Contemporary Challenges to Constitutional Order and the Role of the State – PLCY 703

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

Course Description

The student is introduced to the contemporary challenges facing America, the prevailing Western legal tradition, and a Biblical model of statesmanship, particularly as these challenges have influenced policy formation. Such challenges include modern reinterpretations of American constitutionalism and the shifting relationship of the State to the individual and other spheres in society.


PLCY 700


The concepts and ideals of constitutional order are not new and have been passed down from generation to generation since constitutions have been written. However, these concepts and ideals have a paradoxical relationship within the modern state. The nuances of statesmanship require a broad overview introduction before finer points can be analyzed accurately. This course will provide an introduction to the prevailing Western legal traditions and how the Commerce Clause to the Constitution have influenced policy formation. In the end, these key principles, along with a Biblical model, will guide the student in the finer points of public policy formulation.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Explain the concept of Statesmanship
  2. Describe the “Original Intent” of the Framers of the U.S. Constitution
  3. Explain how the prevailing Western legal tradition and the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution influence policy formulation.
  4. Describe the difference between “government over-reach” and responsible government”
  5. Explain The Commerce Clause of the Constitution.
  6. Define “judicial activism.”
  7. Explain “A Constitutional Paradox.”
  8. Articulate a biblical worldview perspective toward statesmanship.

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 (6)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 450–600 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. The student must reply to at least 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 400 words.

Research Papers (2)

The student will be required to submit 2 research papers written in current Turabian format. Both papers must cite appropriate grad-level sources and contain a title page and bibliography. The first Research Paper will require at least 7 sources and have a minimum 1,000-word body. The second Research Paper must cite at least 10 sources and have a 1,750–2,000-word body.

Reflection Paper

The student will write a Reflection Paper that summarizes and reflects on the subject of statesmanship, what it is, what are past and current examples, and present a vision of the future. This paper must be 4-5 pages in length and is an opportunity for the student to waltz through the philosophical landscape on statesmanship and must follow current Turabian format.