Criminal Justice

Bachelor of Arts (BACJ)

Prepare for a career to serve the public.

Study Criminal Justice at LBC

Advocacy, Law and Justice in the Name of Christ

If you have a passion for bringing restorative justice into the world through your career and relationship with Christ, this just might be the major for you.

When you study criminal justice at Lancaster Bible College, you’ll gain the value of getting a Christian college education while learning the basic concepts of the legal system from three perspectives: police, courts and corrections. Designed to give students an overview of the criminal justice system by broadly studying the different aspects of the law enforcement, judicial and correctional systems, students will graduate prepared to enter the field of criminal justice. Plus, through this flexible program that's created specifically for adults looking to start or complete their degrees, students can choose to study criminal justice completely online, only in class, or even do a combination of both! While our traditional undergraduate programs are geared toward 18 to 22 year olds, the accelerated program is designed to meet the needs of adults who juggle their education around an already full schedule. Typical undergraduate students spend 45 hours per week for nine months to earn 30 credits. Through our accelerated program, we cut that weekly time commitment more than in half – thereby, helping you to achieve your goals even faster than you though possible.

Why Study Criminal Justice at LBC?

  • Fast & Flexible Schedule: The fast-paced schedule allows you to concentrate on one 6 week course at a time.
  • Life Experience Credit: Earn college credits from our evaluation of your life experiences.
  • Earn Your Degree Your Way: Study completely online, only in class or even do a combination of both!
  • Accredited: Earn your degree from an accredited Bible college in PA.
  • Experienced Faculty: Our program is taught by professors who have a passion to teach from their years of hands-on experience in the field.
  • Integrate your Christian faith and calling with your professional skills and acumen.

"Learn to do good, seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause." - Isaiah 1:17

Curriculum Plan

Criminal Justice (120 Credits)

Criminal Justice Major: 30 Credits
Biblical Studies: 18 Credits
General Education: 42 Credits
Electives: 30 Credits
Minor Course Plan

Course Requirements (18 credits)

  • CRJ 101 Introduction to Criminal Justice (3)
  • CRJ 203 American Judicial System (3)
  • CRJ 311 Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice (3)
  • Electives (2 required). Choose from...
    • CRJ 202 Corrections and Punishment
    • CRJ 222 Juvenile Justice System and Administration
    • CRJ 250 Law and Public Policy
    • CRJ 310 Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure
    • CRJ 380 Preparing for Law School
    • CRJ 422 Race, Class and Criminal Justice
    • SWK 204 Cultural Diversity
    • SWK 213 Social Work and Addictions
    • SCI 380 Forensics

The Criminal Justice Minor will allow students majoring in other disciplines to supplement their knowledge with specialized courses and to learn more about the populations they will serve in their chosen professions, thus allowing them to more effectively proclaim Christ. The student interested in the Criminal Justice Minor must complete 15 credits in total from the Core Course Curriculum and the Course Electives Listings. Any student wishing to substitute credits from other courses towards their required Criminal Justice courses at LBC must be aware that the Minor will only accept such classes as deemed equivalent and approved by the Program Director.

Sample Course Outline

CRJ 101 - Introduction to Criminal Justice

This course will give a general overview of the criminal justice system in the United States.  It will focus primarily on the role of law enforcement, the court system and the correctional industry.  The course will examine how each phase of the system currently works, or does not work, from the point of initially reported crime, to possible arrest and prosecution, to case resolution and ultimately through the arrestee’s outcome at sentencing.  As an introductory course, its primary goal is to help prepare the student majoring in criminal justice with a broad foundation of knowledge from which to pursue more comprehensive and rigorous analysis in advanced courses.

CRJ 102 - Introduction to Law Enforcement

This course will examine the critical issues faced by American police through analyses of research relating to the historical, sociological, and legal bases for policing with an emphasis on contemporary trends in law enforcement.

CRJ 202 - Corrections and Punishment

This course will give an overview of the history of punishment of crime in the United States, whether through community sanctions (such as probation or restitution) or through community removal (incarceration in jails, prison, or community corrections facilities). It will examine theories of deterrence, behavior modification and recidivism rates. This course provides an in-depth introduction to the historical evolution and current state of incarceration and detention in the United States. Students will take a critical look at life in prison by exploring how incarceration affects the inmate and the potential consequences for society. Special emphasis is given to current controversies in jail and prison policy, such as family disruption, and physical and sexual violence. Finally, the course will address the causes that have led the United States to having the highest population of incarcerated persons in the world.

