Christian Community Development

Christian community development holistically restores under-resourced communities through local Christian engagement. This integrative and interdisciplinary minor equips you 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 you serve; 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. Christian community development students participate in service learning.

Learning Goals:

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

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Minor requirements:

ECO 101 - Survey of Economics *
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.(4 credits)
REL 290 - Christian Witness and Community Development
An examination of Christian witness as verbal proclamation (evangelism), as reasoned response (apologetics), as a distinctive lifestyle and as the practice of social justice. Prerequisite: REL262 (4 credits)
REL 295 - Intercultural Communication
Christian ministry and mission is essentially an ongoing process ofinteracting effectively with others in ways appropriate to one's message andglobal/local contexts. By providing a progressively integrated understandingof intercultural issues, this course will enable students to applyprinciples of communication through their particular vocation or ministry sothat they connect theory with models and practice to appropriatelycommunicate the Gospel message across cultures and micro-cultures. (2credits)
REL 420 - Topics in Christian Community Development
This is an interdisciplinary course that will analyze a major topic inChristian community development related to relocation, reconciliation andredistribution. There will be significant biblical and theological contentintegrated with the given topic. A service learning component, consisting ofat least 20 hours of student engagement in meeting an identified communityneed, is required. Students will integrate course materials and variousdisciplines with their service learning and any past Christian communitydevelopment experiences. Students will also explore questions and issuesraised in this area. This course features the writing and presentation of amajor integration paper, discussions, analysis and critique of research. Prerequisites: REL290 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 corefoundational courses. If not, the student must repeat the course until thestandard 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 coursedevelops a sociological perspective on ethnicity, power, and identity.Sociologists frequently seek to balance an emphasis on both the generalpatterns that we observe across social phenomena and the uniqueness ofeach specific case. The primary goal of this course is not simply learnthe characteristics of specific historically marginalized populations.Instead, this course will seek to answer the question: What is therelationship between power, ethnicity, and identity? Our readings anddiscussions will shed light upon this question from differentperspectives. Along the way, we will also draw upon learning materialsthat address the unique historical situations of specific groups as theyendure and struggle against power imbalances (for example, the AfricanAmerican 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.

Recommended Courses:

ACC310-Non-Profit Government Accounting

ECO302-Labor Economics

PSC260-Human Geography

REL294-Introduction to Christian Mission

Recommended Immersion Experiences:

CCD internship

CCD-based Summer of Service

CCD-based Spring Service Project

Denver Semester

Romania Semester

CCD-based Chicago Semester