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Jan 04, 2017 08:09 AM EST

Conservatism 101: A Victory for Intellectual Diversity at LHU

College student works on his laptop outside the classroom
Colleges pushing for intellectual diversity should also include a Conservatism course just like what Lock Haven University will be doing.
(Photo : Glen Cooper/Getty Images)

A university in Pennsylvania is offering a first-of-its-kind course in a rare victory for intellectual diversity, news reports say.

Lock Haven University will be offering a "Conservatism 101" course that will cover modern conservatism in America, One News Now reported. This new course is timely as according to Diane Gramley, president of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Family Association, there is a hunger among students for the subject the course will focus on.

Gramley said she believes that there are conservative students in college who feel isolated with their interests in learning conservatism being ignored. Instead of learning that, they're being "indoctrinated" with "liberal theology."

Speaking to Campus Reform, Professor Kimberly Johnson, who is scheduled to teach the course when it begins, said that although the course examines the history of conservatism in the U.S., students from all "political perspectives" will benefit from it as well. To do that, the course will allow for open discourse, application, and debates during class hours.

Johnson said the aim for each class is to present specific aspects of conservative theory to students, and then promote healthy and respectful discussion over each aspect. The course will cover four areas of thought, namely traditional conservatism, social conservatism, neo-conservatism, and libertarianism.

The course received support from the LHU administration, Johnson said. In fact, her department chair approved the course to be taught "without delay," she says.

In her opinion, Johnson says, departments at other universities and colleges aren't as open to a diversity of ideas in the way LHU is, given that it has allowed her to teach the rarely-offered course. And because LHU has decided to offer the conservatism course, other universities that don't offer it yet, including its 13 sister schools in Pennsylvania, might follow suit.

Gramley, the AFA President, hopes that LHU students will be open to discussing conservatism as much as LHU's administration is supportive of its new offering. This will give an interesting opportunity for discussion which is not present in many college campuses today.

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