Female criminal justice major uses a magnifying class to observe evidence

Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

About the B.A. in Criminal Justice Degree

Cedarville’s distinctly Christian B.A. in criminal justice degree will prepare you for graduate school or career positions in a wide range of criminal justice fields. With Scripture integrated throughout the program, you will learn that crime and civil disputes are a result of man’s sinful nature, and his greatest need is for salvation through Jesus Christ. You will be equipped to be a Christian criminal justice professional who administers justice with righteousness.

This program is also available as a minor.

Criminal Justice Program Highlights

Biblical worldview — With biblical integration in every course, you will be prepared to lead with integrity and honor God in your vocation.

Broad curriculum
— You will take a wide spectrum of courses, including law, criminal justice, political science, sociology, psychology, ethics, and public sector administration.

Real-world experience — A required internship will give you practical experience to prepare for your future.

Experienced faculty — Your professors will have more than just book knowledge. They are scholar-practitioners, with both high academic credentials and years of real-world criminal justice experience. Dr. Patrick Oliver, the program’s director, has 27 years of law enforcement experience, including as the Chief of Police for Cleveland, Grandview Heights, and Fairborn, Ohio, and is actively involved with agencies such as the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE).


Outcomes for Criminal Justice Majors

What can you do with a criminal justice degree? A Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice from Cedarville University can lead you to a career as a:

  • Correctional Officer
  • Court Reporter
  • Crime Scene Examiner
  • Homeland Security Official
  • Judge and Magistrate
  • Lawyer
  • Legal Secretary
  • Paralegal and Legal Assistant
  • Police Officer and Detective
  • Private Investigator
  • Probation Officer

Our graduates are working in positions such as state police officers, local sheriff’s office deputies, and correctional officers and some have been commissioned as officers with the U.S. Army or Air Force. Others have gone on to pursue M.B.A.s and law degrees.

Opportunities for Criminal Justice Majors

Internships — The criminal justice program faculty believes so strongly in the importance of internship experience that they require an internship as part of the program. Criminal justice majors can intern in a variety of related fields to gain vital experience and obtain first-hand knowledge of what working in particular areas of the field may entail. Internships help students decide what career options to pursue, help to build resumes, and provide experience that sets them apart from those they will be competing against in the job market. Our students have completed internships at places like Lebanon Prison, Mason County Sheriff’s Office, and Mechanicsburg Police Department.

ATIC — For those interested in pursuing intelligence or crime analysis as a career, you can participate in a semester-long Advanced Technical Intelligence Center boot camp. You’ll leave with a top security clearance and prepared for any job in the intelligence industry.

Real-world exposure — As part of the program, you will take part in ride-alongs with local police departments and visit state prisons. You will also take experience monthly meetings with guest speakers from the criminal justice field.

D.C. Semester — You can join fellow students and a faculty member for a life-changing experience of learning, development, and service in a semester spent in Washington, D.C.

The Center for Political Studies provides a biblical response to political and social issues of our day.

Student Organizations — Student organizations complement your coursework with opportunities to meet and learn from like-minded students and professionals.

  • Alpha Delta Nu> provides criminal justice students with the opportunity to enhance their professional development. Members believe that a career in criminal justice is a ministry in a God-ordained institution, which is government.
  • Cedarville Legal Society provides a biblical view of justice in the pursuit of a law degree by sponsoring educational activities related to pursuing a legal career, establishing relationships with students with common career goals, and promoting the profession of law to Cedarville students.
  • Epsilon Pi Lambda is a student organization that provides opportunities for students to grow in their appreciation of the fields of history and government and provide an outlet for pursuing knowledge, obtaining academic support, gaining fellowship, and providing service.
  • Omega Mu is the Cedarville University chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society. It is the goal of this honor society to promote the scholarly investigation of politics and to assist its members in developing their leadership potential in their sphere of influence.

History and Government

picture of the Supreme Court

Cedarville named best Christian college in Ohio for law-related degrees

Christian Universities Online gives Cedarville high marks for its political science, criminal justice, and prelaw offerings.

Placement Success

We’re proud of our successful graduates! 96% of 2016 graduates from the Department of History and Government were employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation.

Program Faculty

Photo of Patrick Oliver

Patrick Oliver, Ph.D.

Director of the Criminal Justice Program

  • Location HGC 122
  • phone-handset 937-766-3851
  • Email Email
Photo of Robert Vaughn

Robert Vaughn, J.D.

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice

  • Location HGC 118
  • phone-handset 937-766-7649
  • Email Email
Department of History and Government

Criminal Justice Program Curriculum

Building on your core liberal arts and Bible minor courses, you will take core criminal justice courses as well as courses in legal studies and local law enforcement.

Sample courses:
  • Career Planning for Criminal Justice Professional
  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
View Course Catalog