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Legal studies minor added option for Olivet students

Posted: May 14, 2013


Dr. Charles Emmerich of the Center for Law and Culture seeks to inspire Olivet students in embracing their noble heritage that is the basis of United States government.

Olivet is partnering with the Center for Law and Culture to offer a unique curriculum — a minor in legal studies. Olivet’s newest minor is designed to inspire virtuous public leadership and citizenship in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Through it, students will gain an appreciation for the Anglo-American legal tradition, which spans 10 centuries and has established a higher law approach based on the rule of law under God.

“Since the turmoil of the 1960s and the subsequent cultural shift away from a Judeo-Christian moral consensus, accurate and vital instruction concerning civics, citizenship and our political-legal heritage has been systematically and incrementally removed from education, particularly at the collegiate and graduate levels,” said Charles Emmerich, J.D., LL.M., director of the Center and professor in the Department of History and Political Science. “The result is an appallingly ignorant citizenry, and the rise of a crass, hedonistic secularism that is causing America’s youth to disdain the noble heritage so eloquently expressed in the Declaration of Independence.”

For the new legal studies minor, seven new law-related courses are integrated into Olivet’s curriculum. Students complete coursework in three areas:
• foundational courses on the Western legal tradition, focusing in particular on the history of English and American law
• elective law-related courses across the curriculum
• courses designed to foster the academic skills necessary for effective citizenship and careers in public life

“While the Olivet-Center partnership and legal studies minor may only be an acorn at this point, great potential exists,” said Dr. John C. Bowling, University president. “With adequate resourcing, this program can be replicated at many other faith-based schools and thereby grow into a mighty oak.”

“In the midst of moral relativism and ethical confusion, the Center for Law and Culture provides a clear foundation of wisdom to those who are seeking truth about mankind’s history and our natural, God-given responsibilities in the areas of law, government and politics,” said U.S. Congressman Randy Hultgren from the 14th District of Illinois. “It is an honor to know Prof. Emmerich, and I am so thankful for the work he is doing to equip our future leaders with the knowledge to make a difference.”

For more information about the legal studies minor and other majors and minors offered by Olivet, contact the Office of Admissions at 815-939-5203 or