Search
images of people, campus, and closeup of computer keyboard

Stephen M. King, Ph.D.

Associate Dean of Academics
Chair, Department of Government, History, and Criminal Justice Professor of Government

Education

  • Ph.D., Political Science, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • M.A., Political Science, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • B.S. Political Science, University of Nebraska-Kearney

Teaching Expertise and Areas of Interest

  • Public Administration
  • Public Policy
  • American Politics

Research Interests

  • Administrative ethics
  • Spirituality and the public sector workplace
  • Religion and politics

Faith Integration with Political Science

Political science is the study of “who gets what, when, and how.” Harold Lasswell, a prominent political scientist in the 1930s, coined this phrase, and it has served well for many years. This description of politics represents the integration of policy ideas, interrelationship between actors, and, especially, the authority to distribute and redistribute goods. Political officials across the centuries have risen and fallen according to this definition and description of politics.

Christian faith is more than a critical variable to help explain “who gets what, when, and how.” Instead, the Christian faith provides philosophical understanding, historical foundation, and an organizational and cultural canopy for the dissemination, explanation, and action of political ideas in the public square.

The primary focus of Christian faith influencing political relationships and policy outcomes is evidenced by three factors: self-government, constitutionalism, and citizenship. Self-government is obedience to God and his laws, purposefully and obediently carrying them out (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). Constitutionalism is the ordering of society according to covenantal or natural precepts of law. God is the ultimate authority, but he granted to man the responsibility to govern wisely (Proverbs 21:1; 16:2). Violation of the natural ordering of society and relationships within society upsets the balance of political relationships. And, citizenship is the natural civil outcome of self-government and constitutionalism. Citizenship is rooted in obedience to law and government (Romans 13:1-8; I Peter 2:13-17). Civil servants, and the laws they pass and implement, are the natural extension of the law and government, and are to be obeyed in so far as they do not advocate disobedience to God himself and his principles (Acts 5:29).

Christian faith tradition is significant to the proper development and ordering of society. It is a key conceptual and empirical variable for political science students to study, but it is also the spiritual embodiment of God’s loving, covenantal relationship with his creation.

Biography

Dr. King is a native Iowan. His wife Debbie hails from the panhandle of Idaho. They are beginning the “empty nester” phase of their lives. They currently reside in Chesapeake, Va. They have two children, Michelle and Joshua. Dr. King enjoys participating in church, reading, exercising, and spending time with his family, especially on Friday night at the movies!

Dr. King has spent more than 25 years in higher education; the majority of them in Christian higher education, where he has taught a variety of institutions (e.g. Oral Roberts University, Regent University, Campbell University, Patrick Henry College, Southeastern University, and Taylor University). He has also held several key non-academic research, consultant, and directorship positions in both the public and non-profit sectors, including Vice President of Research at the Public Interest Institute, educational consultant for Yorktownuniversity.com, and Coordinator of the MPA Program at Regent (1998-2002).

He is the author or co-author of two books: God and Caesar: The Biblical Keys to Good Government and Community Action (Xulon Press, 2002) and Administration in the Public Interest: Principles, Policies, and Practices (Carolina Academic Press, 2009). He has published widely in professional political science, public administration, and public policy journals, including Journal of Public Administration Education, Justice System Journal, Journal of Biblical Perspectives on Leadership, Administration and Society, Public Administration Review, and many others. He has contributed entries to the Encyclopedia of Religion and Politics (2002) and Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Policy, and Governance (2016). He has written dozens of professional book reviews, conference papers, policy studies, policy briefs, and newspaper editorials in the areas of Christian faith and politics, religion and politics, administrative ethics, public management, and education reform policy.


Dean's Office Page

Government, History and Criminal Justice Department Page