Perspectives on Faith and Citizenship
How did your government—local, state, and national—respond to the COVID-19 pandemic? Were they prepared or caught off-guard? Were they quick to adjust to new information or did they move too slowly? Do you wonder “how can we do this better?”
The pandemic is shining a light on the strengths of our systems of politics and policymaking—and illuminating their weaknesses. If you’re going to help laws and policies be more effective and responsive, you need to understand how governments get things done during a crisis.
In this course, you’ll do a deep dive into how the American polity is organized to govern. You’ll see how American political culture is reflected in government structures and processes. You’ll explore the ways that different actors within these structures set goals, implement strategies, and adjust to change. And you’ll learn how you can help politics pursue justice, remake trust, and bring hope when it’s needed most.
There is no set meeting time for this course. You will have opportunities for live collaboration with the professor and other students. If you choose to audit the course, plan to spend 10-14 hours over the course of three weeks reading, writing, watching videos, and having discussions. You won't be graded. If you are taking the course for academic credit, expect an additional 20 hours of course work. Credit-seekers are awarded a credit on a completed/not-completed basis without a letter grade.
Professor Koopman earned a Masters of Theological Studies at Wesley Theological Seminary in 1984 before going on to study at the Catholic University of America, receiving a PhD in American government in 1992.
His academic specialties are American political institutions and religion in American politics. Koopman joined the Calvin faculty in 1995 after fifteen years working in national politics. He has interrupted his academic work at times for assignments in politics, government, and higher education leadership.