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FC Students Navigate the Future by Learning from the Past

February 23, 2024 | 2-3 min read

Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in history are learning much more than facts and dates. At Florida College, history majors learn to relate to others by analyzing the unchangeable natures of man and God, and how each has shaped societies over time. It’s one of three degree programs offered by the social and behavioral sciences department, which aims to make students more effective servants of God and mankind.

Brian Crispell, PhD, chair of the social and behavioral sciences department at Florida College, said a degree in history is an often overlooked but advantageous option for students.

“The number one thing parents want to know is, ‘What will my child do after college?’” he said. In fact, history majors from FC have gone on to become lawyers, servicemen, preachers, teachers or writers, as well as analysts and researchers in business and banking, and continue into postgraduate work in some cases. “Education is a process, and if students work hard and develop skills they will have a job, as evidence shows that employers want graduates who are broadly educated and who can think critically and write clearly,” he said.

History students enjoy small class sizes (typically under 10 students), personal teacher mentorships and discussion classes with others who are passionate about the past. They also better learn how to read and explain the Bible as a reliable historical text.

“The Bible is inextricably tied to history and we can often perceive the hand or providence of God; for instance, from the way the gospel was spread due to common languages and Roman control of the eastern Mediterranean,” Dr. Crispell said. “Secular history will insist it’s a series of coincidences, but Christians understand causation differently. We teach students that history isn’t just one event after another, but that it’s linear and moving somewhere, toward a destination that God has in mind.”

As a liberal arts program, FC’s History department places a strong emphasis on Western civilization and the United States, with a focus on social values, political institutions, intellectual forces, religious movements and notable individuals. Classes include American Intellectual History, Historical Writing, Theodore Roosevelt’s America, Post-1945 America, and The Modern Middle East. Juniors and seniors actively participate and present in required seminars, with topics ranging from Jeffersonian America to Constitutional History.

Savannah (Gorman) Slamans graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history in 2016 before attending Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Now an Associate Attorney at Momkus LLP in Lisle, Illinois, Slamans said the history program at FC was instrumental in preparing her for a career in law.

“Law school was filled with reading and writing, something we did quite a bit in the various history classes offered,” she said. “The history program also required analysis. We would look at a historical event and question how the event impacted the world/society. Such an analysis is everywhere in a law school career—look at a case, study it, how does this apply to a set of facts or how does this apply to society going forward? Because of this, I went into law school familiar with the tools that could help me succeed.”

Slamans said her time at FC also solidified her faith and relationships.

“I was surrounded by countless professors and individuals who provided an example of Christian living,” she said. “A biblical worldview helps students understand the importance of showing love, as we have been loved by God, humility, as we are constantly shown our need for salvation, and forgiveness.”

To learn more about a degree in history, click here.