Franciscan University of Steubenville Launches Criminal Justice Program
Grounded in Catholic principles, the new degree will prepare students for a myriad of in-demand careers in the criminal justice field.
January 14, 2020

STEUBENVILLE, OHIO—Beginning fall 2020, Franciscan University of Steubenville will offer a bachelor of science program in criminal justice.

Unique among U.S. college offerings in this field, Franciscan’s Criminal Justice Program will incorporate a Catholic curriculum, grounded in Judeo-Christian principles, that will examine the interactions between human law and higher laws from God.

Criminal justice graduates are in high demand, especially those with a strong grounding in moral reasoning and critical thinking, with career opportunities in police and law enforcement, FBI, DEA, ATF, law, corrections, private security management, parole and juvenile detention, victim advocate, and intelligence, among others.

In the planning stages for more than a year, the program was developed by faculty members within the University and with assistance from an outside consultant from New York City’s John Jay College, the premier criminal justice program in the country.

“We are honored to be able to provide Franciscan students with a Criminal Justice Program that is tied to a Higher order—to God as the Supreme Law and the Essence of Justice,” said Dr. Anne Hendershott, Franciscan University sociology professor and one of the program’s founders.

Dr. Daniel Kempton, vice president for Academic Affairs, said, “I expect our Criminal Justice Program will be exceptional not only because of the expertise and faithfulness of our instructors, but also because of its reliance on Franciscan’s existing strengths including our core curriculum, which provides a firm foundation in Aquinas and natural law, an understanding of the inherent dignity of every human life, and a grounding in the founding principles that led to our unique American political system.”

Courses include Justice and Nature of Rights, Crime, Criminal Law, and Criminal Process, American Policing, and Forensic Law.

Internships and service-learning experiences will be available with law enforcement organizations. Students will be eligible to study abroad in Franciscan’s program in Gaming, Austria, or partake in once-in-a-lifetime experiences through the program’s relationships with Scotland Yard, the Australian and Canadian police systems, and many EU countries.

For more information, visit the Franciscan University of Steubenville  Criminal Justice Program webpage or  contact the Admissions Office, 800-783-6220, or

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