Theories of Crime – CJUS 700

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course offers an advanced exploration of the theories of crime causation. Biological, psychological, sociological, cultural, and political theories may be examined using a "cause of crime" perspective. Emphasis is placed around the key concepts used in theories of crime and the multidisciplinary source of these concepts, how they are applied to criminological theory, and their importance for understanding the present state of criminological theory.




Criminal Justice 700 is the foundational course in the Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice program. As such, the student in this course explores the theoretical conceptualizations of why individuals commit crime.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

    1. Analyze the historical development of criminological theory.
    2. Compare Christian Worldview constructs to criminological theory.
    3. Understand the past, present, and future trends in crime causation.
    4. Critically assess explanations of crime.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided topic for each forum. Each thread must be at least 600 words, demonstrate course-related knowledge, use at least 1 Holy Bible reference, and a minimum of 3 properly formatted citations. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 300 words, use at least 1 Holy Bible reference, and requires a minimum of 1 properly formatted citation.  Citations must be in APA format.

Biblical Position Paper

The purpose of this assignment is to get you thinking about the nature of human behavior, specifically the deviant side of human behavior.  A detailed discussion of 5-6 pages of the various aspects of the fall of man and the temporal ramifications will be explored.  The heart of man and the wayward desires of the heart should also be explored in an effort to better understand the ease of finding oneself on the wrong side of the law. For this assignment, your only source should be Scripture.

Journal Article Review

In this assignment you will critically review one (1) recent peer-reviewed article in a minimum of a five (5) pages.  You may wish to spend some time researching critical review techniques for journal articles prior to starting this assignment. At a minimum, you should pay particular attention to the identification the premise and supporting points of the article, a synthesis of the article with positivist school of criminology theories, and a critical evaluation of the premise(s) and supporting points of the article.  The paper must follow current APA guidelines. The page count does not include the title page, abstract, reference section, or any extra material. See the assignment instructions and grading rubric for additional instructions and guidance.

Chapter Application Paper

The purpose of this paper is to present your well-articulated perspective and thoughts from the chapters assigned from the reading in 8-10 pages.  Each paper must identify the premise and supporting points of the chapter, a synthesis of the information from the chapter, and a critical application of the premise(s) and supporting points from the chapter to an issue of criminal offending.  Formatting must conform to the current APA formatting style.

Research Paper

In this assignment, you will select one (1) topic: a serial murderer or a policy.  Whichever topic is selected, an introduction to the individual or policy should be detailed followed by a 11-14 page analysis of the theories that might be used to explain or support the individual’s move into criminality or the underpinnings of the policy.  The paper (a total of 16-18 pages) should incorporate a Christian Worldview throughout or have a specific section of dedicated to Christian Worldview.  It is extremely important that you keep the paper between 16-18 page requirement.  Each paper must be thorough but not exhaustive.  At least 15-20 sources, including the Holy Bible and no more than 2 books, must be used and cited.  The paper must be written in APA format.

Quizzes (8)

Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the module/week in which it is assigned. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 10 multiple-choice and 2 essay questions, and have a 1-hour and 30-minute time limit.