Christian Community Development

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.

Learning Goals:

  1. Students will think biblically, theologically, and inter-disciplinarily about Christian community development, especially in the United States’ rural and urban context.
  2. 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.
  3. Students will understand several current theories about the practice of Christian community development in the United States’ rural and urban communities.
  4. Students will grasp the biblical foundation for and practice of the Christian community development principles of relocation, reconciliation, and redistribution.

Biblical and theological studies department homepage

Minor requirements:

ECO 101SS - Everyday Economics *
What is the economy? What drives the boom and bust of the market? Why do people choose what they choose? How should I think about money? What is the role of our government? How do I view inequality? Every decision we make and everything we see in the modern society has something to do with economics. In this course, we will cover the ABC's of micro and macroeconomics that are most relevant to our everyday life. We will also learn a brief history of economic thought, and build our foundation on the Christian principles. (4 credits) (NWCore option under Self and Society) Note: This course is not intended for business or economics majors.
BTS 290 - Christian Witness and Community Development
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. (4 credits) Prerequisite: BTS250 or permission of instructor.
BTS 295 - Intercultural Communication
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. (2 credits)
BTS 420 - Topics in Christian Community Development
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: BTS290 and senior class standing. (4 credits)
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. Students must achieve a grade of C or above in all social work core foundational courses. If not, the student must repeat the course until the standard has been achieved. Prerequisites: PSY111, SWK231, SOC101, or permission of instructor.
Christian community development service learning experience (no credit)
Choose one course:
SOC 202 - Social Problems
A discussion of myths and facts leading toward an understanding of many social problems, such as sexual deviance, drugs and alcohol, health care and illness (physical and mental), crime and delinquency, violence, wealth and poverty, inequality of opportunity, work, aging, sex inequality, racial minorities and discrimination, education, family problems, war, pollution, ecology and population. Emphasis is placed upon difficulties in defining, critiquing and proposing meaningful solutions.(4 credits)
SOC 272 - Selected Topics in Sociology
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.(2 or 4 credits, non-yearly, consult department)
SOC 304CC - Ethnicity, Power and Identity
(4 credits)(IGE option under Cross-Cultural Engagement) This course develops a sociological perspective on ethnicity, power, and identity. Sociologists frequently seek to balance an emphasis on both the general patterns that we observe across social phenomena and the uniqueness of each specific case. The primary goal of this course is not simply learn the characteristics of specific historically marginalized populations. Instead, this course will seek to answer the question: What is the relationship between power, ethnicity, and identity? Our readings and discussions will shed light upon this question from different perspectives. Along the way, we will also draw upon learning materials that address 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

Notes:

*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 BTS420.

Recommended Courses:
ACC 310 - Non-Profit Government Accounting
(2 credits) This course provides coverage of accounting and reporting standards for not-for-profit organizations and state and local governments. It includes accounting for hospitals, college and universities, voluntary health and welfare organizations, and others. Coverage will also be provided for governmental, propriety and fiduciary type funds used in governments. Prerequisites: ACC215 and ACC216 or permission of instructor.
ECO 302 - Labor Economics
No course description available.
PSC 260 -Human Geography
BTS 294 - Introduction to Christian Mission
A general overview of the biblical foundations and historical evolution of Christian mission, with special emphasis upon the modern development of mission theory and practice. (2 credits) Prerequisite: BTS250.
Recommended Immersion Experiences:
CCD internship
CCD-based Summer of Service
CCD-based Spring Service Partnership
Denver Semester
Romania Semester
CCD-based Chicago Semester
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