Northwestern’s religion department is large for a college our size and serves all students through core general education courses in the Christian story and tradition. Your major courses will help you develop your Christian worldview and further strengthen your foundational knowledge in Scripture, theology and the practice of ministry.
Christian Community Development Minor
Christian community development holistically restores under-resourced communities through local Christian engagement. This integrative and interdisciplinary minor equips Christians to bear witness and do justice by using critical analysis of social, political, economic, and spiritual poverty in order to holistically develop communities towards self-sufficiency and spiritual renewal. Developing communities, beyond mere relief, involves relocation, living in a community in solidarity with those one serves; it involves reconciliation between both God and other human beings, including racial reconciliation, thus it integrates evangelism and justice; and finally it involves redistributing resources, capital, and power in the social, political, and economic dimensions of human life. Students will participate in a service learning component as part of capstone course REL420: Topics in Christian Community Development.
Student Learning Goals:
- Students will think biblically, theologically, and inter-disciplinarily about Christian community development, especially in the United States’ rural and urban context.
- Students will gain competency with key interdisciplinary (theological, sociological, political, economic, etc.) concepts and tools useful in the analysis and practice of Christian community development.
- Students will understand several current theories about the practice of Christian community development in the United States’ rural and urban communities.
- Students will grasp the biblical foundation for and practice of the Christian community development principles of relocation, reconciliation, and redistribution.
|ECO 101 - Survey of Economics *
(4 credits) (IGE option under Self and Society) This is an introductory course in economics which will cover both microeconomics and macroeconomics topics. The course will explore economic institutions, how they came to be, how they have changed over time, and how the government modifies them.
|PSC 201 - State and Local Government
(2 credits) (American politics) This course examines the political relationships between the federal, state and local levels of U.S. government. Though we focus primarily on state and local governments and policy making, we also seek to determine which level of government is best suited to address the different social and economic problems. The role of the Christian in politics is also explored.
|REL 290 - Christian Witness and Community Development
(4 credits) This course is an examination of Christian witness as verbal proclamation (evangelism), reasoned defense (apologetics), as a distinctive lifestyle and as social action (justice). Students will explore the meaning of the gospel, in the context of a biblical theology of God's holistic plan of redemption, and various models of evangelism, apologetics and justice, especially the model of Christian community development. Prerequisite: REL250 or permission of instructor.
|REL 295 - Intercultural Communication
(2 credits) Christian ministry and mission is essentially an ongoing process of
interacting effectively with others in ways appropriate to one's message and global/local
contexts. By providing a progressively integrated understanding of
intercultural issues, this course will enable students to apply principles of
communication through their particular vocation or ministry so that they
connect theory with models and practice to appropriately communicate the Gospel
message across cultures and micro-cultures.
|REL 420 - Topics in Christian Community Development
(4 credits) This is an interdisciplinary course that will analyze a major topic in
Christian community development related to relocation, reconciliation and
redistribution. There will be significant biblical and theological content
integrated with the given topic. A service learning component, consisting of at
least 20 hours of student engagement in meeting an identified community need,
is required. Students will integrate course materials and various disciplines
with their service learning and any past Christian community development
experiences. Students will also explore questions and issues raised in this
area. This course features the writing and presentation of a major integration
paper, discussions, analysis and critique of research. Prerequisites: REL290
and senior class standing.
|SWK 232 - At-Risk Populations and Social Justice **
(4 credits) Examines theoretical foundations for understanding dynamics of social inequity, privilege, and oppression; focus on diversity and on populations at risk due to racism, sexism and classism; self-assessment of students' racial and cultural heritage as it shapes their attitudes and biases toward different cultural and racial groups; emphasis on helping students become culturally competent social workers who are grounded in their faith and who identify with the profession's respect for diversity and commitment to social and economic justice. Open to non-majors. Prerequisites: PSY111, SWK231, SOC101, or permission of instructor.
|Christian community develoment service learning experience (no credit)
|Choose one course:
|SOC 202 - Social Problems
(4 credits) This course is about learning to critically think about society and various problems in society. This course will examine a number of social issues as we wrestle with how we can decide if an issue is a social problem, decide which social problems might be more significant than others, and evaluate potential solutions for social problems. We are going to wrestle with some challenging questions with the goal of helping us to think deeply about how we might seek justice on an individual level and within society.
|SOC 272 - Selected Topics in Sociology
(2 or 4 credits, non-yearly, consult department) A study of selected topics in sociology which are not adequately covered in other courses. Offered as a response to student or faculty needs or interests. Possible topics include: social change, social reform movements, the sociology of unconventional lifestyles, sociology of women, sociology of education, medical sociology, sociology of war and terrorism, and native American issues.
|SOC 304 - Ethnicity, Power and Identity
(4 credits) This course examines and develops a sociological perspective on ethnicity, power and identity. The primary goal of this course is not simply to learn the attitudes or behaviors of specific racial groups. Instead, this course will seek to answer the questions: Where do social groups come from? What social dynamics emerge when one group of people has much more power than another? Our readings and discussions will shed light upon these questions from different perspectives. Along the way, we will also discuss the unique historical situations of specific groups as they endure and struggle against power imbalances (for example, the African American Civil Rights Movement).
|Total credits required: 24
*Students who have taken ECO213 and ECO214 are exempted from this course requirement.
**Students obtain permission from instructor to waive prerequisites
Semester Program Options: Students may substitute four credits from the Denver Semester, Romania Semester or CCD-Based Chicago Semester (with Religion department approval) for any course in the CCD minor except REL420.
ACC310-Non-Profit Government Accounting
HIS241-Tribes, Trolleys and Tractors: Themes in Iowa's History
REL294-Introduction to Christian Mission
Recommended Immersion Experiences:
CCD-based Summer of Service
CCD-based Spring Service Project
CCD-based Chicago Semester