Female criminal justice major uses a magnifying class to observe evidence

Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

About the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

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.

Why Study Criminal Justice at Cedarville?

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).


What Can You Do With a B.A. in Criminal Justice?

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 to Learn Outside the Classroom


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.


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.

History and Government

Spring 2020 at Founders Hall

#CUGiveHope Day Will Help Families Impacted by the Pandemic

Funds raised will be used for scholarships and emergency support for students and their families facing financial hardship because of the coronavirus.

School Shootings

Dr. Patrick Oliver discusses the increase of school shootings and how to ensure school safety.

Placement Success

We’re proud of our successful graduates! 97% of 2018 graduates from the Department of History and Government were employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation.


Student-Centered Focus Leads Cedarville University During Coronavirus

Cedarville University President Dr. Thomas White announced this morning the university will teach online for the remainder of the semester.

Marci and Michael Gabrielse

Almost Losing Dad Leads to Deeper Faith

Father of Cedarville junior social work major Marci Gabrielse was diagnosed with tongue cancer five years ago.

spring career fair 2020

Business Leaders Seek Employees at Large Career Fair

Career Services is hosting the spring event Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Doden Field House.

Fall 2019 Career Fair

Class of 2019 Finding Jobs at Record Rate

Already exceptional First Destination Rate increases for the third year in a row.

Program Faculty

Photo of Patrick Oliver

Patrick Oliver, Ph.D.

Director of the Criminal Justice Program

  • Location HGC 122
  • Phone 937-766-3851
  • Email Email

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 Curriculum Plan and Catalog