Union University

Union University Department of Political Science

Department of Political Science

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Watson Joins Political Science Faculty

Aug 30, 2007

Union University welcomes the newest member of the Political Science faculty, Dr. Micah Watson. Watson just recently completed his Ph.D. at Princeton and is the inaugural Director of the Center for Politics and Religion.

Originally from Merced, California, he attended the University of California-Davis, where he majored in political science. As why he chose political science as a major, he said, “As an undergrad, I just liked arguing about politics and religion,” so it seemed a good fit. While at UC-Davis, Watson played on the basketball team and got dunked on by Jason Kidd.

During his summers at UC-Davis, Watson worked as a camp counselor at Calvin Crest Conferences Camp, a Christian camp just outside of Oakhurst, California and Yosemite National Park. After earning his bachelor’s degree, Watson returned to Oakhurst, where he worked odd jobs until getting hired again at Calvin Crest. It was here, first working in maintenance, recruiting, and then as program director, that Watson met his future wife Julie. Their friendship grew as they traveled that fall and winter recruiting for Calvin Crest, and they began to date before the next summer. Julie, a graduate of California State-Stanislaus, and Watson were married on August 22, 1988.

Though Watson enjoyed working at Calvin Crest, he decided to take the GRE and continue his education because, as he said, “my mind got bored.” With a continuing interest in politics and religion, he went on to earn his master’s degree in Church State Studies from Baylor University in Waco, TX. Due to his success at Baylor, Watson received the prestigious PEW Younger Scholars Fellowship which allowed him to attend Princeton University for his doctorate. He chose Princeton not only for the rigorous academics and prestigious reputation, but also for his soon-to-be advisor, Robert George, a strong Christian and active proponent in arguing that morality should influence politics.

While at Princeton, Watson concentrated his studies in political theory, public law, and American government. Watson’s doctoral thesis focused on three modern thinkers, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and John Rawls, answer to the politico-religious problem. He analyzed whether or not these three men saw Christianity as a threat to government, and if so, what was their proposed solution. His thesis is unique in that it looks at Christianity from a political perspective, instead of looking at politics from a Christian perspective.

Watson learned of the opportunity to work at Union through his advisor, Robert George, who thought that Union would be a good match for Watson. After visiting Union, Watson agreed and moved to Jackson this past summer, where his is now settled in with his wife Julie and their four daughters. “It is exciting for me to be at a place that is academically rigorous and spiritually robust,” said Watson. “My hope is to strengthen and sharpen Christians in their thinking where they can be true to their faith but still understand were the other side is coming from.”