Corban University   Dedicating Heart and Mind to God
Leadership and Political Engagement Political Science at Corban University

Our hope is in Christ
and His power to create
change in politics


These are exciting and challenging times in American politics because our society is fragmented by divergent and competing cultural and spiritual values...

...we choose to view it as an opportunity.

Many citizens have lost confidence in the political process and feel powerless to effect change; parents wonder if their children will have a better life than they; and political leaders too often lack the will to take responsibility...

...we produce confident citizen-legislators who lead with integrity and have the fortitude to make difficult decisions.

In a society where partisan brinkmanship often supersedes sound policy-making and special interests have little hope of finding common ground...

...we infuse the values of mutual respect, adherence to the political process, and inclusive and long-view policy-planning that benefits the whole society.

The core strength of Corban University's initiative in Leadership and Political Engagement is its commitment to educating students to embody the biblical injunction to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly before God and men. From this foundation our students learn to build bridges in communities and among various political positions, enact future-oriented change, and lead compassionately.

  • We live in difficult times. But are we the first generation to lament loss of freedom, erosion of family values or counterproductive bickering among partisans?

    By grace, I'm encouraged through faith where hope resides. Eternal promises provide hope and so does Leadership and Political Engagement at Corban University.

    It draws from a rich history of a Christian university. Corban seeks to not only study the public square but seizes a geographic opportunity in Oregon's Capitol to leverage relationships for leadership development and real world political experiences.

    Hope is alive and never more evident than in the lives of Corban students who join the battle for the soul of our republic.

    - Vic Gilliam, Oregon State Representative House District 18

  • Edmund Burke captured the essence of the cultural battle which still rages in our midst - “All it takes for evil to succeed is for a few good men to do nothing...” Corban University’s focus on Leadership and Political Engagement is essential for someone who wants to take their place in the fight to preserve our republic. I am excited about this because it provides the Judeo-Christian foundation and tools for students to become leaders and make a significant impact.

    - Sherrie Sprenger, State Representative House District 17

  • You want a dynamic education grounded in a biblical worldview?  You want to hone your leadership skills and become adept at understanding the topography of today’s political landscape?  You want real world experience being mentored by leaders in government?  Corban University’s Political Science degree provides avenues for leadership and political engagement and much more.  If you want to make an impact - then this is the education for you.

    - Kevin Campbell – CEO Victory Group

  • Having spent decades in the private workplace, and nearly 10 years as a state legislator I have come to more deeply value individuals with the ability to translate their beliefs into effective action and outcomes for our communities.

    We are called to train up our children in the ways of the Lord. Coupling God’s precepts and principles with students passionate about public policy is an effective way to infuse our communities with future leaders and statesmen. They will need the skills necessary to influence and mold our current culture and vision for future generations.

    Corban University’s Leadership and Political Engagement Initiative will provide the instruction and environment in which to equip future generations of godly men and women to lead our communities and country.

    - Kevin Cameron, Oregon State Representative House District 19

  • The typical political science program at most universities provides a bland diet of courses which only serve to indoctrinate the student in a certain mindset. What you want is an education that explodes with opportunities – that inspires you and captures your heart with a vision of making an impact with your education as a leader in your community. Corban provides that education and that opportunity for impact.

    - Honorable Vance Day, Oregon Circuit Court Judge

  • Our republic is best served when those who lead are "citizen-legislators" - those who understand the servant-leader model and that public service is the duty of every citizen – not just the privilege of the elected few. Training servant leaders is at the core of Corban University’s mission. I am proud to be associated with Corban University’s program to prepare leaders to be involved in the political process.

    - Gene Derfler, former Oregon Senate President

Curricula Options

The Political Science Degree produces Christian leaders who are politically-engaged in their vocations, homes, churches, and communities.

Students receive a broad understanding of the four sub-disciplines of political science and a historical understanding of political thought and the U.S. Constitution that is required to correctly interpret current events. Through introductory courses, students learn what the discipline of political science is and is not; through Concentrations, they learn how they can use this education to fulfill their unique calling; through internships, they experience politics and better understand where they would like to serve; and through capstone experiences they tie everything together to understand why it all matters to God.

Many students desire a program of study that gives them freedom to tailor courses to achieve their vocational goals. Students may select one of four Concentrations (Political Entrepreneurship, U.S. Governance, Global Governance, or Pre-Law) or choose from more than 30 courses to craft their own inter-disciplinary concentration.

Courses are taught by faculty who have experience in local, state, national, and international politics. Educators not only analyze political processes, theories, and issues side-by-side with students, they are also legislators, judges, and non-profit and business leaders who are deeply involved in policymaking. Students receive the benefit of being in and out of the classroom with educators who live what they teach.

Students put into practice what they learn in the classroom through substantial internship opportunities that test their integrity and critical thinking and communication skills. They build their own portfolio of leadership experiences, but more importantly, cultivate their own unique style of leadership.

See core courses

Major Requirements
Complete 6 credits

General Psychology

This class is an introduction to the important topics in the field, such as behavior, motivation, attitudes, intelligence, learning and remembering, and personality.

General Sociology

Introduction to basic sociological concepts concerning the individual, culture, and group life.

Macro Economics

A study of economy as a whole. The focus is on aggregates such as the private and the public sectors. Topics explored are inflation, unemployment, monetary and fiscal policy.

