by Bailey Jarnagin

CLEVELAND, Ga (TMNews) – Truett-McConnell (TM) has continually strived to make high-demand degrees available since the school offered its first Baccalaureate degree in 2003. TM is proud to announce that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC) approved the addition of a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, which will be offered officially in the fall of 2016.

“The new Criminal Justice degree will be the first degree that will be offered as part of the new government division at Truett-McConnell,” shared Truett-McConnell Associate Professor of Law and Government, Dr. Joseph Wiegand. “We want to prepare individuals who feel called to public service…who will serve the public in a government role.”

The idea of offering a B.S. in Criminal Justice came to fruition when Wiegand joined the TM family in 2013. Because of his strong background in law and government, Wiegand was tasked with heading up the new program.

“I would like our program to be noted not only for the highest academic quality but also for the character and integrity of our graduates.  Whether they are serving as a police officer, first responder, or government official, I hope the world sees a solid Christian worldview displayed in all our graduates,” stated Wiegand.

After completing the 129 credit hours required to earn the degree, students will be equipped to pursue a variety of careers in the criminal justice field.

“We plan to prepare graduates to serve at the local level as well as the federal level including the FBI, CIA, ICE, among other divisions,” listed Wiegand. “Additionally, the degree is structured in a way that, if the individual wants to go on for graduate work, they should have the background needed to enter a graduate program.”

The Bachelor of Science degree will ensure students complete the courses necessary for admission into graduate programs as the degree not only equips students with a knowledge of the field of Criminal Justice but also provides a solid foundation with courses in math, science, and psychology.

A survey of current and prospective TM undergraduate students indicated 18% of participants desire to earn a criminal justice degree, and 48% of participants are interested in taking criminal justice courses to increase their knowledge of the subject.

“I hope this degree becomes the biggest program on campus. I really hope for that.” Wiegand continued, “It is such an important field because so many rely on law enforcement and the service they provide the community.”

Wiegand is confident the program will assist Truett-McConnell in accomplishing its goal of equipping students to share the Gospel through a Biblically-centered education.

“In addition to producing those who work in the ministry and those who work in business, now we have those who work in government,” said Wiegand. “This is one more area that we can be actively involved in and mightily impact the kingdom.”

To learn more about this degree, contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at


Bailey is a senior English major and a freelance writer for the college.


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