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Sociology

Sociology

Sociology is the science of everyday life. It is the study of a number of frameworks that reveal how society shapes us, and how we shape society. We teach students self-reflection so that in learning to see themselves—their own practices and outlooks—they can understand how these and the groups they are a part of shape their behavior and thinking.

On this page Overview Graduate Outcomes Programs / Features Faculty Contact

Program Overview

More than a set of skills, or a pathway to a career, sociology is about learning to see society in new ways. We all view the world through a lens that has been shaped by the culture in which we exist—a culture that includes our families, education, religion, politics, and other particularities of our social location. Sociology students explore the concepts and theories that dictate everyday life, such as social norms, social class, deviance, and socialization, to name a few. This deepens our understanding of the social world by learning to switch perspectives.  

The sociology department takes seriously the scriptural idea that Christians should be in, not of, the world. A Christian approach to sociology illuminates how to engage our culture, while remaining aware of its traps and distortions as we work out our callings before God.

Graduate Outcomes

A sociology degree is versatile and prepares students for service in various fields. Many of our graduates are social workers and counselors while others are working in criminology, community development, journalism, art therapy, media, sports, and health fields. Sociology is also an excellent springboard into law school, master of social work programs, and a number of other fields of graduate study. 

Our alumni have acquired positions such as:

  • Medical Operations Officer, Army National Guard
  • Site-Based Mentoring Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Chattanooga
  • Chaplain & Bereavement Coordinator, Crossroads Hospice
  • CEO, Choices Pregnancy Resource Center
  • Teen Suicide Prevention Specialist and Licensed Counselor, Sources of Strength
  • Community Developer, Habitat for Humanity
  • Child-Life Specialist, Children’s Hospital

Our department also offers a wide array of practicum (internship) opportunities in fields like adoption, school counseling, law enforcement, and older adult care, to name just a few. 

Recent student internships:

  • Bethany Christian Services
  • Standifer Place Nursing Home
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters
  • Chattanooga Police Department
  • Thrive at Brow Wood/Senior Living Community
christina fox

Christina Fox ’96

Kayla Underwood ’12

Sociology has some remarkable things to offer the person of faith who looks to the Scriptures for wisdom and illumination…. As you learn to edge toward those who stand outside the bounds of your worlds, I invite you to a new boldness about who you are, as you embrace and embody an identity that is rooted in Christ, worked out among God’s people, and lived for the sake of his kingdom.
Matthew Vos

Professor of Sociology

Programs & Features

Sociology majors take foundational courses in introductory sociology, research methods, and sociological theory, as well as elective courses such as cultural anthropology, the family, and interpersonal communication. Students may also wish to concentrate in family studies and social work.

View Course Catalog

We also offer the option of a sociology minor.

View Course Catalog

  • SOC 242 Sociology of Emotion
  • SOC 247 Adolescence in Sociological Perspective
  • SOC 246 Crime & Delinquency
  • SOC 344 Men, Women, and Society
  • SOC 402 Contemporary Social Thought

  • “Joining the Conversation: How Young Adult Literature Encourages Discussion of Difficult Life Topics”
  • “Seclusion or Exclusion?: Holiness in the Light of a Larger Culture”
  • “The Foster Care System and Family Reunification: Can Biology-Bias Do More Damage?”
  • “‘That’s What She Plead’: The Trivialization and Stigmatization of Trauma”

Guided Capstone Requirements

  • Attending the annual Southern Sociological Society spring conference
  • “Social Work Career” panel discussion each spring with 6-8 guests from a variety of social work fields
  • Christmas party at a faculty member’s home
  • Dr. Robinson’s “bottomless” open access office candy jar

Meet the Sociology Faculty

chris robinson

Chris Robinson Associate Professor of Sociology

matt vos

Matthew Vos Professor of Sociology
Department Chair

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Graduate School of Education

Undergraduate Departments, Majors, Minors, Certificates, Concentrations, and Programs

Academic Certificates

  • Arts Administration
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability
  • Journalism and Society
  • Medical Ethics Consultation
  • Neuroscience
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Art

  • Art, 2-D Concentration 
  • Art, 3-D Concentration 
  • Art, Art History Concentration 
  • Art, Graphic Design Concentration 
  • Art, Photography Concentration 
  • Art minor
  • Art History minor

Biblical & Theological Studies

  • Biblical & Theological Studies 
  • Biblical & Theological Studies, Missions Concentration 
  • Biblical & Theological Studies minor
  • Biblical Languages minor
  • History of Christianity minor
  • Missions minor
  • Youth Ministry minor

Biology

  • Biology, Biomedical Concentration 
  • Biology, Environmental Concentration 
  • Biology, General 
  • Biology, Health Professions Concentration 
  • Biology minor

Business

  • Business 
  • Business, Accounting Concentration 
  • Business, Finance Concentration 
  • Business, Marketing Concentration 
  • Sport Management 
  • Business minor
  • Sport Management minor

Chemistry

  • Chemistry, Biochemistry Concentration 
  • Chemistry, General 
  • Biochemistry minor
  • Chemistry minor

Computer Science

  • Computer Science 
  • Computer Science minor

Economics & Community Development

  • Community Development 
  • Economics 
  • Community Development minor
  • Economics minor

Education

  • Education Studies 
  • Elementary Education (P-5) 
  • Secondary Education Certifications through MAT program 
  • Education minor

Engineering 3:2 Program

  • Natural Science, Pre-Engineering Studies Concentration

English

  • English 
  • English, Writing Concentration 
  • English minor
  • Writing minor

Health, Wellness and Coaching

  • Coaching minor

History, Politics, and International Studies

  • History 
  • History, Art History Concentration 
  • Political Science 
  • International Studies 
  • History minor
  • Political Science minor

Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Interdisciplinary Studies with Concentrations 

Mathematics

  • Mathematics 
  • Mathematics minor

Music

  • Music, Church Music Concentration 
  • Music, Creative Studies Concentration 
  • Music, General Music Concentration 
  • Music, Instrumental Performance Concentration 
  • Music, Music Education (Pre-MAT) Concentration 
  • Music, Organ Performance Concentration 
  • Music, Piano Pedagogy Concentration 
  • Music, Piano Performance Concentration 
  • Music, Vocal Performance Concentration 
  • Music minor

Philosophy

  • Philosophy 
  • Philosophy minor

Physics

  • Physics 
  • Physics minor

Pre-Professional Programs

  • Pre-Law Studies 
  • Pre-Medical Studies 
  • Pre-Nursing Studies 
  • Pre-Physical Therapy Studies 

Psychology

  • Psychology 
  • Psychology minor

Sociology

  • Sociology 
  • Sociology, Family Studies & Social Work Concentration 
  • Sociology minor

Theatre

  • Theatre 
  • Theatre minor

World Languages

  • French 
  • Spanish 
  • French minor
  • Spanish minor