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What is Sociology?

Imagine having the ability to analyze the dynamics of a hostile mob, track patterns in corporate downsizing, explore how people express emotions, or study the effects of cultural difference on problems of peace and war. Sociology is the scientific study of social life. It is the exploration of social change and a lens into the complexity of the causes and consequences of human behavior.

"Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts. The subject matter of sociology ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob; from organized crime to religious cults; from the divisions of race, gender and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture; and from the sociology of work to the sociology of sports. Few fields have the broad scope and relevance for research, theory, and application of knowledge that Sociology has." American Sociological Association

Here at Union, Family Studies is a part of the Department of Sociology. This interdisciplinary program, rooted in sociological observation, provides students with a strong foundation in understanding and working with families in many different contexts in the contemporary world. From ministry or counseling to providing support in a hospital setting, our Family Studies program will prepare you to deal with the complex dynamics and situations families face. Building on a foundation of sociology, courses in Psychology, Christian Studies, Communications, and Economics will each contribute to a comprehensive evaluation of how families function in the modern world.


Classroom Laughter

Is Sociology for Me?

If you…

  • Are interested in people and want to see the big picture
  • Want to better understand and navigate your place in the world
  • Desire wisdom about the world you live in that is based in fact and reasoned thought
  • Would like to differentiate and appreciate necessary man-made institutions and the work of God

…then you should pursue studying Sociology or Family Studies with us here at Union! Please continue to browse our website for further information on what our academic programs look like, what careers they connect with, and what the culture of our department is like!

Sociology in a Christian Context

As Christian sociologists, we study sociology to better understand human relationships and the way in which sin affects them in this fallen world where we see suffering and injustice. By actively studying, diligently researching, and consciously participating in society, we are able to discover ways in which God is calling us to be His agents of renewal here on earth.

Learn more about Sociology in a Christian Context with a guest lecture from Phil Davignon of Baylor University, titled "Can Sociology be Redeemed?" featured here.



The Sociology Department is located in the Warren Jones Academic Suite in the PAC. For a complete map of the PAC, click here.

J-5 Map of PAC

Program Outcomes: What have I learned from this program?

Excellence-Driven Christ-Centered People-Focused Future-Directed