Dr. Walker was a member of the Vanguard faculty from 2006-2008 and returned in 2012 after receiving his Ph.D. in American Politics in 2010. His dissertation was on the Supreme Court in the Progressive Era, which examined the early days of “substantive due process,” its conflict with various regulatory laws in the states, and the evolution of American constitutionalism. Professor Walker has continued to research and write on various aspects of his dissertation, as well as the history of law, religion and politics, education policy, American political culture, and political philosophy. He has published in a variety of academic and popular journals, including the Review of Politics and the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, and he received research awards from the National Institute for the Humanities and Claremont McKenna College’s Rose Institute. Teaching, however, is his highest calling: for him, liberal education is about inviting students into the “great conversation,” and engaging the texts on the “best of what’s been thought and said” as it is illuminated by Christian faith.
Curriculum Vitae. (Updated August, 2014.)
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- U.S. Government. In this course, students learn the key concepts and examine the great texts in American politics (Federalist Papers, great speeches, and Supreme Court cases) and government in order to understand the principles, institutions and practices designed to meet that challenge, both in the highest regions of government, as well as our own personal lives.
- World Civilizations I. A study of the events, people and ideas that shaped world civilization from ancient Mesopotamia to the Thirty Years War, based on careful reading of primary texts. We examine the unique legacy of the Greeks and Romans; the rise of both Christianity and Islam; the steps leading to the modern world, appearing in the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Scientific Revolution.
- World Civilizations II. A study of the events, people and ideas that have given shape to the modern world, based on a careful reading of primary texts. We study Western civilization and consider what the West’s own development means for mankind; the rise of nation-states; the role of science and technology; and the major events of the twentieth century, with special attention devoted to the statesmanship of Winston Churchill in World War II.
- Ancient Political Thought. A course devoted to classical political philosophy, focusing on the idea of virtue, human purpose, and the character of political regimes, appearing in the writings of the ancient philosophers, Plato, Aristotle and Cicero.
- Modern Political Thought. A course devoted to the origins of “the state,” rights, liberty, revolution, progress, and liberal democracy, with the careful reading of primary texts. Students read Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Edmund Burke, John Stuart Mill and Fredrick Nietzsche, as well as Winston Churchill and C.S. Lewis.
- American Political Thought. A course on the themes and cycles in the history of American political philosophy from the time of the Founding to the 1960s, based on careful readings of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Calhoun, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, W.E.B. DuBois, Margaret Sanger, Edward Bellamy, William Graham Sumner, 1960s Radicals, and John Courtney Murray.
- Christian Political Thought. A course on the great Christian thinkers and their varying ideas of what is owed to Caesar and what is owed to God, particularly Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Calvin, the Puritans and Ministers of the American Founding, Walter Rauschenbusch, Pope Leo XIII, Stanley Hauerwas, and Richard Neuhaus.
- The American Founding
- U.S. Foreign Policy
- Elections and Campaigns
- Political Parties