vital standard courses like world, American, and church history, but it also includes exciting new courses in African, European, Asian, and Latin American history—taking the degree to the next level. “These globally infused historical courses,” he said, “are designed for students to understand the heritage, history, and culture of not only the United States, but of nations and cultures around the globe.”
One of the significant aspects of the history program that King said excites him is its globality. Tying together the fact that Spurgeon College’s exists “For the Kingdom,” and that Christ’s Kingdom is global, is something King hopes will be eye-opening for students.
“The Kingdom of God is advancing to the ends of the earth through faithful gospel ministers, and that’s the reason we’re here—to spread the fame of Christ from Eden to the ends of the earth,” he said. “So, students in our new history program, who may not initially possess a global perspective, may take an Asian history class and the Lord may open their hearts to that part of the world.
“Even if they’re not thinking of serving cross-culturally, learning the history and dynamics of varied global areas and cultures may help them to know how to pray better, or how to support those who are going to serve in those areas. The missions thrust and implications of the program are great.”
King added that another goal of the B.A. in History program is to prepare students to become excellent historians who possess a biblical worldview.
“Our hope is for students to come away from their studies with all the skills necessary to conduct solid research and methodology in the field of history,” he said. “But ultimately, we want them to use those skills to magnify our Triune God, while leading future generations to understand and appreciate the diverse histories and cultures of the world God has made.”
B.A. in Communications Updates
Patrick Hudson, coordinator of the B.A. in Communication degree program at Spurgeon College, noted that while the initial development of the communications program was well-designed with a mix of communications and business classes, the recent curricular updates are designed to maximize the practical and theoretical study of communications for students.
Hudson said a primary goal of Spurgeon College’s communications program is to provide students the best platform to launch into local church ministry or the marketplace for the kingdom.
He added, “By making these changes to the B.A. in Communications program, we now offer our students a strong mix of communications theory and practical skill application. Many communications programs are loaded toward the theoretical side, but we desire our students to have the hands-on skills needed to enter the ministry or marketplace and immediately make an impact for Christ.”
Changes to the communications program include replacing five business courses with new communications courses including Journalism II, Online Presence, Principles of Crisis Communication, Advanced Visual Communications, and Introduction to Communication Theory.
“We’re thrilled that students can dive more deeply into subjects like journalism, graphic design, and crisis communication while being exposed to communication theory and current digital communications technology like web development and social media strategy,” he said.
Hudson also explained that students in the current communications program will be unaffected by the changes, as all the communications and business courses are available to them. However, those wishing to pursue the updated degree would need to take all of the newly added courses to complete their degree.
One other aspect of the program that should be exciting to current and prospective students, Hudson noted, is the Communications Studies Capstone course. “This course culminates our communications students’ hard work and enables them to practice and hone their skills through internships and mentoring.”
Hudson said that through these internships students will also have an opportunity to learn from the best practitioners in the field of communications in areas such as journalism, graphic design, church communications, and public relations. He added, “We’re always looking for new partnerships, and we’ll need even more as our program continues to grow.”
At present, he said, Spurgeon College is partnering with SBC entity communications offices, state entity newspapers, local church communications teams, and local businesses to provide students with incredible opportunities to learn and serve.
Both King and Hudson shared that Spurgeon College’s Online Studies Department is hard at work ensuring that both programs are integrated online in the future. Hudson said the B.A. in Communications degree’s first online course, Introduction to Public Relations, will be available this fall semester, and others are currently being developed for future terms.
To learn more about the B.A. in History, which will be offered beginning this fall, or to apply for the program, visit https://www.spurgeoncollege.com/academics/bah.