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Liberty News

Government Ph.D.'s launch online, plus degrees in fire, public administration

September 19, 2018 : Liberty University News Service

Elevating its commitment to produce civil servants grounded in a biblical worldview at every level of government, the Liberty University Helms School of Government (HSOG) has launched two new doctoral programs online: the Ph.D. in Public Policy and Ph.D. in Criminal Justice. The university has also introduced new bachelor’s degrees in fire administration and public administration.

The Ph.D. in Public Policy is just one of two fully online accredited public policy doctoral degrees offered in the nation. The Ph.D. in Criminal Justice is one of only a few such degrees available nationwide. Liberty is the first Christian university to offer online doctoral degrees in these disciplines.

“We strive to ensure that the knowledge our students obtain is equal to that of any institution of higher learning,” said Ron Miller, HSOG interim dean. “The distinctive is that we take that knowledge and build it firmly on the foundation of a biblical worldview that is infused throughout our programs.”

Miller said the goal in rolling out the new degree programs is to create “statesman scholars” who bring a “higher level of wisdom and skill but also integrity in how they carry out their leadership duties.”

With degrees from the certificate to the doctoral level, Liberty’s Helms School of Government is a one-stop shop for government education with its breadth of degree offerings. Criminal justice is not typically housed under the government program at other institutions, but Liberty recognizes the complementary relationship between creating, executing, and reviewing policy and enforcing laws.

“It is really a holistic perspective of human governance from the beginning to the end of the process,” Miller said.

And it is a cyclical process. As public policies are enforced, any flaws revealed, prompts further study and the creation of new policies.

The new doctoral programs offer specializations that have significant impact on today’s issues.

Under the Ph.D. in Public Policy, students can choose from specializations in economic, education, foreign, national security, and social policy. The program is designed to train leaders in federal government, local and state politicians, heads of advocacy groups, and professors.

Courses are taught by faculty who hold degrees and have teaching experience from highly respected universities throughout the country. Faculty have served in positions with leading public policy organizations and have held senior government roles.

The Ph.D. in Criminal Justice offers specializations in homeland security and leadership, equipping graduates to lead law enforcement organizations or hold senior positions in federal agencies. A number of its faculty have real-world experience — some in high-ranking federal positions and others in leading large police forces.

“When you think about the relationship between law enforcement and the community, leadership is so critical,” Miller said, noting many underserved communities have developed a mistrust of law enforcement. “We need to rebuild that trust, and I can’t think of a better way to do that than by having people who are not only well trained but also who are spiritually mature and sound in Christ to be the leaders who are going to build that trust.”

Miller said the HSOG is committed to impacting every level of government, including “those who keep the government functioning day-to-day.”

Liberty’s new Bachelor of Science in Public Administration trains civil servants to properly manage and administer public sector administrations. The program can also serve as preparation for the existing Master of Public Administration.

The new Bachelor of Science in Fire Administration provides professional training for those who wish to lead in the critical area of fire services. Courses are taught by faculty whose experience ranges from managing local fire departments to heading the U.S. Fire Administration.

“There is a rich legacy in the Helms School of Government of cultivating leaders who bring statesmanship, integrity, service, and excellence in every area of human governance,” Miller said. “These new programs expand and equip our graduates to serve at the highest levels.”

Offering all of these new degrees fully online allows students to further their education while serving in their careers — and without uprooting their families.

Liberty offers discounts for military service members, veterans, and their spouses (visit Liberty.edu/Military for more information). The university also offers a discount for first responders, stackable with any military discounts.

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