Ambrose History Program

Enjoying the view of the Rhine River from Schloss Rheinfels in St. Goar, Germany. History educational travel trips take place every second year.

Ambrose University offers three and four-year degrees in History. For program specifics, please see our program page at Ambrose University or view program details and course descriptions in the current Ambrose University Academic Calendar.

Why History at Ambrose?

Laughing and learning with a Second World War veteran at a program day visit to the Military Museums, Calgary.

We offer:

  • Great courses on subjects as varied as Western Canada, Medieval Europe, and genocide in the modern world.
  • Active professors who teach, write, mentor students, host social events, and lead educational travel courses.
  • Relevant knowledge about the human past, explaining who we are and how our contemporary world came to be.
  • Added value from small classes with faculty you get to know personally, the chance to engage in hands-on research, regular “community days” spent on field trips with other history students, and exciting educational travel opportunities.
  • Solid futures in careers like education, public service, museum and historical preservation, law, academics, or journalism, among many others.

In 2014, we revised our curriculum to improve our training in the skills of history, develop our hands-on work in public history, focus our core courses and give more options in history electives. Our history core includes:

  • HI 141 and 142 World History to/since 1500
  • HI 280 History in Practice
  • HI 370 Public History: Monuments, Museums, and Memoirs
  • HI 380 Applied Research in History
  • HI 478 Historiography
  • HI 480 History Practicum or HI 495 Independent Research in History (one of these is required for the four-year history major, but not for the three-year concentration)

You can see a full list of history courses in the current Ambrose University Academic Calendar.

facebookWhile you’re at it, why not check out our “Ambrose University – History Program” Facebook Page. You’ll find news on upcoming events, pictures from past events (in the photo albums!), and links we post on news stories or other Internet sites relating to history.

Our professors are happy to answer any questions you have about studying history at Ambrose. Just drop us a line and we’ll be glad to write or phone you. If you’re in Calgary, stop by and we’ll show you around Ambrose. We are:

  • Dr. Kyle Jantzen, Professor of History and History Program Chair, available at kjantzen [at] ambrose.edu
  • Dr. Ken Draper, Professor of History, available at kdraper [at] ambrose.edu
  • Dr. Ryan Wilkinson, Assistant Professor of History, available at rwilkinson [at] ambrose.edu (fall 2017)

Travel Study

One of the great features of life in the Ambrose History Program is our biennial travel study program. For more information, see our University Travel Study page.

Get to know your fellow students at the annual September History Hike.

Student Success

Since we launched our program in 2003, our grads have gone on to graduate programs in history, psychology, and international development at the University of Calgary, University of Saskatchewan, McMaster University, and St. Mary’s University.

Others have trained to become teachers at the University of Victoria, University of Lethbridge, University of Calgary, The King’s University College, and here at Ambrose University.

Others work in a variety of fields, including museums, professional writing, banking, and software training. History teaches transferable skills like research, analysis, problem-solving, writing, and communication–skills that apply to all kinds of occupations.

For more on where a history degree from Ambrose could lead you, see here and here and here and here. And after all, being a historian is a top ten job!

You can see what our graduates are doing on our Ambrose History Program Overview. Here are three stories you might be interested in:

History Grad Engaged in PhD Studies on the History of Brain Surgery

Collins
Brianne Collins

Brianne Collins (grad 2009) is pursuing her dream of earning a PhD. A double major in History and Behavioural Sciences, Brianne has effectively merged the two disciplines in her research on the history of psychosurgery. Winner of the Hewton Busary (2012) and Griffin Bursary (2013) for archival research in the history of Canadian psychiatry from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Archives in Toronto, Brianne considers her undergraduate studies at Ambrose a positive experience. As she explained:

It does not take long attending a large university to realize the value of a small university education and the things you took for granted. I am thankful to have attended Ambrose because I feel very well prepared for graduate studies. At Ambrose, there is a significant writing component compared to the experience of many other undergraduate students. In the Ambrose programs, extensive writing begins in the very first class and continues through almost all courses, which is not always the case at many larger universities. I also appreciate the relationships built with professors at Ambrose. To have professors as a support and resource during your degree is certainly not common at major universities, but to have them still available when you leave is even more rare. I am working towards being a professor in the future and the example the professors set is something I want to emulate one day. Students are treated, engaged, and encouraged in the best ways possible. It makes learning fun and meaningful.  I am thankful that I attended Ambrose University before going on to a public university to continue my education.