CRJ 203 - American Judicial System

This course will survey the function and process of courts in the U.S. from low-level district courts through appeal filings all the way to the United States Supreme Court. It will outline the history of the U.S. system and examine changes made in an increasingly technological society. Finally, the course will address current issues within the judicial system and suggest reforms and improvements.

CRJ 310 - Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure

This course examines the origins and sources of criminal law as it has developed in the U.S. Students will gain an overview of the historical foundation of rights accorded those involved in the criminal process as well as the limitations placed on government actors.

CRJ 311 - Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice

This course will relate the foundations of ethical thought to everyday practice among criminal justice professionals.  Police, prosecutors, probation and parole officials, prison staff, attorneys and judges all have a tremendous amount of discretion as to how they perform their various duties (i.e., who to arrest, who to prosecute, who to release early, how harshly to punish, on whom to spend the most time defending, etc.) The course will examine the Biblical foundations of ethics and investigate case studies on which students can reflect as they prepare to engage in their own style of practice.

CRJ 222 - Juvenile Justice System and Administration

This course will give an in-depth description of the juvenile justice system as currently practiced in the U.S.  Students will compare and contrast the process and administration of the juvenile justice system with its adult counterpart in the larger criminal justice system.

CRJ 470 - Criminal Justice Internship I

This class (pass/fail) allows students to be placed in a local field placement within their chosen area of interest.  This allows them to get a closer, more “hands-on” view of their area of interest to determine whether or not they will continue to pursue this particular career option after graduation.

BST 400 - Cross-Cultural Experience

Each student is required to have a cross-cultural experience sometime during their studies at LBC. Students should confirm with their advisors as to whether one of the following available options will fulfill their major’s cross-cultural requirement. It should be noted that each of the programs below has its own enrollment procedures and policies, so see the Registrar for information before applying.

Careers and Jobs in Criminal Justice (*Requires additional schooling or training)

  • Corrections Officer
  • Criminal Investigator*
  • Police Officer*
  • Paralegal
  • Private Security Officer
  • Legislative Aide
  • Victim Witness Advocate
  • Public Policy Analyst
  • Secret Service*
  • Youth Advocate Worker

How Does the Accelerated Course Schedule Work?

The Accelerated program consists of TWO terms:

  1. Fall: July–December
  2. Spring: January–June

Each term is comprised of FOUR course sessions. A course session runs for SIX classes and runs back-to-back across all the weeks of the year. Due to holidays and breaks, a course session may vary between 6-8 weeks. Exact dates for each term are available through the Accelerated Office.

Students may choose to take their courses either in class, online, or both.

  • In class
    Students taking on-site classes come once a week for five weeks per course. Our courses typically meet on Tuesday* nights from 6 to 10 PM. During the sixth week of the course, class does not meet so that  students can complete their course work.
    (*Philadelphia classes meets Monday through Thursday.)
  • Online classes
    Students taking online courses are not required to attend class at any time. Instead, they engage in collaborative learning through eCampus (Schoology), our learning management system. Learn more about studying online.

Determining What Courses To Take

Each student’s path to completion is unique, depending upon the courses you are transferring into the program. The curriculum plan above gives a broad picture of the required credits. If your transfer credits come from mostly one of those areas, you will need to take credits in the other areas. The remaining courses you need for graduation can best be determined after reviewing your transcripts. With flexible electives, Bible and Theology requirements, and General Education requirements, most students are able to transfer to LBC the maximum number of credits.

Credits for Prior Learning. Students can earn up to 30 life experience credits, through the Credits for Prior Learning evaluation process, which will often reduce the time to complete a degree. The life experience credit evaluation process is done after a student begins a program.

When Can I Start?

As soon as you are ready. LBC has 8 entry points per year meaning you are only ever a few weeks away till the next course starts.

Looking for Ways to Finance Your Degree?

Our LBC Financial Aid Office can help you navigate through the process. Learn more

A Closer Look: Arts & Sciences

Why should Christians be involved in criminal justice?

Program director, Dr. John Churchville, shares his perspective.

Have Questions? Talk with a Recruiter.

Lancaster Bible College|Capital Seminary & Graduate School is an equal opportunity institution that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex (except where sex is a bona fide occupational qualification), ancestry, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or genetic information. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, admission to and enrollment with the College.