Mar 3, 2009

Major Focus: Government

by Sarah Blanzy

In a world where moral relativism and secular humanism are the norm, Liberty makes an effort to raise up champions for Christ to send into the world with each new graduating class.

In the Helms School of Government (HSOG), Dean Dr. George Buzzy seeks to carry out this mission through fulfilling the shared vision of Liberty’s founder, Dr. Jerry Falwell Sr., and Senator Jesse Helms, after whom the HSOG was named.

This vision is to have an “undergraduate school that would train the next generation of conservative leaders in politics, law, criminal justice and international relations. In short, that the Helms School would be the world’s single-best source of Christian professionals in those disciplines,” Buzzy said.

The desire of the faculty of the HSOG is to train Christian professionals who can serve the Lord and further his kingdom in the workplace.
One of these up-and-coming Christian professionals is Grace Woodson, who has been at Liberty for three years and is graduating in May with a degree in government and communications.

Woodson came to Liberty primarily because of the championship-winning debate team which she has been actively involved in. When she graduates she plans to go to law school and eventually become a human rights lawyer.

“It is crucial for all Christians to make sure they are well-educated, because to truly love God (you) must not only love God with your heart and strength, but with your mind,” Woodson said.

The HSOG offers degrees in criminal justice, international relations and government. Under the government major there are four specializations: politics and policy, pre-law, international relations and strategic and intelligence studies.

Students within the government program take a variety of different classes, and regardless of their specializations, they are exposed to opportunities to learn about the different facets of government, law and foreign affairs.

Dr. Michelle Rickert teaches a class on jurisprudence, a required course which exposes students to all the different schools of law.
A course on political economy taught by Dr. Gai Ferdon “really reinforced my classical liberal thought, and my belief in the free market economy,” junior Matt McCain said.

Comparative politics, taught by Dr. Tom Metallo, is another required class where the governments of countries from around the world are compared, contrasted and analyzed.

Despite the different specializations, government students all receive a
well-rounded education regarding the field of their chosen occupation.
Government classrooms are filled with students actively engaged in discussion and participating in the class.

“In the upper-level government courses, depending on the type of course, discussion is encouraged,” McCain said. “We typically discuss legal and political theory, governmental history and the constitution … as a concrete never-changing document.”

Many of the students desire to take the knowledge that they gain at Liberty into the world and make an impact for the kingdom of God.

“I have always had an interest in how our government worked, how the parts worked together, and have felt that there is a need for a change in politics and having godly people that make decisions on what they know is right instead of their own agenda,” junior Caleb Ivill said.

Government students will take this worldview and the education they have received and become legislative analysts, political consultants, politicians, attorneys, judges, diplomats and intelligence analysts. More than all this, they will be fulfilling the vision for which the school was created.

Contact Sarah Blanzy at


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