Micro Economics

A study of the individual units within the national economy. The focus is on topics dealing with firms and households.

Specific Requirements
Complete all 30 credits

Intro to Politics

This survey course considers the nature, goals and processes of politics in theory and practice as understood through the sub-disciplines of Political Philosophy, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and American Government. Basic research methods used in political science will be introduced. Students will complete a 30 hour practicum as part of this course.

American Government

This course is an introduction to the structure and operation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the American federal government as they have been formed by the Constitution and subsequent legislation. Priority is given to domestic affairs with lesser focus on foreign policy.

Political Philosophy

This introductory course in the history of political thought examines such concepts as freedom, authority, and justice and related theories, as they are understood by representative modern and pre-modern political thinkers.

Management Principles

A study of the theories and practices of the management of people, projects, and organizations. The focus of this course is on structure, processes, behavior, and ethics and includes discussion of non-profit organizations.

Political Ethics and Interest Groups

This course applies philosophical ethics and political theory to practical issues associated with contemporary American politics, policy, and interest groups. Topics to be considered include interest group formation, organizational strategies, abortion, euthanasia, immigration, affirmative action, war, and distributive justice.

Junior Internship

The course is designed to provide the political science student with hands-on experience in a professional environment. Special attention is given to the student’s application of classroom instruction to the work world. Students will complete the 150-hour internship in an agency related to the political world.

Political Leadership

This course examines political leadership through the lens of multiple leadership models, considering how cultural, ideological, economic, and political factors determine types of leadership opportunities. Focuses include leading through the use of hard and soft power; influencing political processes and bureaucratic structures with and without political authority and position; and preparing students to manage the challenges, stresses, and dangers of political leadership.

Senior Internship I

The course is designed to provide the political science student with hands-on experience in a professional environment. Special attention is given to the student’s application of classroom instruction to the work world. Students will complete the 150-hour internship in an agency related to the political world.

Senior Internship II

The course is designed to provide the political science student with hands-on experience in a professional environment. Special attention is given to the student’s application of classroom instruction to the work world. Students will complete the 150-hour internship in an agency related to the political world.

Political Science Senior Capstone Seminar

The course serves to tie together each student’s unique course of study. Students will reflect on career goals and how to operate successfully as a Christian in politics. Students will be introduced to advanced political science research methods and will complete and present a major research paper.

Fine tune your major with concentrations.

Concentrations Complete 15 creditsChoose any 5 courses from below

Political Entrepreneurship

Learn the skills you need to launch your own political advocacy, lobbying, or service organization.


  • Introduction to Managerial Accounting
  • Organizational Communication
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Social Media Marketing

Global Governance

Experience politics with cross-cultural challenges that will prepare you for work with the United Nations, American Foreign Service, mission agencies, or humanitarian aid organizations.


  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations
  • Religion and Politics
  • Cultural Anthropology

U.S. Governance

Examine the complexity of U.S. politics at the local, state, and national levels to prepare for government and legal professions.


  • State and Local Government
  • Constitutional Law
  • American Presidency
  • History of American Foreign Relations
  • Modern American History and Politics


Explore the human political mind in preparation for legal, academic, and mediation professions.


  • Logic and Rhetoric
  • History of Philosophy
  • Advanced Speech
  • Debate and Oratory
  • Persuasive Theory and Writing
  • Dispute Resolution

McLaran Scholarships

It is Corban University’s greatest joy to see our students mature towards their God-given spiritual and vocational potentials. The McLaran Scholarship is Corban University’s premier avenue for preparing Christian student leaders in the Pacific Northwest for the challenges of political leadership.

As a confirmation of Corban University’s dedication to the success of these future leaders, it has reserved its most prestigious merit scholarships for students enrolled in the Political Science degree who have proven political engagement and academic excellence. McLaran Scholars will mature as discerning Christian thought leaders, skilled in political engagement as theory-driven and field-tested professionals and scholars.

What is the McLaran Scholarship?

Up to ten annually-renewable $16,000 scholarships
($64,000 over four years)


Benefits and Expectations of McLaran Scholars

  • The McLaran Scholarship replaces any Corban academic scholarship the student would otherwise qualify for.
  • Individual mentoring with faculty and political leaders
  • Hands-on political internships
  • Professional conferences
  • Off-campus academic opportunities in Washington D.C. and Europe
  • Political agency tours
  • Guest speakers
  • Summer leadership academy teaching opportunities
  • Leadership symposium
  • Career and resume guidance
  • Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society leadership

Application Timeline

  • February 1 - Application deadline
  • March 1 - Finalists notified
Who May Apply and When?

Prospective freshmen with:

  • Minimum of 1100 SAT or 24 ACT
  • Minimum high school GPA of 3.6
  • Total academic score of 21 or higher using the Corban academic scholarship estimator

Prospective students may apply following their submission of Corban University application materials. Transfer and currently-enrolled students are not eligible.

Annual Renewal Criteria
  • Maintain 3.0 GPA overall and 3.25 in the Political Science Major
  • Continuous enrollment in Political Science Major
  • Continued political engagement verified through reference letter
In Honor Of

Mike McLaran (1960-2013) was a spiritual, social, and political force in Oregon’s Willamette Valley for Christ and a champion of Corban University’s effort to train students in leadership and political engagement. These scholarships honor his enduring memory and his heart for political engagement.


Are you ready
to make a difference
in the world
for Jesus Christ?

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