Why Study History?

In a sense, history is all people have. The future has yet to exist and the present slips away moment by moment. When a person asks you how your day was, he or she is asking a question about history. When you think about how well you did on an examination, you are thinking about history. Your thoughts about the future are based on what you have learned from the past. Newspapers and newscasts tell us about recent history. History includes everything that has been thought, said and done to the present moment. History encompasses business, law, medicine, psychology, art, politics, theological study and the development of modern media.

What Good is a History Degree?

In a competitive marketplace, employers seek a few hard-to-find skills. They want employees who can communicate well in written and spoken form. They want employees who are trustworthy and reliable. They want employees who have good judgment and can solve problems. And they want employees who understand what is going on in their world. In other words, they want employees who are educated.

When directed by professors who care about students and learning, the study of history helps young people to develop these important skills. It gives them an opportunity to both study other people's writing and to develop their own writing skills, improving their talent as they gain experience. Students of history can see what kind of things have made life better for people and what kind have not.  This sharpens their ability to make moral, political, personal and theological choices. Current news makes sense to history students because they can place events in their historical contexts. And since history includes everything that has happened in the past, students can bring their own interests to it.

In addition to being a good thing in itself, learning about history complements many other courses of study. For example, computer science majors can study how technology has affected other societies. And business majors can study business practices in ancient Rome, the Middle Ages, Renaissance Venice or Japan during the Great Depression. Undergraduate study of history also helps prepare students for graduate work in many fields, including theology and linguistics.

JBU's history department is especially equipped to assist students interested in pursuing careers in law, international relations, and politics.

What Kind of Student is JBU's History Department Looking for?

JBU's professors of history are committed to the cause of education because they know it is a gift from God that should never be taken lightly. They seek bright, motivated young people who are interested in the world around them and who desire to work toward becoming reflective, thoughtful and well-rounded Christians.