Criminal Justice

Prepare to restore justice within neighborhoods and cultures, as you evaluate current practices in the justice system.

With an emphasis on human dignity and balancing justice with mercy, you will investigate the historical roots of and responses to criminal behavior in the United States, the development of the modern legal system, and determine possibilities for prevention and restorative justice in the online criminal justice degree at Houghton College.

18 months

Earn your degree in as few as 18 months when you take a full course load and begin with at least 60 credits.

A Redemptive Approach

The Criminal Justice degree at Houghton College is focused on restorative justice—a distinctly Christian approach that encourages reconciliation among individuals and within communities.

What will I learn?

Develop a holistic approach to criminal justice through courses in psychology, political science, sociology, intercultural studies, and business administration.

Through Houghton’s BA in Criminal Justice you will:

  • Address the history of, and concerns related to, social justice in the modern legal system
  • Go in-depth in subjects such as criminal law, juvenile justice, environmental crime and justice, and more
  • Receive professional preparation, including processes for civil service exams
  • Learn from dedicated faculty members who recognize the image of God in every person, regardless of what they have done
  • Connect with active practitioners working in law enforcement, corrections, probation, prevention, alternative sentencing programs, and prison ministries.

Credit Info

124 credits

38 Required Courses

86 Elective courses + general education

Ready to Learn More?

Let's Get Started


Study on Your Time

Instead of 'live,' in-class sessions, you will participate in video content, readings, and online discussions at your convenience. Scheduled real-time video conferencing allows you to interact with faculty and classmates.

Learn from Faculty with Real-world Experience

Faculty includes former police officers, lawyers, licensed clinical psychologists, social psychologists, researchers, nonprofit leaders, and professionals in intelligence.

Get Experience in the Field

Internships give you hands-on learning in a criminal justice setting, giving you the chance to integrate theory with professional practice. Opportunities include local DA offices, federal agencies, law firms, and many others.

Meet a faculty member

Änna C. Pettway, PhD, LP Chair, Department of Psychology and Criminal Justice

“I teach in this program because a retributive justice system suppresses behaviors, but restorative justice brings my theology to life. If I really believe that all people are made in the image of God and are worthy of dignity and respect, then ‘right behavior’ created by guilt and punishment is not the goal. Since the gospel is about reconciliation and redemption of broken relationships, a holistic justice system should provide healing for all of those involved. Healing involves physical and tangible repair as well as psychological and spiritual repair.”

Anna Pettway

Cost and Affordability

The 2020-21 cost per credit hour for the Criminal Justice degree is


Cost per credit hour


Major program cost (38 credits)


Audit fee per class (non-degree-seeking)

Tuition is subject to change annually. Costs for books are not included.

Program Outcomes

Students earning a BA degree in Criminal Justice through Houghton Online are prepared to enter careers in:

  • Criminology
  • Cybercrime
  • Forensic Science
  • International criminal justice
  • Law enforcement
  • Victim and family advocacy

Application Requirements


Choose a start date

  • January 19, 2021
  • March 15, 2021
  • May 10, 2021
  • July 5, 2021


Start your application

Complete the free online application form


Documents and supporting materials

You’ll be asked to provide your official high school transcript, 1 recommendation letter, and your test scores (can be waived)


Personal statement

Your personal statement should be between 300 and 500 words (roughly a half of page to a page of typed writing). Get started with these suggested writing prompts


Discover if earning your degree in Criminal Justice from Houghton Online is right for you.

Request More Info

Get more details on your program of interest.

Get more info

Speak With Our Team

Contact 800-777-2556 to connect with an admissions representative.

Contact Us: