Cultural and Social Studies

Chair: TBA
Department Office: Creighton Hall, Room 441A

The Department of Cultural and Social Studies Mission Statement:

The Department of Cultural and Social Studies houses the disciplines of Anthropology, Criminal Justice and Sociology, the independent interdisciplinary programs of Health Administration and Policy and Justice and Peace Studies, as well as the professional program of Social Work. We strive to achieve the unique goals and objectives for each of our areas of study while also reflecting the goals of Creighton's Jesuit Catholic mission. We as faculty are dedicated to research, teaching and service. Our special contribution to student centered learning is increasing our students' awareness of society and culture as contexts that shape the quality of human life. All of our programs aim to develop students as agents of social change through close collaboration in student research, service and learning.  We are an integrated department, assisting students as they prepare for a variety of careers.  

Criminal Justice

The Criminal Justice major and minor help students gain an understanding of crime and victimization, as well as the American criminal justice system. Students will think critically about the causes and consequences of crime and violence and about the criminal justice system itself. The program gives special emphasis on how the criminal justice system interacts with victims of crime and members of disadvantaged communities, noting the effects from both an individual and social perspective. Students will learn that studying crime, victimization and the system through which they are processed is a critical component to improving society.

Cultural Anthropology

The Cultural Anthropology major and minor offer a holistic understanding of human diversity. By exploring, analyzing, and understanding patterns of beliefs, values, behaviors, shared histories, language, visual representations and material realities, Cultural Anthropology focuses on what it means to be human. Our courses address relevant concerns such as food and nutrition; local and global identities; inter-cultural competence; urban, rural, and global economic development; and environmental sustainability. Through its comparative and engaged field research methods, Cultural Anthropology recognizes culture as the primary means by which humans engage in social and environmental interactions to define meaningful and purposeful lives. Cultural Anthropology complements well all other undergraduate majors.

Health Administration and Policy

The Health Administration and Policy Program is an interdisciplinary program and is designed to provide the undergraduate student with a broad understanding of healthcare management and an awareness of the key issues facing the healthcare world. This program provides students with the opportunity to build a solid understanding of healthcare institutions, management processes, public policy, social and ethical issues.

Justice and Society/Justice and Peace Studies

The Justice and Peace Studies Program offers a uniquely interdisciplinary approach to social justice, change and service. The Program combines Christian theological ethics, the social sciences and personal experience to help students develop the moral virtues, social-scientific skills and passion needed to be effective, faithful and lifelong agents of positive social/political transformation. In both the Justice and Society (JAS) major and the Justice and Peace Studies (JPS) minor, students can choose to concentrate their studies in sociology, anthropology or criminal justice, with an emphasis on either domestic or international contexts. In all cases, Ignatian discernment is emphasized as a way for students to recognize and respond to their particular vocation in the world. Alumni of the Program are prepared to work for social service agencies and nonprofits, pursue graduate studies in related fields, attend law school, and serve as post-graduate volunteers.

Medical Anthropology

Through a major or minor in Medical Anthropology, students develop a usable skill set and framework for understanding health and health care in an increasingly complex world through taking seriously the important factor of culture. This sociocultural approach is emphasized through a curriculum designed to support students as they gain real-world experience through opportunities for immersion, fieldwork, research, analysis, and application of learning in local, national, and international contexts. Medical Anthropology students learn about the factors that influence health and well-being, the experience and distribution of illness, the prevention and treatment of sickness, healing processes, therapy management and the cultural importance of having multiple medical systems. This knowledge is vital to developing, assessing and improving healthcare programs and services. 

Social Work

The Social Work Program educates students to be professionals in the field and live out the Jesuit mission in action every day. Social Workers embody what it means to be a person for and with others, find God in all people and things, and strive for Magis. The Social Work profession has its own body of knowledge, code of ethics, practice standards, credentials, state certification, and accreditation of education programs. Creighton University's Social Work Program has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education since 1991. Accreditation makes it possible for Social Work graduates to qualify for state certification and/or licensing in states where credentialing is mandated and to enter advanced standing graduate Social Work programs. Visit the Social Work site for details about joining the profession.


In the Sociology major and minor, students develop an understanding of the complex nature of human interaction on the societal level as well as in face-to face interaction. Sociology students are able to think critically about the causes and implications of social inequality and other social issues by employing scientific methodology. Students gain skills in quantitative and qualitative research methods. The diversity and breadth of courses allow students to explore areas relevant to their individual interests, such as environment, gender, health, or race.

Certificates in the Department of Cultural and Social Sciences


Professors: Rebecca K. Murray, Alexander Roedlach

Professor Emeritus: Jack Angus, Roger Bergman, Raymond Bucko S.J., Barbara J. Dilly

Associate Professors: Sabrina M. Danielsen, Daniel R. DiLeo, Kevin Estep, Laura L. Heinemann, Dawn Irlbeck

Associate Professor Emeritus: Jerry Clark

Assistant Professors: Catherine M. Fox, Eric R. Meyer, Cristina A. Pop, Susan K. Walsh, Monica N. White, Ryan Wishart

Resident Assistant Professor: Erin Blankenship-Sefczek