Today, many people of faith are questioning how to best navigate a complex and pluralistic society. How might Christians engage in politics and public service, and promote virtues and ethics that influence citizens toward what is righteous and good?
As the partisan divide grows wider, Azusa Pacific University is responding by cultivating thoughtful conversations and inviting individuals and organizations to work together to find solutions to our nation’s most pressing civic concerns—Introducing the Center for Public Affairs.
The Center for Public Affairs, situated in the heart of Sacramento, will be the flagship program for students and leaders who seek to influence public affairs from a values-based perspective. The center is the first of its kind in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), and offers unique programs integrating excellent training in the theory and practice of public service, while remaining grounded in the Christian tradition.
“As a proud APU alumna and current assemblywoman serving in the California Legislature, I was thrilled to learn about APU opening the Center for Public Affairs in Sacramento. Engaging in state government will be a crucial component of these students’ education. I look forward to supporting the center and helping mold these future leaders.”
A Plan for Impact: Developing Future Leaders and Influencers
The Center for Public Affairs will house two distinct programs: a study away experience for undergraduate students and a master’s degree in public administration.
Each year approximately 30 APU undergraduate students will explore a call to public service. During their semester in Sacramento, students will enroll in six units of academic coursework in public administration while concurrently completing an internship in the Capitol, a public agency, or other nonprofit entity.
The master’s degree in public administration (MPA) will equip leaders for effective work within public agencies and nonprofit organizations. This program, launching fall 2019, will attract government leaders seeking advanced education in public agency management, public policy implementation and analysis, nonprofit administration, and ethics and moral leadership.
“Having served our communities for many years, I know firsthand the value of our young people engaging in the public sphere. Azusa Pacific University’s Center for Public Affairs will provide students from a variety of academic disciplines valuable experience and public service opportunities, representing a significant investment in the leaders of tomorrow and a valuable contribution to California.”
Engaging in a Robust Cross-Disciplinary Research Agenda
APU faculty will collaborate with the Center for Public Affairs to create opportunities for research on some of the state’s most pressing policy issues. This research will be a collaboration with governmental and non-governmental civic agencies, and will produce academic writings as well as general audience articles and policy briefs. Research areas include:
• Foster youth
• Public health
• Public safety
Visiting Faculty Fellow Program
Faculty from a variety of disciplines will have the opportunity to participate in a Visiting Faculty Fellows program through the Center for Public Affairs. Faculty will receive financial support to advance scholarship in faith and civic life or to collaborate with the Center for Public Affairs on one of its active research projects.
“The center will represent APU’s Christ-centered mission in Sacramento, enabling our students, faculty, and supporters to build bridges for positive dialogue, contribute to professional activities for students and the greater community, and generate research that contributes to the common good for the State of California.”
Equipping the Public
Speaker Series and Faith-Community Gatherings
The center will host several events each year featuring prominent leaders on a variety of public policy topics, and will be attended by leaders and accessible to partners. In addition, the center will host gatherings with churches and other faith-based organizations to discuss opportunities to cultivate fruitful church and civic partnerships, and to provide resources and best practices.
The Center for Public Affairs will be strategically positioned to keep the Christian community and the general public informed about trends in government, political actions that could impact the communities in which they live and serve, and ongoing efforts to strengthen relationships between communities of faith and state and local leaders. A nonpartisan publication and digital communication developed in conjunction with APU’s Center for Public Affairs will provide insight and analysis on these issues of strategic importance.
Will you help support Christian public service?
The Center for Public Affairs allows you to leave a lasting impact on the state of California through supporting Azusa Pacific students and faculty, fostering dialogue on civic life and cultivating civic leaders in our community, state, and nation who will influence the future of policy and practices in our society. Your gift will help fund student participation, provide opportunities for faculty research, and develop public resources for California’s faith community.
Every gift makes a difference.