Studying history illuminates the present. At Cornerstone University, the history & civic studies major combines researching the past with understanding how modern societies work. By studying the past and present together, you will gain deep contextual knowledge about how history has shaped contemporary government, politics and culture. The history & civic studies major prepares you for both graduate school programs and for a vocation immediately after college. Throughout this major, you will be encouraged to think about how your studies can help you grow in your love for Jesus and equip you to participate in God’s mission.
As a history & civic studies student at Cornerstone, you’ll have the opportunity to explore a variety of themes and topics. Not only will you study history on a local, national and global scale, but you’ll also learn about systems of government, civic engagement and social issues. And you’ll do this by going out into the community of Grand Rapids and uncovering history for yourself. This program’s innovative “reading the city” project transforms Grand Rapids into a textbook, where you’ll explore archives, marvel at architecture and learn more about what it takes to run a city.
In the classroom, you’ll learn from professors who have dedicated their work and research to history and who have hands-on experience as museum curators and archivists. A historian is an invaluable part of any organization. History & civic studies graduates can be found in high-ranking military positions, government, law and even business or economics.
Historians are needed in all areas of life. Their attention to detail and understanding of complex systems is greatly valued in any organization. The list of careers for history & civic studies majors ranges from government to law to research.
Military or paramilitary positions
History & civic studies majors have incredible opportunities to serve as interns in contexts like museums, libraries, government offices and archives. These internships are a critical time for you to apply what you’ve learned in the classroom to a potential future career.
The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum
Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates
Grand Rapids Public Museum
Lakeshore Museum Center
City of Grand Rapids Community Archives and Research Center
Of students participate in an internship or practicum experience.
Of students are employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.
Welcome to Your Classroom: Grand Rapids
When you learn history & civic studies at Cornerstone, you don’t spend all your time sitting in a classroom reading from a textbook. At Cornerstone, the mid-size city of Grand Rapids, Mich., is your classroom. Established just one year after Michigan claimed statehood, this almost 200-year-old city is steeped in history, from its founding as a trading post for loggers along the Grand River to its development as the furniture capital of the country as well as its importance in the Civil Rights Movement. Grand Rapids is home to numerous museums, archives, government buildings and civic centers. History and civic studies students can use these as centers for learning and to gain internship experience.
The history & civic studies program at Cornerstone is designed to inspire your intellect, deepen your character and prepare you to lead in your career with influence and wisdom.
Off-Campus Study Programs
Put history on the map. As a history & civic studies student, you could spend a semester in an off-campus study program at Oxford, Washington D.C., Ecuador or Jordan and learn in an immersive intercultural environment. Short-term study trips are also available to places like London, Ireland, Italy, France and South Africa.
The Humanities Division provides students from all academic divisions with an annual seminar to discuss topics such as an era of poetry or influential thinkers. This seminar experience also includes an opportunity to study abroad in Oxford, England.
Program learning outcomes are the foundation of a CU degree. Explore how our history & civic studies program prepares you with the essential knowledge and 21st century skills to reach your God-given potential and become a lifelong learner.
My history major has taught me critical thinking. I have learned to do my own research and not just accept what someone else says at face value.
Ruth Deem (’21)
Faculty in the history & civic studies program have decades of experience in studying history and the humanities. Some have even served as museum curators and are actively involved in civic communities.