Department Distinctives

  • Research: trained in professional research methods, ethics, and written and oral communication. Seniors propose, execute, and present an original research-based thesis, consistent with graduate research standards. They earn an ethics certification from the National Institutes of Health, and are well-prepared for professions or graduate study. 

  • Faculty: All of our faculty members hold PhDs, are members of their respective national professional organizations, and are active members of Christian scholarly organizations. Emphasis is given to excellent teaching and learning that includes classroom activities, experiential learning and close faculty/student interaction. Faculty and alumni work closely to mentor and connect students with internship, research and employment opportunities. Our faculty encourages students to become effective, compassionate agents of change in the world. 

  • Flexible: The SOAN-CJ majors have an efficient credit total, so it offers room for studying abroad, double majoring, or adding a minor. Students are able to craft a unique and well-rounded college experience, tailored to their career interests. It is common for students to double major in nursing, business, pre-law, and more. 

  • Experience: experienced in real world applications such as study abroad, research, and internships. Students makes the most of Messiah College’s excellent educational opportunities. Collaborating with the Career Center, Internship Center, and Intercultural Office, we facilitate real world opportunities for students to study abroad and intern. Most of our department students go on at least one study abroad trip. We make professional development an integral part of students’ education. 

  • Faith: Christian faith is integrated into the SOAN-CJ program in all possible ways, including classroom curriculum, service, guest speakers, faculty research, and most importantly, a student’s daily experience with professors and classmates.

...Investigating social structure, justice, culture, race, gender, social inequality, globalization, and peace-making


  • Most classes are held in Boyer Hall, a state-of-the-art academic classroom building with complete audio-visual and computer facilities.
  • Computer labs are equipped with computers and software for designing and implementing online surveys, completing sophisticated statistical analysis and designing creative audio-visual presentations.
  • Faculty offices, administrative support, and a Social Science Resource Room, are located within Boyer Hall. Students are able to study, hold small meetings, and talk with faculty in a centralized location.
  • The Department partners closely with the Internship Center and the Career Center to provide students with excellent professional development.
  • The world is our classroom! Department students study abroad, do service-learning locally, spend a semester at Messiah’s Philadelphia Campus, or live in Harrisburg at Messiah’s SALT house. Department faculty partner with other campus offices and offer academic advising to students in one-on-one sessions that allow students to maximize opportunities for real-world engagement.