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When Trinity Christian College hired Charlie Emmerich to guide the birth and development of its political science department, it inherited a strong, viable training ground for those students contemplating a career in government, law, and public service.

Besides his teaching and law experience, Emmerich brings with him the Center for Law and Culture, a starting point for college students that addresses many of the prevalent cultural ills and problems Christians have identified. One of its primary purposes is to reinforce the spiritual principles and Christian worldview that prepare students for law school and their professional environments, a necessity that he feels has been neglected for too long.

"We needed something available to help students formulate a Christian worldview in their education," said Emmerich, the executive director of the non-profit entity. "I agree with the theologian Harold Brown when he says that Christian higher education has abdicated its responsibility for preparing students to speak articulately and intelligently in the professions that engage culture in the public arena.

"If you look at Christian higher education and contrast the emphasis on medicine and nursing with what's being done - or not being done - with respect to the legal profession and preparation for service in government and public policy, it's alarming. The frustration arises when you hear talk about engaging the culture for Christ, but there is hardly anyone or any institutions doing it."

The Center will provide resources and information regarding law schools, career opportunities, and current political and legal proceedings. Emmerich, who also serves as the College's pre-law director, believes that the variety and accessibility of these materials will prove vital to the College's mission of meeting the needs of both its students and the society they will serve.

The Center implemented a Law, Justice, and Culture course last year, and Emmerich is aiming for it to achieve registered program status through the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities, of which Trinity is a member. Once approved, students from other colleges within the Council could enroll in the course, which would be held in late May at Trinity, and receive credit for their study.

Emmerich attended Wheaton College, where he studied theology and archaeology. He completed his juris doctorate from the University of Idaho before attaining his master's of law at the University of Pennsylvania. Before he arrived at Trinity Christian College, he taught at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Ill.

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