School of Social Sciences & Human Services

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School of Social Sciences & Human Services

Social Sciences & Human Services

Criminal Justice  |  Human Services  Psychology   Social Science

The School of Social Sciences
& Human Services

Preparing you for your calling by equipping you for your career

We will guide you to be a loving light to the world

We will use scripture as the foundation of your path

We will provide you with a redemptive learning community

We will prepare you for a higher level career

Bible

EDUCATION WITH SCRIPTURE AT THE CENTER

At Grace, we know that the Bible is essential to a Christian education. We want to help you to stand on God’s Word as you begin your career.

Ministry

PREPARATION FOR MINISTRY

Our School of Social Sciences and Human Services provides a comprehensive, Christ-centered understanding of helping and serving others.

Bible

INSTRUCTORS WHO CARE

You’re more than just a name. Our professors and staff believe in the importance of investing in each student at Grace.

At Grace, You are More Than Just a Student

You are a person with unlimited potential made in the image of a loving God. We understand that your calling and career path will be as unique as you are. At Grace, we will help you align your calling with the skills needed for your future careers so you can confidently impact the world, well beyond your time with us.

Choose Your Unique Career Path

The School of Social Sciences and Human Services prepares graduates for careers serving others in private and public agencies, the church or graduate school. Graduates will receive a comprehensive, Christ-centered understanding of helping and serving others, empowering them to serve individuals, families, and society with integrity, cultural intelligence, and compassion.

Picture Of Matthew Loverin

We’re here to help you!

I am honored to welcome you to Grace Christian University, School of Social Sciences and Human Services. If you have a passion for serving others, then we have degree programs  that will deepen your understanding of people and empower you to serve in your chosen profession. They are  all taught by amazing faculty who bring their professional and clinical experience to their teaching. 

Our graduates have a foundation in Bible and ministry, while also earning a professional degree that provides excellent career opportunities after graduation, and as a solid footing for further graduate school or Seminary if desired. You will be encouraged to apply what you are learning in the real world in service to others as you exemplify the love of Christ through service in non-profit agencies, for-profit organizations, government settings, or in professional ministry.

Blessings, 

Scott Shaw, PhD, D.Min., LPC, LMSW
Dean & Professor, School of Social Sciences and Human Services

Majors

Every major at Grace Christian is focused on intertwining spiritual and academic growth. The school aims to develop passionate servants of Jesus that emphasize the integration of character transformation, ministry experience, and biblical truth.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

If you have a passion for helping others and want to have an impact on the world, then we have a program for you. The Criminal Justice degree has been developed to allow students to be practice-ready upon graduation. Our professors have been involved in the legal and criminal justice fields, so they are able to bring both academics and practical teaching to the classroom. Classes are scenario-based and will allow students to apply their learning to real life situations.  The field of criminal justice has many well-paying openings in a variety of careers. Whether your interests are in public safety, court systems, corrections, probation and parole, prison reentry, prison ministry, legal studies, or other related careers, a Criminal Justice degree from Grace Christian University will equip you to enter your career prepared to serve Christ in church and society.

Major Requirements – 57-60 credits, at least 24 credits in residence

Course

Course Name

Credit Hours

CJS 220

Introduction to Legal Studies

3

CJS 251

Introduction to Criminal Justice

3

CJS 310

Criminal Law

3

CJS 315

Criminal Procedure

3

CJS 330

Law Enforcement and Corrections

3

CJS 350

Criminal and Social Deviance

3

CJS 370

Juvenile Law and Delinquency

3

CJS 380

Current Issues in Security

3

CJS 430

Survival Psychology

3

CJS 440

Culture, Crime, Ethics, and Justice

3

PSY 201

Introduction to Psychology

3

PSY 245

Lifespan Psychology

3

PSY 282

Research Statistics

3

PSY 310

Abnormal Psychology

3

PSY 325

Social Psychology

3

SOC 243

Introduction to Cultural Diversity

3

SOC 251

Principles of Sociology

3

SOC 255

Introduction to Human Services

3

CJS 320/420 or CJS 426

Criminal Justice Internship I, II or
Criminal Justice Internship 

3-6

The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice is comprised of:

  • Arts and Sciences Core 30 credits
  • Bible and Theology Core 30 credits*
  • Major 57-60 credits
  • Undesignated Electives 0-3 credits
  • Total Required for Degree 120 credits

* 18 credits for Degree Completion Transfer Students

For all the details, look up your Major in the Program Information section of the Catalog.

HUMAN SERVICES

If you have a passion for serving others, then we have a degree program for you that will deepen your understanding and empower you to serve at a higher level. The Human Services major prepares students for serving others well in a wide range of contexts. The Human Services field is considered the helping profession. Students are trained to work with diverse populations and address a wide range of social problems. Special emphasis is placed on understanding the unique needs of individuals, families, and communities. All of our graduates have a strong foundation in Bible and ministry, while also earning a professional degree that provides excellent career opportunities after graduation, and as a foundation for graduate school or Seminary. You will be encouraged to apply what you are learning in the real world in service to others as you exemplify the love of Christ through service in non-profit agencies, for-profit organizations, government settings, or in professional ministry.

Major Requirements – 42 credits, at least 18 credits in residence

Course

Course Name

Credit Hours

CJS 251

Introduction to Criminal Justice

3

PSY 201

Introduction to Psychology

3

PSY 245

Lifespan Psychology

3

PSY 282

Research Statistics

3

PSY 310

Abnormal Psychology

3

PSY 325

Social Psychology

3

PSY 349

Theories and Foundations in Counseling

3

PSY 430

Survival Psychology

3

PSY 457

Seminar in Counseling

3

SOC 243

Introduction to Cultural Diversity

3

SOC 255

Introduction to Human Services

3

SOC 356

Marriage and Family

3

SOC 320/420
or SOC 426

Human Services Internship I and II
or Human Services Internship

6

The Bachelor of Science in Human Services is comprised of:

  • Arts and Sciences Core 30 credits
  • Bible and Theology Core 30 credits*
  • Major 42 credits
  • Undesignated Electives/Minor 18 credits
  • Total Required for Degree 120 credits

* 18 credits for Degree Completion Transfer Students

For all the details, look up your Major in the Program Information section of the Catalog.

PSYCHOLOGY

In our rapidly changing world, you want to make a difference.  With a major in Psychology, learned from a Christian worldview, you can make that difference! Empirically driven, the courses you take at Grace Christian University will empower you to understand why people think, feel, and behave the way they do, and what motivates people. This knowledge will give you the intellectual and leadership edge that will make you highly sought-after in today’s competitive job market.  Whether your interests are in the helping professions; advertising, promotion, and marketing; organizational training and development; public relations; retail sales; human resources; or social and community services management, a Psychology degree from Grace Christian University will equip you to enter your career prepared to serve Christ in church and society.

Major Requirements – 45 credits, at least 18 credits in residence

Course

Course Name

Credit Hours

PSY 201

Introduction to Psychology

3

PSY 215

Psychology of Leadership

3

PSY 245

Lifespan Psychology

3

PSY 282

Research Statistics

3

PSY 310

Abnormal Psychology

3

PSY 339

Health Psychology

3

PSY 349

Theories and Foundations in Counseling

3

PSY 430

Survival Psychology

3

PSY 461

Physiological Psychology

3

PSY 457

Seminar in Counseling

3

SOC 243

Introduction to Cultural Diversity

3

SOC 255

Intro to Human Services

3

SOC 356

Marriage and Family

3

PSY 320/420 or PSY 426

Psychology Internship I and II
or Psychology Internship

6

The Bachelor of Science in Psychology is comprised of:

  • Arts and Sciences Core 30 credits
  • Bible and Theology Core 30 credits*
  • Major 45 credits
  • Undesignated Electives/Minor 15 credits
  • Total Required for Degree 120 credits

* 18 credits for Degree Completion Transfer Students

For all the details, look up your Major in the Program Information section of the Catalog.

Associates

Every Associates degree is designed to meet the Art and Science core required of students while intertwining our biblical core. The school aims to develop passionate servants of Jesus that emphasize the integration of character transformation, ministry experience, and biblical truth in the world.

SOCIAL SCIENCES

Are you desiring a career serving others? If so, our recently developed Associate of Arts in Social Science is the program for you. This program offers an introduction to concepts of psychology, human services, and criminal justice while providing foundational academic principles to support success during your time of study. Online cohorts and discussion boards encourage connection and allow opportunities to cultivate meaningful relationships, lifelong friendships, and regular engagement with peers from across the country.

Social Science Content Courses – 18-24 Credits

Course

Course Name

Credit Hours

CJS 220

Introduction to Legal Studies

3

CJS 251

Introduction to Criminal Justice

3

PSY 201

Introduction to Psychology*

3

PSY 245

Lifespan Psychology

3

PSY 215

Psychology of Leadership

3

SOC 251

Principles of Sociology*

3

SOC 255

Introduction to Human Services

3

SSC 298

Associate Degree Capstone

3

* PSY 201 and SOC 251 apply toward both the Arts and Sciences Core and Social Science Content Area requirements.

The Associate of Arts in Social Science is comprised of:

  • Arts and Sciences Core 24 credits
  • Bible and Theology Core 18 credits
  • Social Science Content Area 18-24 credits
  • Total Required for Degree 60-66 credits

For all the details, look up your Major in the Program Information section of the Catalog.

Minors

Along with your Major you can add any Minor to gain the skills in specific areas that will further build your resume and round out your desired talents and abilities. Students who have a passion for people can add a Minor designed to support growth in areas related to serving/helping others.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Adding a minor in Criminal Justice degree gives a broad overview of the field and the unique challenges of law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Students will have theoretical knowledge and application for real-world Christian service. Students gain an overview of criminal law and specific offenses and applies constitutional restrictions on government’s power emphasizing basic criminal law. Students will engage in a wide array of topics related to juveniles, criminology and law enforcement.  Each course will integrate a Christian worldview of justice and on the topics studied.

