Jesse Covington

Jesse Covington

Assistant Professor of Political Science
Phone: (805) 565-6784
Office Location: Deane Hall 202

Office Hours
By appointment only

Political Theory and Constitutional Law

Dr. Jesse Covington will be on sabbatical for the 2014-2015 school year.

Click here to read a 2007 Press Release about Dr. Covington

Jesse Covington teaches and writes in the fields of political theory and constitutional law. He teaches the bulk of the political theory curriculum at Westmont, which begins with the core major course “Political Theory and Ideology.” This course introduces major questions about the nature and ends of political life, orienting political theory within the context of a Christian liberal arts education and examining major ideological approaches to politics. Covington also teaches a three-semester sequence in the history of political theory (Classical, Modern, and Contemporary), as well as courses in American political thought and Christian political thought. He serves as the campus pre-law advisor and teaches Constitutional Law.

Dr. Covington’s research interests focus on the interrelation of religion and government, particularly as regards First Amendment law and the foundations of political liberalism. His doctoral dissertation was titled: “Taken on Faith: The Concept of Religion in First Amendment Jurisprudence” and he is currently revising this manuscript to be published as a book. He is also working on an ongoing collaborative project on evangelical political theory and natural law.


  • Ph.D. Political Science, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN (2007)
  • M.A. Political Science, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN (2004)
  • M.A.R. Religion, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, PA (2000)
  • B.A. Political Science Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA (1997)

Selected Recent Writing

  • “Folly to the Nations? Cultural Apologetics, Natural Law, and Evangelical Political Thought.” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, September 2009.
  • “Thomas v. Review Board” and “Reindeer Rule” in Encyclopedia of the First Amendment. Edited by David Hudson, David Schultz and John Vile. CQ Press. 2008.
  • “John Locke: Towards a Politics of Liberty.” (Michael Zuckert, Jesse Covington and James Thompson) in Richard Velkley, ed., Freedom and the Human Person. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press. 2007.
  •  “Thought, Word, and Deed: Religion Before the Supreme Court 1961-1981” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, April 2007.
  • “Natural Rights and Social Duty: The Conceptual Boundaries of Religion in Free Exercise Jurisprudence 1879-1961.” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, January 2007


  • American Government (POL 10)
  • Political Theory and Ideology (POL 30)
  • Constitutional Law (POL 104)
  • Voting Behavior (POL 107)
  • Classical Political Theory (POL 130)
  • Modern Political Theory (POL 131)
  • Contemporary Political Theory (POL-133)
  • The American Political Experience (POL 132)
  • Christianity and Politics (POL 140)

Professional Associations

  • American Political Science Association
  • Christians in Political Science
  • Pacific Coast Association of Pre-Law Advisors