The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity." Theologically speaking this definition supports the original state of humanity in the garden of Eden described in the book of Genesis. Humanity, as first created, enjoyed a state of well-being that was then shattered by a broken relationship with God. Thus, the WHO definition is inadequate because human well-being also includes spiritual well-being, one's relationship with God. Humanity is an integrated whole where physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being are interrelated. Thus spiritual well-being is foundational to all other aspects of health; in fact, physical, mental and social dysfunction ultimately links back to humanity's underlying metaphysical problems. The Department of Community Health & Advocacy grounds its practices in a biblical theology of illness and health.
The Department of Community Health & Advocacy provides an integrated approach to health, offering competency-based and practice-focused preparation for successful careers in public health and healthcare. Through integrating a biblical framework, students will learn to strategically address the health needs of priority populations from the individual to the global level using a variety of health promotion and education strategies while serving in the mission of God. The Community Health & Advocacy Department provides students who are interested in creating and growing in health ministry, elements that must be understood and applied such as the basic precepts, requirements, and possible pitfalls when designing a ministry to encourage health & wellness.