Certificate in Philosophy, Politics, & Economics (PPE)

Our nation and culture are becoming polarized spiritually, morally, and politically.

Issues that even a decade ago would have been debated merely as ideological disputes have morphed into issues of politics and public policy. To ably serve this and the next generation spiritually, our future pastors, apologists, and professors will need to dialogue with their liberal counterparts while keeping in mind the political facets of public debate.

To this end, SES offers the 15 hour Certificate in Philosophy, Politics, & Economics (PPE). The PPE can also be used as a concentration within most master’s degrees (excluding M.A.R. and M.A.C.A.). We believe that one must minister to the present generation according to its needs, and to do so with truth and power our students need training in the ethical, political, and economic implications of the unchanging Faith “once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). This combination of PPE training and classical seminary education can be a potent one in combating the new heresies and false doctrines rooted in a secularist, progressivist worldview.

What Makes SES Uniquely Positioned to Offer a PPE Program?

Teaching philosophy has been the specialty of SES from the beginning. Our emphasis on natural law and ethics, based on a classical, yet biblical, understanding of human beings brings together some of the most significant approaches to understanding the world around us. This will give students the skills needed to have a powerful impact on a wide range of careers and avocations.

How Do Certificates Work?

SES offers for-credit Graduate and Undergraduate Certificates in a variety of areas of study. Each certificate is designed to prepare professionals or laypersons with uniquely integrated training in theology, philosophy, and apologetics to build a complete and systematic Christian world view. Certificate students are enrolled in actual for-credit courses and may apply their credits towards a future SES degree. As always, courses can be completed via our immersive digital campus experience.

Courses of Interest

Political Philosophy 

This course will survey the thought of the major political thinkers in history. They will explore what each thought about the state, government, man, justice, and law. Students will read primary texts from Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, selections from the founding documents of America, Britain, and more. Students will also explore some of the debate between some of the modern liberals, conservatives, and libertarian thinkers.

Christian Ethics and Public Policy

This course outlines the foundations of a Christian worldview and their implications for interacting with society, culture, and public policy. Emphasis will be given first to how these theological and philosophical foundations form the basis for Christians to interact with government and society. Significant attention will also be given to enabling students to formulate a Christian worldview grid through which to analyze particular issues and evaluate proposed public policies. Special focus will be given to American society and public policy.

Take a Deeper Look at This Certificate Today — Download Your Program Preview Now!

What Is PPE?

The first program in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics was started in the 1920s at Oxford University. The idea was to “bring together some of the most important approaches to understanding the world around us, developing skills useful for a whole range of careers and activities.”


Studying philosophy, you will increase critical thinking skills and promote analytical rigor, as well as learn to reason logically and apply these skills to questions concerning how we acquire knowledge or make ethical judgments.


The study of politics provides a comprehensive understanding of the impact of political institutions on modern societies. It gives you the tools to evaluate the choices that political systems must regularly make, to explain the processes that maintain or change those systems, and to examine the concepts and values used in political analysis.


Economics is the study of how consumers, corporations, and government make decisions that together determine how resources are distributed. An appreciation of economics has become increasingly essential to make sense of governmental policy-making, the conduct of businesses, and the enormous flux of economic systems throughout the world.*

*Adapted from https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing/philosophy-politics-and-economics

The PPE initiative is the product of more than three years of prayerful preparation and planning. SES is grateful to the Acton Institute for its grant to Dr. Bernard Mauser to teach the very first PPE course at SES.

Dr. Richard Land, SES President Emeritus

Admissions & Tuition

Southern Evangelical Seminary offers a simple, four-step application process. Prospective students can apply online, submit a personal statement, provide official transcripts (if required), and pay a nonrefundable application fee to be considered for admission. Read more about our application process, deadlines, and tuition.

Why Southern Evangelical Seminary?

If you’re just starting to explore SES, you might not know exactly why we are such a compelling choice for so many students like you. One way to sum it up is our commitment to teaching, and equipping every student with an integrated approach to theology, philosophy, and apologetics. We believe this is an uncommon but utterly vital core commitment at SES. There is much more to share with you. You can start right now by downloading our e-book, 3 Reasons for Seminary.

PPE501 (401) Philosophy, Politics, & Economics (3)
PPE502 (402) Political Philosophy (3)
PPE503 (403) Public Policy & Political Economy (3)
PPE504 (404) Christian Ethics & Public Policy (3)
PPE505 (405) Jurisprudence (3)
TOTAL HOURS: 15 hours

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