Established in 2014, the Center for Political Thought and Leadership expresses the college’s and university’s commitment to training a new generation of citizens and leaders prepared for the 21st century; civic education in the broader community; and further strengthening intellectual diversity within the faculty.
The center focuses on three areas in fulfilling its mission of civic education: 1) undergraduate education; 2) community outreach through continuing education courses and public events; and 3) scholarly research.
The undergraduate program centers on the Program for Political Thought and Leadership, a certificate program. With the largest enrollment of any certificate program in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies and the second largest in the School of Politics and Global Studies, this program integrates the classroom education with real-world leadership training through outside speakers and an extensive internship program.
The certificate program revolves around a set curriculum anchored in an introductory course, “Foundations of Democracy” and a capstone seminar, “Political Thought and Leadership.” In addition, students are invited to attend a “Monday Night Dialogue,” a discussion club in which students hear outside speakers and engage in lively discussions. In the summer of 2016, the center initiated a “ASU High School Leadership Academy,” designed to train informed and active future leaders.
The center offers continued education throughout greater Phoenix on a variety of topics including healthcare policy, religion and public life, and the Supreme Court and the Constitution. The center’s public events have attracted prominent international and national leaders in the media, public affairs, and public policy. An active research program is maintained through the post-doctoral program and faculty seminars.