Applied Politics & Public Policy Seminar
Students directly engage Washington, D.C.-based leaders and leading institutions—governmental and non-governmental, national and international—with a stake in a selected public policy debate. Students organize into small research teams to write a policy report analyzing competing economic, humanitarian, and national security perspectives in the debate. The report is supported by field-based research, including participation in at least 10 one-hour meetings with policy experts and conducting personal interviews with policy professionals. Students present their research findings and policy recommendations at a policy conference in a congressional committee hearing room on Capitol Hill. Furthermore, additional course assignments challenge students to reveal and clarify the underlying values they prioritized when deciding on policy recommendations. Specifically, each student explains the role biblical ideas and faith traditions play in (a.) how they came to understand a policy issue as a public justice issue, (b.) how they chose among competing policy prescriptions, and, by extension, (c.) what they believe about the proper role of government in society.