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History

The history major focuses on traditional regions, nations, and themes within American, European, and World history, providing students with a solid base of factual knowledge, the ability to logically interpret those facts, and the ability to communicate them.

  • In a world where men and women tend to change careers and jobs multiple times throughout life, history provides just the kind of education – one that develops transferable skills – that one needs. Trends in employment come and go. A history major provides a “trend-proof” education, empowering students with skills they can use for anything and apply to a lifetime of learning and professional growth.

    WLC’s history faculty have earned graduate degrees from top-level institutions and regularly present at conferences and publish books and articles. Our faculty members are teaching scholars who personally interact with students, get to know them, involve students in scholarship, and use their scholarship to enhance the student’s experience in the classroom.

    What Makes the Program Distinctive?

    All WLC history courses are taught from a Lutheran theological perspective. Instruction is shaped according to Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions – a focus virtually unique in American higher education. God reveals himself to us in history – salvation history for example – though his hand in historical events is often hidden from our understanding. While history often reveals the consequences of the fall into sin and shows God’s people bearing the cross, Christ’s atonement and the Gospel are at the heart of history. His people cling to Christ’s cross in the best and worst times of human history, always looking through faith in Christ to the world to come.

  • ACADEMICS AND RESEARCH

    Relevance and Academic Rigor

    Employers are interested in skills that can translate to and are essential for just about any profession. In fact, 93% of recently surveyed employers report that “a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than a candidate's undergraduate major.”

    A history major is academically challenging, but with dedication and discipline, provides students with exactly those skills that employers are looking for. History teaches one how to make an argument and support it with clear, specific, and well-documented evidence gathered from the best available sources. History teaches students how to do research independently, and in fact requires them to do so throughout the major. History teaches students how to critically evaluate sources and information, rather than just accepting whatever assertions appear. In this age of Google, Wikipedia, and debate over the truth of news reporting, being able to critically evaluate sources and “facts” is especially crucial. History teaches students to organize this information, assess its accuracy, determine whether interpretations of the information is valid, and present such evaluation eloquently and precisely. What could be more essential to a whole host of careers than these fundamental skills which are not innate but learned through practice and hard work?

    BEYOND THE CLASSROOM

    Clubs and Organizations

    WLC's history faculty recognize outstanding achievement through WLC's chapter of the Phi Alpha Theta national honor society. They also encourage students to organize into information clubs and create community within those organizations.

    Relevant Experiences and Internships

    The history program offers unique opportunities to enhance student success in gaining admittance to graduate programs and finding jobs. Students may serve as tutors for American and European survey classes and as research assistants for projects like the Fourth-Century Christianity website and Anatolian Roads Project. Students have interned at such places as Old Sturbridge Village, a living museum in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, plus the Milwaukee area provides robust opportunities for relevant internships in a variety of fields.

    Anatolian Roads Project

    The Anatolian Roads Project is a mapping project that aims to identify all of the extant Roman-era roads in Anatolia (modern Turkey) and provide reliable and realistic hypothetical routes for the portions that do not survive. 

    2017 WLC group at Ephesus Library2017 Temple of Apollo
    2017 grooves in ancient road2017 Ephesus view

     

    GRADUATE SCHOOL AND CAREERS

    Graduate School

    WLC's history program properly prepares students for success in graduate school. Several WLC history majors have pursued Master's, PhDs, and JDs at such universities as Marquette University, University of Chicago, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and The Ohio State University.

    Careers

    The history program at Wisconsin Lutheran College prepares strong-minded Christian leaders capable of success in nearly any career. Past graduates are now working as teachers, content writers, sheriff deputies, nurses, financial advisers, curators, park managers, and lawyers. 

    Data collected by the American Historical Association (AHA) indicates that, “History majors seem particularly well-prepared for, and attracted to, certain careers. Nearly one in five goes into education-just over half as primary-, middle-, and high-school teachers. Another 15 percent enter management positions in business, and 11 percent go into the legal professions (most becoming lawyers).” 1

    History Career chart

    1 Paul Sturtevant, “History is not a Useless Major: Fighting Myths with Data,” Perspectives on History, April 2017, accessed online Sept. 4, 2018. (Chart excerpted from the same article)

    SCHOLARSHIP: DAN AND LISA LEFFEL AWARD IN HISTORY

    The purpose of the Dan and Lisa Leffel Award is to support, acknowledge, encourage, and promote students who choose to enter the history field.

    This scholarship will enable students, upon graduation, to use their God-given gifts to positively affect their churches, families, workplaces, and communities. By contributing to this scholarship, Dan and Lisa Leffel will have shared their values with future generations of young Christians. Dan and Lisa Leffel also have the knowledge that their lives are reflecting the values Wisconsin Lutheran College is looking to relate to its students.

    Dan and Lisa Leffel have the joy in knowing their financial support is ensuring that those students described above will have the opportunity to attend Wisconsin Lutheran College and receive a strong Christ-based education. The Dan and Lisa Leffel Award in History will also serve to encourage others to support the mission of Wisconsin Lutheran College.

    This renewable scholarship would be available to a student who:

    • is a history major,
    • has financial need,
    • has an overall GPA of 3.0 and a history GPA of 3.5 or is invited to apply by a member of the history faculty,
    • is a junior or senior student, and
    • shares an exemplary, written essay as decided by the history faculty.

    For more information about the award, please contact Dr. Aaron Palmer.

    Past Recipients

    2012-2014: Tierney Gill
    2014-2015: Timothy Patoka
    2015-2016: Sarah Bublitz
    2016-2017: Katie Hortsman
    2017-2018: Austin Veach
    2018-2019: Melanie Dodson
    2019-2020: Matthew Harbach
    2020-2021: Lydia Schroeder

    SCHOLARSHIP: GLEN AND BETH THOMPSON HISTORY SCHOLARSHIP

    The Glen and Beth Thompson Scholarship is awarded annually to an outstanding history major who has expressed a desire to pursue advanced or graduate study. The scholarship consists of a $1,000 award and may be renewable. The recipient must be a declared history major and maintain an overall GPA of 3.5 or be invited to apply by a member of the history faculty.

    Past Recipients

    2016-2017: Nicholas Schroeder
    2017-2018: Joshua Tietz
    2018-2019: Sidney Lehman
    2019-2020: Amber Soyk
    2020-2021: Cory Diedrick

    ADVISING INFORMATION

    Learn more about course offerings, sample programs, and entrance requirements for this major:

    HISTORY ADVISING PAGE