This course studies the creation of the international human rights system and its influences in international relations. It highlights the Christian foundations of human rights norms and principles. It specially focuses on the concept of human dignity and the imago Dei (image of God) as the foundation of human rights law. It analyzes international declarations and resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council. It shows the importance of the defense of fundamental human rights, such as the right to life, the right to family and the right to religious freedom.
For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.
The purpose of the course is to provide the student with the biblical bases for international human rights and to discuss the on-going debate over issues of universality, culture, and rights of individuals. The topics will cover basic concepts in international human rights law, the United Nations and regional human rights systems, causes and remedies for violation of human rights, and humanitarian interventions. The course will help the student to develop skills that link theory with practice in order to become effective human rights advocates.
Measurable Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Identify the vast body of law as well as how it is created and applied in domestic courts.
- Evaluate fact-finding methodologies on human rights issues.
- Critically assess the mechanisms and effectiveness of international and regional human rights protection as well as other means of monitoring and enforcing human rights.
- Assess the norms and compliance/accountability mechanisms that exist in relation to particular categories of rights and/or violators of human rights.
- Apply analytical skills to questions and appraise human rights policies and practices at the international and national levels.
- Evaluate the roles of state and non-state actors in the promotion and enforcement of human rights.
- Engage in scholarly research, analysis, and writing on the subject of international human rights.
Textbook readings and lecture presentations
Course Requirements Checklist
After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.
Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread of at least 500 words in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. The student must support his/her assertions with at least 3 citations from peer-reviewed journals in current Bluebook format. In addition to the thread, the student is required to create replies of at least 300 words to 2 other classmates’ threads. For each reply, at least 1 citation in current Bluebook format must be included. Acceptable sources include the course textbooks, applicable treaties, the Bible, scholarly articles, and links to websites of relevant international organizations.
The student will submit a 15-page research-based paper in current Bluebook format that focuses on a topic of the student’s choice. The Research Paper will be completed in the following stages:
Research Paper: Title and Abstract
The student will choose a topic with a title and write a 1-paragraph abstract of no more than 150 words. The abstract must include at least 5 journal references related to the topic. The topic must be approved by the instructor before the student proceeds with the research.
Research Paper: Outline
The outline must contain specific issues the student would like to discuss in the paper. The instructor will provide a sample outline as a guideline.
Research Paper: Draft
The student will submit a draft of at least 10 pages on research completed. While the draft does not have to be a completely researched paper nor fully edited at the time of submission, it still must show substantial research on the topic by the use of biblical and article references.
Research Paper: Final
The student will submit the completed Research Paper. The paper must include at least 10 peer-reviewed references in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible. The paper must be well-edited and checked for grammar and spelling errors.
Note: LL.M students must add an additional 2500 words of writing in their final paper. This is a Pass/Fail component of this assignment. This is not required of the JM students.
Group Project Assignment
The student will be placed in a group at the beginning of the course. Each group will choose from a list of approved regions and develop a funding proposal. Each group will then create a 12–15-slide PowerPoint presentation with notes on the bottom of each slide consisting of 250–350 words as well as share its proposal with the class.
Read & Interact: Presentations (8)
The student will read and interact with the weekly presentations by completing the embedded quizzes at the end of the presentation.
Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes and contain 11 multiple-choice and true/false questions as well as 1 short essay question. Each quiz will have a 1-hour time limit.