Pursuits of Happiness – PHIL 200

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

This course will explore the philosophical, political, and economic convictions that resulted in the American ideal and recognition of a divinely endowed right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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


One of the most pressing questions in all of political economy is the tension between the role of the state and the role of the market in generating human flourishing. As Christians, we have the truth of Scripture which gives us our purpose in the context of God's designs and desires for his Creation. Human flourishing requires a robust market economy which fits within a free society protected by the rule of law, economic and political freedom. This course will help you connect the truth of human nature to the need for free markets and free people. 

Course Assignment

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and the Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Course Overview.

Discussions (5)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will be required to submit a thread in response to the provided prompt listed in the discussion. Each thread must be at least 250 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge whereby the student must include references and citations of course material. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 150 words and should engage in the thesis of the peers' original thread (CLO: A, B, C, D). 

Response Essay Assignments (3)

In these assignments, the student will response to a question or questions related to course material (CLOs: A, C, D). 

Video Response Assignments (2)

In these assignments, the student will respond to a question after watching a video provided in the Learn section of the course material (CLOs: A). 

Economic and Political Freedom Essay Assignment

Using the Economic Freedom of the World Report and the Freedom House Data, the student will write an 800-1000 word essay exploring a single country's economic and political freedom over the past twenty years. For this essay, the student will focus on what has contributed to the movement and why has the country moved in this particular direction (CLOs: B, D). 

Poverty and Flourishing Essay Assignment

In this final essay assignment in the course, the student will have two choices for how to do this assignment. In each choice, however, the student will explore the questions, "What kind of economic system will best ensure human flourishing?" and "What is economically wrong with the way we currently battle issues of poverty?" As the student answers both questions in essay form, he/she will also need to connect his/her answers to a biblical worldview, particularly the doctrines of sin and humanity (CLOs: C, D).