“I learned how to hold faith in one hand and politics in the other hand. I also learned how to navigate a worldview that needs both to operate.” – Leah Bruns ’25
March 2, 2023
In February, as part of a three-credit course (PS 300: Washington Federal Seminar), 12 Asbury students visited Washington, D.C., to hear policymakers and activists, see landmark buildings and monuments, and to reflect upon the interaction of politics and faith. Dr. Steve Clements, dean of the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, led the trip which included the three-day-long Christian Student Leadership Conference (CSLC), sponsored by the National Association of Evangelicals.
“Asbury students are challenged repeatedly, over an intense week, to consider the array of opportunities that are available to them for direct involvement in politics in our national capital, and how they as followers of Christ can have an impact in government and service,” Clements said.
In addition to touring the White House, the Supreme Court, and the Library of Congress, students interacted with members of the U.S. House and Senate. Visit sites included the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the National Cathedral, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Air and Space Museum, and the Embassy of El Salvador. Students also heard briefings in the Hart Senate Office Building and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, meeting with Kentucky delegation members (Rep. Andy Barr and Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul).
Leah Bruns ’25, a history major, shares about her experience on the D.C. trip.
“I learned how to hold faith in one hand and politics in the other hand,” Bruns said. “I also learned how to navigate a worldview that needs both to operate.”
Clements reflects on the trip, which began more than 40 years ago.
“Asbury students have been taking part in the CSLC for decades,” he said. “In fact, I attended this conference myself along with several other Asbury students when I was a senior, way back in January of 1983.”
Clements outlines the nature of the class for students.
“We have numerous Monday evening class sessions on campus (before and after the trip), with an assigned book, journaling, and various writing assignments,” he said. “We may adjust this trip-course from time to time, but we hope to keep stewarding the tradition of the Washington Federal Seminar on into the future.”
The Asbury University Social Science & History Department offers four majors (History, Political Science, Social Studies Grades 8-12, and Sociology) and three minors (History, Political Science, and Sociology).