Program Snapshot: Criminal Justice

by   |  

If you have a heart for ministry and serving, yet yearn for justice and excitement, Bob Jones University’s criminal justice program might be a good fit.

“Criminal justice is a wonderful opportunity to have a field that’s not only exciting, but one way you can help people,” program instructor David Davis said. 

As a criminal justice major, you will learn about the inner workings of the United States’ criminal justice system, including the judiciary, law enforcement and corrections. Most importantly, you will learn how to apply a biblical worldview to a multitude of fields.

“As a believer, you can really be striving to honor and glorify God as we go out and minister in our communities,” Davis said. 

What Classes Will I Take?

If you are unsure if criminal justice would be a good fit, Introduction to Criminal Justice focuses on a general overview of the criminal justice system, primarily in the U.S., while also delving into the history of criminal justice. The course additionally provides a focus on the Constitution and the process that makes laws, as well as the basics of law enforcement.

What are the Job Prospects?

Contrary to popular opinion, criminal justice is not just police work. While criminal justice certainly prepares you for a career in law enforcement, there are myriad careers that you can do with a criminal justice degree. Many graduates of the criminal justice program have careers in law, social services and in federal organizations such as the FBI.

What Experience Will I Get?

Volunteer work is an excellent way to see if you have a legitimate interest in criminal justice. Many students volunteer at youth centers or youth correction centers.

“Some of these young folks don’t have people visit them, but you as an individual or part of a church group might be able to do so,” Davis said. Other students have volunteered at victim services programs, drug and rehabilitation programs, and Big Brother and Big Sister organizations. 

One way to get to know people in the criminal justice major is to join the Criminal Justice Association. If you want a hands-on part-time job that’s related to criminal justice, consider working for BJU’s Public Safety Office either as a dispatcher or a safety officer.

“Excellent training, excellent experience,” Davis said. “Great way to learn about criminal justice, public safety (and) police stuff.”

As a criminal justice major, you are required to participate in a six-week, 135-hour internship off campus. Reflecting the broad diversity of criminal justice, students intern in many different criminal justice-related professions. “The internships are legions,” Davis said.