Fundamentals of International Relations – INTL 500

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

Course Description

The course offers a critical knowledge foundation of various perspectives, issues, and controversies that comprise contemporary international relations and policy today. Students will engage relevant topics like the structure and actors of the international system; the theory and practice of conflict and cooperation; political economy and international trade; international organizations and human rights; global governance and development; and international security and terrorism. They will be strongly encouraged to reflect upon how each of these topics may be informed by, integrated with, or deviate from a biblically informed world view.

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


Not since the last 30-year war from 1914–1945 has the world experienced such cataclysmic destruction costing 60–80 million lives or more. Yet, historians, diplomats, foreign policy analysts, and scholars among others, believe the ingredients exist for another possible round of violence between great powers each with unimaginably more powerful weapons at their disposal than ever before. If knowledge, expertise, and analytical skill can help us avoid stumbling blindly into this fate once again, it will be in part because citizens, statesmen, soldiers, scholars, policymakers, and people of faith began their training with courses like Fundamentals of International Relations.

Course Assignment

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 (3)

The student will complete 4 Discussions in this course. The student will post one thread of at least 400-500 words by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Thursday of the assigned Module: Week. The student must then post 2 replies of at least 200-250 words by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of the assigned Module: Week.

For each thread, students must support their assertions with at least 2 scholarly citations in APA format. Each reply must incorporate at least 1 scholarly citation(s) in APA format. Any sources cited must have been published within the last 5 years. Acceptable sources include the textbook, the Bible, and other books and articles.

Essay Assignments (3)

The student will write a 5–7-page research-based paper in current APA format that focuses on the topic relevant to the course readings for the Module in which it is located and all previous learning. The paper must include at least 5-7 references in addition to the course textbooks, presentations, and the Bible.

Essay: International Relations Theories Assignment

Students will learn key theories and to what extent they are applicable to real world events.

Essay: Globalization and Humanitarian International Development Assignment

Students will write on themes related to globalization and humanitarian international development.

Essay: War and Security Assignment

Students will learn the ways of war and how to better prepare for, fight, or deter them.

Midterm Exam Assignment

This exam will cover the Learn material in Module 1: Week 1– Module 4: Week 4. The exam will be open-book/open-notes and contain 2 essay questions.

Research Paper: Ghosts of Rwanda Assignment

Students will view the film Ghosts of Rwanda and reflect on how genocide still happens even in the wake of 'never again' promises after the Holocaust of WWII.