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Certificate in Gender Studies

The certificate in gender studies is an interdisciplinary program designed to help students investigate national and international questions related to gender.

One of the primary goals of the program is to strengthen critical thinking skills through the study of global sociopolitical gender concerns, biblical and historical approaches to femininity and masculinity, relationships between men and women, and the complex cultural processes involved in gender construction. The interdisciplinary focus of the program prepares students to become proactive participants in the world by exposing them to economic, political, and cultural realities at home and around the world. Responsible Christian inquiry coupled with increasing cultural sensitivity can help create effective ambassadors for Christ in our rapidly changing world.

The program’s academic home is the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, providing a foundational understanding of sociocultural factors related to gender. The program assumes that solid Christian inquiry is foundational to productive scholarship and problem solving regarding issues that face our world today. As such, we strive to provide students with resources from our Christian heritage that will equip them for local and global leadership in all areas that pertain to human diversity.

Students from any major are eligible for the 24-hour gender studies certificate. Students will complete a ten-hour core of courses that investigate sociological and theological approaches to gender issues, and end their study with a capstone course designed to integrate approaches from several key disciplines. In addition, students will select 14 hours of classes from a variety of offerings from different departments. These classes will be distributed among three main areas: theology and theory; social and historical context; and cultural considerations of everyday life.

Requirements for a Gender Studies Certificate and Courses Offered

Core (10 hours)

  • SOC 347. Gender & Society (4)
  • BITH 383. Gender & Theology (2)
  • GEND 494. Gender Studies Capstone (2)
  • GEND 495. Independent Study (2)


Content Units (14 hours)

Students select courses from each of the following areas. At least three different disciplines need to be represented in courses selected.

Theology and Theory (4-6 hours)

  • BITH 332. Ruth and Esther (4)
  • BITH 354. Women in the World of the NT (2)
  • BITH 373. Marriage, Sex and Family in the Christian Tradition (4)
  • ENGL 434. Modern Literary Theory (4)
  • PHIL 347. Feminist Philosophy (2)
  • PSYC 431. Psychology of Human Sexuality (4)


Social, Historical, & Global Context (4-6 hours)

  • ANTH 381. Politics of Veiling in the Middle East (2)
  • ANTH 435. Power and Gender in Southeast Asia (4)
  • HIST 346. Renaissance Europe (1300-1600) (4)
  • HIST 355. History of Women in the U.S. (4)
  • PSCI 337. Women and Politics (2)
  • SOC 228. Sociology of Sexuality (2)
  • SOC 356. The Family (4)


Gender in Life and Culture (4-6 hours)

  • ART 319. Documentary Photography (3)
  • ART 329. Community Art (2)
  • BIO 318. Global Health
  • COMM 221. Interpersonal Communication (4) 
  • COMM 476. Theater and Culture (4)
  • ENGL 326. Children's Literature (2)
  • ENGL 328. Young Adult Literature (4)
  • ENGL 349. African American Literature (4)
  • ENGL 375. Woman Writers (2) 


Flexible Course Additions (2-4 hours)

On a case-by-case basis, the Gender Studies Certificate can include courses and independent study work in which students participate in a class with gender-related topics and/or pursue work directly related to the issues addressed in the Gender Studies program. This can occur in one of two ways.

  • Special Topics Courses that are offered on an occasional basis and address gender-related topics may be petitioned for acceptance as partial fulfillment of the Course Content Units in either the Social, Historical, and Global Context or Gender in Life and Culture. Examples include, but are not limited to, ENGL 348 (Special Topics in Literature) or COMM 424 (Special Topics in Communication), or PSYC 481 (Advanced Seminar in Psychology).
  • With permission of the professor and Gender Studies program, students could take a course in which they pursue gender issues as a significant part of the course. An example is RELI 214 (World Religions: Middle East) in which a student would focus on gender in ancient Near Eastern Religion.