By Sarah Hill
Baylor students will be able to examine warfare and its role in our world from a Christian perspective through the newest minor approved by the College of Arts & Sciences.
Beginning in the Spring 2020 semester, Baylor University will offer a new minor in military studies. The new minor is interdisciplinary, and is not limited to students in ROTC programs.
“The military studies minor will be informative, educational and really interesting,” said Dr. Julie Sweet, professor of history and director of the minor. “You don’t have to pursue a career in the military to be interested in military studies. There are uses for it outside the parameters of the U.S. Armed Forces.”
Sweet, who teaches a course on American military history and sometimes wears period uniforms when lecturing, said that despite what a student’s major might be, the military studies minor will have something for them.
“Pre-med students, journalism and political science majors, gamers, history buffs and future businessmen and women can grow in areas such as leadership, psychology and ethics with this minor,” she said.
While an examination of warfare will be a strong component of the military studies minor, it will draw from multiple areas of study. Required classes will come from a wide range of departments such as history, religion, political science and classics, with classes in psychology, sociology and film and digital media possibly added in the future.
“Before this minor existed a lot of courses here at Baylor had a military component to them, but no one brought them together under the same umbrella,” Sweet said. “I want to draw everyone together and have them learn from each other.” She said that the military studies minor is ready to hit the ground running because many of the required classes required are already offered.
Baylor’s military studies minor is unique because it is the only such concentration in the nation that includes a religious aspect.
“It focuses on a more Christian approach to the military and the role that it plays in world affairs. Just because we’re military doesn’t mean we’re pro-war” Sweet said.
Sweet adds that what Baylor students will learn in military studies classes can be applied to current issues in society.
“You don’t realize how much this subject infiltrated your life until you start looking for it. And especially with the upcoming election and the accessibility the younger generation has to news via social media, it is highly important for them to understand the topics being discussed,” Sweet said. “That’s what we’re here to do at Baylor –– to educate citizens for a Christian life and to be good citizens. We can do all that in the military studies program.”
More information on the military studies minor is available at the history department website.
A C-SPAN video of Dr. Sweet lecturing in period uniform on “The American Military in the Revolutionary War” is available here.