Prepare for a career to serve the public.
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.
The criminal justice program at Lancaster Bible College will prepare students to fill redemptive roles in our larger society. We have designed courses, internships, student work, and instructor interaction to help students promote biblical justice and the love of Christ in service to people in public spaces. Students will take classes in areas of Criminal Justice, which focus on law enforcement and corrections, and of Legal Studies, which focus on legal reasoning and provides exposure for those interested in the legal profession. Through academic rigor and hands on training, Christian professionals in LBC’s criminal justice program teach students how to live out the Gospel in society, excel in their chosen fields, and strengthen their faith for the work to which God calls them.
“Learn to do good, seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” – Isaiah 1:17
Program director, Dr. John Churchville, shares his perspective.
Dr. John Churchville
Criminal Justice Major Director
“I love to teach because Jesus taught. When he taught, he opened others’ eyes to spiritual realities that they might not have previously considered . . . I aim to do the same in my teaching.” – Dr. ChurchvilleRead Bio
“I believe being in law enforcement/criminal justice is about helping people through difficult times while showing Godly respect for all the people I meet and deal with.” – Mr. WahlRead Bio
“My theological training paired with my current experience in law enforcement put me in a unique position to educate students from a biblical perspective in the field of criminal justice.” – Travis SchmalhoferRead Bio
Dr. Daniel Spanjer
Chair of the Arts & Sciences Department
“Excellence is not necessarily that part of achievement which other people appreciate but rather the sum of time spent on and of effort put into any task. The amount of time and effort we put into winning high opinions usually keeps us from being excellent.” – Dr. SpanjerRead Bio
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This course is designed to assist criminal justice practitioners to effectively deal with the emotional impact from trauma and negative experiences that are routinely encountered in this profession and to equip students to effectively deal with these challenges. The major goal of the course is to find safe places and coping strategies to deal with “toxic overload” and prevent compassion fatigue, professional burnout and personal moral failure.