Introduction to National Security Policy – PLCY 880

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

This course requires students to research the basic contours of academic research in national security policy. Students will work with their faculty member to understand the scope, history, controversial issues, and methods associated with academic research in this cognate. This research will serve as a stepping-stone to conducting a comprehensive literature review for their dissertation and provide the needed context to ensure that the student’s chosen dissertation topic is focused and appropriate.

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


In the fast changing, highly fluid, multidimensional discipline of national security policy and planning today, serious need exists for more trained analysts, policy planners, and experienced practitioners who better understand how to integrate the critical areas of expertise with a biblical worldview. If past theory and practice understood national security more in terms of conventional military deterrence, current focus requires skilled professionals be able to integrate and coordinate US security policy to meet additional challenges posed by the return of great power competition, cyberwar, terror networks, WMDs, and natural disasters.

Course Assignment

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, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be 500 words (minimum) and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads and one instructor thread. Each reply must be 250 words (minimum). References and citations must be in current APA format.

Essay Assignments (2)

The student will write two 6-8 page research-based papers in current APA format that focuses on the topic relevant to the course readings for the assigned Module: Week and previous learning. The paper must include at least 8 total references which include applicable course textbooks and module materials. The Bible and worldview reference are required. Students are encouraged to look at the national security/foreign policy doctoral reading list (located in the HSOG Doctoral Community) for prominent works relevant to their essays.

Research Essay Assignments (3)

The Research Essay assignments include three (3) different assignments:

Research Essay: Problem Statement Assignment

The student will write a one- or two-paragraph problem statement in the current APA format that introduces the general topic of their research essay linked to a national security enterprise area.

Research Essay: Annotated Bibliography Assignment

The student will write 3-5 full body pages formatted in current APA, Author-Date Reference list style, with a paragraph of descriptive annotations following each list entry with a minimum of 150 words for each annotation. The student must have eight (8) total references/sources. 

Research Essay: Final Assignment

Considering the readings, video presentations, and the students research, the student will draft a quality 12–15-page double-spaced research essay on a critical problem or issue in a national security area.


Essay Questions Analysis Assignment

The student will select one essay question/prompt from two different categories and provide a written response consisting of six, full-body pages plus a reference page.