Course

Course Name

Credit Hours

CJS 310

Criminal Law

3

CJS 315

Criminal Procedures

3

CJS 330

Law Enforcement and Corrections

3

CJS 350

Criminology and Social Deviance

3

CJS 370

Juvenile Law and Delinquency

3

HUMAN SERVICES

Pursuing a minor in Human Services gives practical support for helping others. No one is more prepared to meet this need than the Christian who is able to apply the principles of the Word of God and the knowledge and skills gained in a Human Services program. Students will learn to understand and practice cultural diversity competence. Growth in these skills equips individuals with the social graces needed to form bonds of mutual trust that will bridge the differences that ordinarily divides people. Students will engage in topics related to human services in public and private settings, contemporary Western society with emphasis on culture, socialization, group life, social institutions, social processes and social change.

Course

Course Name

Credit Hours

SOC 243

Introduction to Cultural Diversity

3

SOC 251

Principles of Sociology

3

SOC 255

Introduction to Human Services

3

Upper division PSY/SOC/CJS electives chosen with advisor

6

 

PSYCHOLOGY

Psychology students embrace individuals holistically, taking a bio-psycho-social-spiritual perspective. Further, approaching psychology from a biblical worldview empowers students to support psychological findings in God’s general revelation with His special revelation, the Bible. Students will explore human development from conception through death using the biopsycho-social-spiritual model. Using major theories, such as psychodynamic, behaviorism, cognitive, ecological. Students will examine the psychological influences on health, well-being and longevity. There will be a focus on research methodology and statistics as a liberal arts discipline.The emphasis will be on developing an understanding of the principles and concepts underlying the use of statistics in social sciences research and applications.

Course

Course Name

Credit Hours

PSY 201

Introduction to Psychology

3

PSY 245

Lifespan Psychology

3

PSY 339

Health Psychology

3

PSY 282

Research Statistics

3

Psychology/Sociology elective chosen with advisor

3

The Bible is Central

Grace Christian University is accredited by both the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and by the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). ABHE is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education and has designated Grace Christian University as an institute of higher education in which the Bible is central and the development of Christian life and ministry is essential.

Learn more at ABHE.ORG

ABHE logo and Higher Learning Commission logo
1

APPLY NOW OR
SCHEDULE A VISIT

Fill out the application form, and someone will reach out to you within minutes. No entrance exam needed.

2

TALK TO YOUR
PERSONAL ADVISOR

You’ll be assigned a personal advisor who will help you choose the best career path for you.

3

LIVE OUT
YOUR CALLING!

Feel confident and prepared to impact the world for Christ.

Scholarships & Cost

At Grace, we understand that one of the biggest challenges relates to the cost of your career. We want to alleviate your anxiety so this doesn’t hinder your ability to pursue God’s calling on your life.

Scholarship

SCHOLARSHIPS

100% of freshmen receive Institutional Aid.

Learn More >

Financial Aid

FINANCIAL AID

Grace Students graduate with 20% less debt than the national average.

Learn More >

What are Grace Alumni Doing Now?

Read true stories of what Grace Christian University alumni are up to now and how they’re impacting their communities for Christ.

Grace Christian student finds lifelong passion with West Michigan Ministry

Savanah Pfaff, daughter of Frank and Andrea Pfaff, has always known a profession in counseling was in her future. Uncertain of the field in which she would specialize, Pfaff explored various areas throughout her studies. Abnormal Psychology, Counseling Seminar, and similar coursework offered by Dr. Scott Shaw, allowed her to delve into new and unique areas of Counseling as a career. Pfaff came to Grace Christian with the support of her family.

“My family has always been very supportive of me attending a Christian university to receive a Psychology degree with a Christian worldview.”

Serving Hope to the Community

“They told me to ask if it was an open fist or a closed fist, and ‘Was it his left hand or his right hand?’” Merly Velasquez-Ortiz ’23 says. “I would have never thought to ask those questions.”

At work, Merly sits behind bulletproof glass, wearing a shirt and a tie over her bulletproof vest. Prior to her internship at the Grand Rapids Police Department, she had never even spoken to a victim of domestic violence. Now, she answers the non-emergency line and greets visitors to the imposing downtown building at the corner of Monroe Center and Division. At all times, the screen in front of her shows all of the Grand Rapids 911 calls in real-time, emergencies, and tragedies in a constant stream of hopelessness.

Ministry Work

Cassie Helms and Mallory Walker met in Freshman Orientation, graduated together in 2021, and landed jobs at Bethany Christian Services in Grand Rapids. And though their work with foster children and teen refugees creates high-stress challenges, they are still good friends who finish each other’s sentences.

“When you’re dealing with teens,” Mallory says, “first of all, teens of your own are difficult enough, but dealing with teens that have—”
“Severe trauma,” Cassie interjects— “Can be really, really difficult.”
“It’s ministry work,” Cassie finishes.

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