History Grad Presents Research, Wins Award

Durance
Jonathan and Ruth Anne Durance

Former Ambrose history student Jonathan Durance has achieved great success in the MA program in history at the University of Calgary. Jonathan graduated from Ambrose in April 2009, but not before producing a first-rate Senior Research Project–a mini-thesis in which he analyzed the Canadian media coverage of the Christian responses to the Kristallnacht Pogrom of November 9-10, 1938. In it, Jonathan found that many Canadian church leaders and ordinary Christians spoke out against the Nazi persecution of the Jews, particularly after the violence and destruction of the November pogrom, when all across Germany Jewish synagogues were burned, Jewish shop-windows smashed (thus the German name for the pogrom, Kristallnacht, which means “night of (broken) glass”), and Jewish men marched off to concentration camps.

Jonathan’s Senior Research Project proved to be a springboard into the history graduate program at the University of Calgary, where he expanded his analysis of Canadian Christian responses to the Holocaust under Dr. David Marshall, a noted Canadian religious historian. In 2009, Jonathan received a U of C entrance scholarship worth $18500. Next, in 2010, he won a $17500 Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the chief federal funding body for academic research in fields like history–one of a select group of U of C history graduate students to receive the award.

Jonathan has also been busy on the research front, collaborating with his former history professor at Ambrose, Dr. Kyle Jantzen. They co-authored a paper presented at the 40th Annual Scholars’ Conference on the Holocaust and Churches, held at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA, in March 2010. The two were also invited to present their findings that same month at the Tolle Lege Lecture Series at Prairie Bible College in Three Hills, AB. Jonathan and Dr. Jantzen continue to build on their joint research and published “Our Jewish Brethren: Christian Responses to Kristallnacht in Canadian Mass Media” in the Journal of Ecumenical Studies (Fall 2011).

Jonathan had this to say about his time at Ambrose:

The more I experience school and life after my time at Ambrose the more I realize what an incredible privilege I had and how it has prepared me to face the challenges of grad school. Academically, one-on-one interactions and guidance from history professors Kyle Jantzen, Ken Draper, and Eric de Bruyn have allowed me to develop paper-writing and research skills in a way that I can now see would not have happened for me at a larger university. Personally and spiritually, these connections with professors also developed into mentorships that have helped mold me into a Christian that can better understand and interact with a world that needs to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. Beyond these relationships, Ambrose gave me the opportunity to study in Israel and Jordan, sing and tour across Canada in choir, and, most importantly, meet my wife. My time at Ambrose was one of the most significant periods of my life.

History Grad Flying in US Airforce

Stanulonis
Peter Stanulonis

Peter Stanulonis (grad 2008) is achieving his goal of flying in the US Air Force. After graduating from the Ambrose history program, Peter returned home to Texas in order to pursue his career goal of flying in the US Air Force. Already a pilot, Peter applied for, and won, a spot in the competitive Officer Training School, then went on to further training in navigation and a career in the Air Force. But what does all this have to do with an Ambrose history degree? On the way from training to service, Peter explained:

I have been assigned to the 27th Special Operations Wing at Cannon AFB, New Mexico, where I will be flying (navigating, anyways) MC-130W’s. The MC-130 is basically a specially modified C-130 cargo plane that is used to support special ops troops in a variety of ways. Cannon AFB is just outside the small town of Clovis out on the high plains of Eastern New Mexico about 15 miles from the Texas border.

If any prospective students are considering how a history degree might help them in a career in military aviation, I can tell them it does. Skills such as critical thinking, attention to detail, memorization, and articulation — all abilities honed in the study of history — have become very useful here (and I imagine if they are needed here, they are needed anywhere). Among all the engineers and other smart people in my class with “money-making” degrees, the two who have the highest academic scores to date are myself and the one other guy with a history degree. It was the same story at Officer Training School. The two highest academic averages in our class were the only two with history degrees. I’m not trying to brag, I’m just offering evidence that a good education in history makes strong thinkers, and strong thinkers are effective in any job worth having.

In the Ambrose history program, we’re committed to working closely with our students to help them grow as individuals and achieve their career goals. For more information about the history program, contact Dr. Kyle Jantzen, History Program Chair, at kjantzen [at] ambrose.edu or (403) 410-2000 (6902).

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