Public Policy and Advocacy Strategies – DBFA 605

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 06/08/2022

Course Description

This course provides an interdisciplinary review of public policies examining the perspectives of the Judeo-Christian heritage of America’s founding principles influenced by government policies and contemporary social problems of marriages and families in the 21st century. Implementation to ethical advocacy methods and multicultural evaluations helps to examine specific policy contributions to theology and government.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


Multicultural political viewpoints and Judeo-Christian heritage helped shape current public policy, advocacy, and confronts challenges in unprecedented magnitudes. This course is designed to prepare students in using qualitative methods to advocacy, promote critical thinking associated to biblical principles, increase knowledge of ethical measures to policy observation, policy application, and policy effects.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify the differences between advocacy and lobbying.
  2. Describe what the law permits nonprofits to do in relation to elections and the major types of advocacy strategies and tactics that nonprofits can utilize.
  3. Identify and explain the 21st century public policy issues threatening America’s Judeo-Christian heritage.
  4. Articulate how the breakdown of the family unit is leading to a breakdown within society at large.
  5. Defend why and how the definition of marriage as man and woman is the biblical and societal ideal created by God.
  6. Develop a comprehensive and practical approach to argumentation and critical thinking to construct and present arguments on questions of fact, value and policy for traditional marriage and family.
  7. Identify successful technology-based and social media advocacy strategies.

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 the Course Overview.

Discussions (4)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, each Discussion will require the student to answer questions with a minimum of 400 words based on that particular Module: Week readings (Dr. Dobson’s works and/or the core text), as well as video/audio content. The student will be required to post at least two (2) replies of 200 words each to other students’ threads.

Advocacy Project Assignments (3)

For this assignment, the student will draw on his/her studies to produce an advocacy piece for the issue featured in the Persuasive Essay and using the communicative mode of his/her choice. The issue in the Persuasive Essay will be used to create a local advocacy project. After giving some thought to any specific action plan(s) to be encouraged, the other key part of this assignment is to choose an appropriate mode for how this advocacy might work (e.g., oral, written, visual, digital, live, online, recorded, etc.).

The student will be given an opportunity to justify his/her choice of mode, so the choice itself needs to be a rhetorically sound, deliberate, and based on the conditions under which the desired audience will encounter the advocacy piece. Examples include a short video, a speech/public talk of some sort, a podcast, a brief written appeal to be placed in an appropriate venue, a visual flyer or poster, some sort of flash performance, etc.

The aims of this assignment are twofold: 1) to demonstrate an awareness of what constitutes effective advocacy (e.g., its differences from persuasion), and 2) to show a strong awareness of the rhetorical benefits of different modes of communication, as well as their weaknesses.

Part 1

Topic and Mode Rationale: The student will submit a topic with a 200-word rationale for the mode of choice (with at least 3 cited sources) detailing why the issue is relevant to public policy and the mode of choice is being chosen.

Part 2

Outline: The student will submit an outline for the project and include at least 5 sources.

Part 3

Final: The Advocacy Project will be submitted along with a detailed summary of the project; this is at least 6–7 pages in length.

Persuasive Essay Assignment

Using the Advocacy Project Topic, the student will research and write a 4–5-page persuasive essay (not including Title Page or References) in current APA format. The essay must debate on behalf of that policy issue both arguing for the issue, but also intellectually debating against the arguments of the other side.

Dobson 4-MAT Book Review Assigment

The 4-MAT Book Review system is a way of responding to readings that requires the learner to interact with new ideas on several levels, including a Summary, Concrete Responses, a Reflection, and personal Application. The student will complete a 4-MAT Book Review of Personal Faith, Public Policy. Please see the specific assignment instructions included with the course materials.