Urban Studies - Development Track
The urban landscape has dramatically changed in the last twenty years. The urban core has become diverse. Modern, postmodern and premodern thinkers occupy the same neighborhood space. Ethnicity is no longer the litmus to determine like groups as the nations of the world have mixed while finding a home in the cities of the world. There is also a notable trend in socioeconomic diversity as gentrification takes hold: lower and upper class dwelling together in close proximity. This diversity calls for an expanded response: traditional church-centered, relief-oriented ministry has grown to include church-based, Not for Profit (NFP) and For Profit (FP) organizations as vehicles of ministry. These expanded ministries require legal, fiscal and administrative acumen outside that of traditional pastoral ministry. Service in the urban core requires more content and skills than are currently offered by traditional ‘urban ministry’ programs. In order to be well-poised, competent and agile practitioners in the urban context, our graduates develop the skills necessary to lead urban congregations and also to establish and administrate church-based nonprofit ministries, as the needs grow greater and the resources more meager. Our graduates will move at ease in the cross-cultural ethos of the World Class City.
The Urban Studies major has been developed based upon two key components: the Urban Studies Core and a specialty track: Urban Ministry or Urban Development. The Urban Studies Core provides foundational concepts and experiences for a lifetime of service in a World Class City. Additionally, the structure of the Urban Studies Core seeks to develop an atmosphere of collegiality between the specialty tracks that enhances the opportunity to deploy robust, multidimensional ministries. The tracks allow the student to specialize in the type of service pursued.
Urban Ministry Track: The Urban Ministry track prepares the student for traditional church-based forms of service such as leading a congregation in a pastoral role. The student who completes this track will attain the academic requirements to pursue a License to Preach in the Assemblies of God.
Urban Development Track: The Urban Development track seeks to lift the relief and development burden from the shoulders of the generalist pastor and place it upon an individual specifically trained to lead these types of ministries. This track will equip the students with the knowledge, skills,and experiences to develop and lead Not for Profit (NFP) and For Profit (FP) relief and development ministries in World Class Cities.
- Graduates will develop an understanding of themselves and others, communicating effectively, serving others and growing spiritually.
- Graduates will be able to identify prevalent attitudes that have greatly affected marginalized people such as racism, sexism, ethnocentrism and classism throughout history.
- Graduates will develop a comprehensive theology that addresses the presentation of the Gospel in a multi-ethnic context and application of that Gospel in contemporary issues of injustice such as human trafficking, homelessness and poverty.
- Graduates will view the city as a system while developing an understanding of the dynamics and process of World Class Cities in general and U.S. cities in particular.
- Graduates will identify critical issues that urban dwellers around the world deal with on a daily basis that make urban living a challenge.
- Graduates will develop the skills and strategies necessary to lead both church and parachurch organizations that focus upon asset based empowerment while still providing traditional relief type services.
All students must complete the General Education and Biblical Studies Cores in addition to the Urban Studies core. Students may add general electives or an optional minor. Total credit hours to complete the degree must equal at least 124 credits.