This major prepares you for effective ministry in an urbanized world. The majority of the world now lives in the city, and there is an increasing need for workers to be trained to effectively lead ministries and social agencies in urban areas. The capstone of the Urban Ministry Studies program is a nine-month field experience, where you will live in the heart of inner-city Philadelphia at the Urban Hope Training Center. The field experience provides students with real-world classroom experience, as the cities of the Northeast become the “classroom” for those nine months.
Examples of courses in this major:
The course will help the student develop a biblical framework for urban ministry and gain an overall understanding of foundational principles for effective urban ministry. Students will gain an understanding of the history, contemporary practices and centrality of the local church in effective urban ministry. Each student will learn principles to (a) understand the diversity of urban settings, (b) target the needs of various people groups within an urban area, and (c) develop strategies for effective urban ministry within that culture. The course will be taught at the Urban Hope Training Center in Philadelphia, offering hands-on training.
Both field experiences will be taught through a semester-long residency at the Urban Hope Training Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Students will spend a total of two semesters completing the field experiences. Students will live at Urban Hope and will travel to ministry sites in various cities of the Northeast throughout their field experiences.
The student will learn how to assess relevant issues related to specific cultures and how to target the needs of youth within various socio-economic groups. This class will develop strategies for meeting the needs of youth in a cross-cultural context and how to church plant using youth as a target group. The students will be taught how to train youth leadership to accomplish church planting and development. This class will be held in Philadelphia, a cross-cultural setting offering hands-on training.
Students will examine the principles and processes of communicating effectively with people from a second cultural context, whether in multi-cultural U.S.A. or in other countries. The course will investigate functional perception and how cultural worldview, beliefs and values affect perception through the eyes of each individual. Students will explore how the shaping of the message, the style of communication, and the use of communication networks help to penetrate different cultures with the gospel. Dangers of ethnocentrism and its affect on the cross-cultural communication process will be discussed. The principles examined are valuable for intercultural relations in any field of work.
Students will examine the belief systems of major religions with a view to understanding why the tenets of each system make sense and drive behavior for the adherents. They will also examine how each religion affects the host culture and how the culture affects the religion. The inadequacies of each belief system will be considered in light of the adequacy of Christianity.
An introductory study of humans functioning in society. Basic principles of sociology will be discussed, including organization, structure, strata and problems in American society. Emphasis will be placed on observational techniques that will help to develop a spirit of active participation in the world.
The individuals who will challenge you to learn:
B.A. in Biblical Studies and Youth Ministries, Grace College; M.A. in Global Urban Ministry, Bakke Graduate University.
Jason Holt is a director at CE National (Church Effectiveness), where he oversees the ministry of Urban Hope Training Center and Community Church. Jason and his wife, Christy, have lived in inner-city Philadelphia since 2001 and are part of the original team that established Urban Hope as a local church and training center in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. Jason and Christy have four children and are committed to raising their family in the inner-city.
Some of the positions you can obtain:
Students would be qualified for paid and support-raising positions in urban churches.
Students would be qualified for paid and support-raising positions in Christian ministries in urban areas.
Jobs are available in city and county recreational and after-school programming. Students would be qualified to work in juvenile group home environments.
Employment could be found with the Department of Human Services and wrap-around services like Therapeutic Support Specialists. With further study, students could gain employment in social work. Additional courses in psychology or sociology could qualify students for certain social service jobs.
Students could find employment with city and local municipalities in planning and development through internship experiences in these fields during their educational training. Students interested in jobs in planning should consider getting GIS certification in addition to their core curriculum.
Students could gain employment in staff support roles in public schools. Students who are wanting to teach English to language learners in the U.S. and abroad could find employment by taking additional classes to gain ESL certification.