History and Political Science

The Department of History and Political Science pursues the integration of a biblically-based philosophy of history and politics with the best of current scholarship. Students in the department have the opportunity to engage coursework covering the span of American History, the roots of United States politics and government, the breadth of European history, culture and ideas, as well as courses covering non-Western societies. Throughout our courses and scholarship, our committed department faculty invest our students with an excellence of academic thought and Christian life.

Areas of Study

The History and Political Science department at Olivet Nazarene University offers conceptual frameworks that are both rigorous and innovative. As students determine their aptitude and what career path they want to pursue, their professors help them customize their education to be best prepared for the future. 

Legal Studies
Political Science 
Public Policy
Social Science
Social Science Education

Field Experience

Students in the History and Political Science department have numerous ways to pursue learning experiences outside the classroom. Students can participate in multiple study abroad opportunities through Olivet Nazarene University, the CCCU, and other affiliated programs. Our department faculty also lead students on an annual week-long immersive experience in Washington D.C. where we focus on political structures and activism. Through collaborations with local organizations like the Kankakee County Museum, students in our department can also gain valuable internship experience in the burgeoning fields of public history and museum studies.

Where to find us: 

The History and Political Science Department is located on the third floor of Burke. 

Study Abroad

More than a dozen study abroad programs at Olivet provide opportunities for students to experience other cultures in different countries.

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Learn why Olivet’s dedication to faith and integrity have earned its rank as Illinois's number one Christian university.


Campus Visit

We offer several different ways for you to visit our beautiful campus! Whether you visit in person or online, choose a personalized visit or energetic event day, we want to show you all that Olivet has to offer.

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It all starts here! We accept applications on a rolling basis throughout the year. All completed applications receive equal consideration.

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Program Welcome

We're glad you're here! Watch the video for a program overview from the chair of our department, Professor David Van Heemst.

By the Numbers
of department graduates who applied were accepted into law school
student-to-faculty ratio
opportunities each year to experience Washington, D.C.
network of Olivet alumni

Our Faculty

As Olivet’s first political scientist hired to teach, Dr. David Van Heemst developed the political science program. Relating with students is one of his passions and discussions in his classroom are legendary. His achievements as a professor have garnered him multiple awards. He is the author of five books and the father of five daughters.

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