Asbury Launches Human Trafficking Studies and Pre-Law Minors – Asbury University
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Asbury Launches Human Trafficking Studies and Pre-Law Minors

March 4, 2024

Dr. Steve Clements ’83

As part of a renewed Political Science major, the Asbury University Social Science & History Department this fall will launch two new minors: Human Trafficking Studies and Pre-Law. These new programs allow students to customize their Political Science degree and minor based on their interests with electives in various areas including business, equine, computer science, and more.

“We teach students to apply what they learn about politics — about the way the world works — to organizations of all sorts, and thus we have graduates with careers in fields such as banking, non-profit management, and finance, as well as law and government,” said Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences and Professor of Political Science Dr. Steve Clements ’83.

The revamped Political Science major incorporates a new core requirement with the research design class. New elective course options include migration and trafficking policy, programming in Python (high-level programming language), statistics for behavioral sciences, nonprofit fundraising/grant writing, and more.

The 18-credit Human Trafficking Studies minor offers courses in global and regional perspectives, psychological perspectives, international social issues, and more, with opportunities for internships, independent studies and seminars. As part of the Political Science program, this minor is a cross-disciplinary effort that draws on faculty with a background in human trafficking studies from other fields such as psychology, social work, sociology, and history.

“The classes are meant to foster critical thinking and introduce students to key issues and practices which impact human trafficking work while preparing students to be good, collaborative partners with those outside of their primary field of study,” said Professor of Psychology Dr. Laura Dryjanska. “Focusing on anti-trafficking efforts is in line with Wesleyan principles and history, where seeking justice for the oppressed is encouraged as an expression of holiness.”

“The Human Trafficking Studies minor can be relevant to multiple majors,” said Assistant Professor of Political Science & History Dr. Glenn Harden. “Anti-trafficking work brings together people from many sectors including policy-making, survivor care, law enforcement, business, education, health care, social services, coding, research, and religion. Thus, students who major in various disciplines can benefit from learning more about the complexity of human trafficking in the United States and beyond.”

Dryjanska shared her expertise and experience working in human trafficking prevention on the This Is Asbury podcast. Listen here. As part of the Kentucky Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force, Harden recently co-authored with Marissa Castellanos, MSW, the 2024 Kentucky Statewide Human Trafficking Data Report: A Comprehensive Report of Existing Multi-Disciplinary Data. Contributors included Jezri Leong ’24 and Alexis Daniel (Catholic Charities of Louisville). Learn more here.

The 21-credit Pre-Law minor provides core courses in business law, American politics and government, and more with electives in media law, sport law, and equine law.

Dallas Kastens ’22

Political Science alumnus Dallas Kastens ’22 is a second-year law student at Vanderbilt University Law School and shares: “My favorite part of majoring in Political Science at Asbury was taking international relations with Dr. Harden. It was an excellently taught class with hands-on learning that taught me more than any other class at law school. When I finish law school, I will be clerking for a federal judge in Knoxville.”

Asbury Political Science students can benefit from speaker events sponsored by the Joe Pitts Center for Public Policy which occur several times each semester and cover various topics such as human trafficking, humanitarian relief, civic engagement, cultural renewal, preparation for public service, and religious freedom. Learn more:


The Asbury University Social Science & History Department currently offers four majors (History, Political Science, Social Studies Grades 8-12, and Sociology) and three minors (History, Political Science, and Sociology). Learn more: