History & Social Studies Courses


Geography is a 7th grade social studies course. Students will strive to understand how man and God’s creation interact as well as how we can be good stewards of all that has been entrusted to us by God. Building on US Geography knowledge gained at the elementary level, this class seeks to review and refresh the students’ current mapping skills and abilities and then expand that knowledge by applying it to World Geography. This class will  focus on the world in the Solar System and then narrow the focus on individual continents, countries, peoples, cultures religions, and economies.

U.S. History

U.S. History is an 8th grade social studies course focusing on the emergence of the United States, via hopeful colonizers and entrepreneurs, as a nation of united colonies with a significant role in global events. This historical period begins with the age of Exploration in Western Europe and concludes with a survey of our burgeoning role in international events; how historical movements such as industrialization and immigration played a role in moving the United States into world leadership roles. This course will begin to move the student toward higher level thinking and discussion of over-arching subjects and topics as well as enable them to connect the older history of the United States to current events and issues. The student will also comprehend the critical role that a Christian world view had on the foundation and development of the United States as a country and as a world leader/power.

world history

World History is a “big picture” look at the events and civilizations that have formed the world we know today. This freshman level survey course observes history through a Christian perspective, beginning with the creation of man and moving through the rise of civilizations and empires, culminating in the events of the Reformation and Renaissance. World History is a challenging course that is intended to meet basic social studies graduation requirements for HLA students, as well as prepare students to continue toward the successful completion of senior high level US History and Western Civilization survey courses. Emphasis is placed on gaining critical thinking skills, cogent essay writing abilities, and demonstrating aptitude through reasoned discussion.

early u.s. history (1500-1865)

Early U.S. History is a brief survey course of the history of the United States from the period of colonization through the Civil War era. Many primary source documents and Goldfield’s The American Journey will be used as the course texts. In addition to studying the historical time period to the Civil War, a brief update of top news stories will be given each day so that students will build a comprehensive understanding of major events that currently shape the modern world. This course will give the students a basic knowledge base and set of skills that will give them an understanding of American history that will prepare them for the CLEP exam or an introductory college course.

Modern u.s. History (1877-present)

Pre-Requisite: Early U.S. History

Modern U.S. History is a survey course of the US as a major player in world affairs. Materials from authors such as Eric Foner, Stephen Ambrose, the center for foreign policy development, and numerous primary sources are studied. In addition, a part of each day will be a study and evaluation of current world events taken from a variety of sources. This course concludes the high school level U.S. history survey. This course will give the students a basic knowledge base and set of skills that will give them an understanding of American history that will prepare them for the CLEP exam or an introductory college course.

philosophy and religion

Philosophy and Religion is an upper level literature and critical thinking course. This class is a search for truth and the existence of God through the pages of philosophical works and biographies from the past century. Students engage with a variety of key texts, both historical and contemporary, learning to read critically and analyze important theological and philosophical questions. Philosophy and Religion augments many of Hillcrest’s core classes, bringing together ideas from upper level English, History, and Christian Worldview courses.

economics and marketing

Economics/Marketing/Leadership is a high school class primarily for juniors or seniors. There are no pre-requisites. The class provides students with some background and understanding of a national economy, of the business world, of markets and marketing, and of the skills and personality qualities that relate to being an entrepreneur or a leader in any organization. An overview is provided of basic economics, both micro and macro, the “laws” of leadership (John Maxwell), and basic principles and topics in marketing.


Sociology is a year long course that analyzes and studies human relationships with each other and God. The course places a high emphasis on how sociological theories and methods can be applied to daily life. Both a secular humanistic view of sociology and a Biblical Christian view are studied and contrasted within each unit. This course prepares students for an understanding of how our increasingly secularized nation views and approaches current sociological issues and problems of the day. Students will understand the different approaches to issues such as drug use, cohabitation, divorce, euthanasia, abortion, violent crime, racism, poverty, and education. Seniors and Danielsen students currently enrolled in the social track will be given first priority for this course.

ap european history

AP European History is a college level course that covers the time period of the Italian Renaissance to the 21st century. The course includes the political, diplomatic, intellectual, cultural, philosophical, demographic, economic, and military history of the time period. Students in this course should possess strong reading, writing, and analytical skills. Each student will take the final College Board AP exam which will be administered in May. This course is the final course in the history department for students who have taken World History and the United States history survey courses. This elective course is the culmination of history courses taken at Hillcrest Academy and is strongly  encouraged for high-achieving students in the Humanities program.