Presentation of an analytical framework to evaluate the causes and consequences of refugees and displaced persons from the vantage point of the displaced person and the host community including various NGO and governmental entities. Through the assessment process, the student learns how to create a strategy using projects and processes to engage the refugee and host communities.
The bachelor's level course is intended to be both an introduction and an intensification of topics covered in other diaspora courses but with an emphasis on refugees and displaced persons as specific diaspora populations. The master’s course assumes basic knowledge of the issues for these populations. It is designed to further equip the student to effectively engage refugees and displaced persons using the analytical framework described to evaluate causes and consequences of their situations. This assessment tool will be developed for the purpose of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and for assisting students to evaluate and engage these specific communities with goals of generating a life-giving witness and effectual outcomes that benefit the population as a whole.
The study of refugees and displaced persons is a burgeoning field in academic studies because the diasporic flow of these peoples globally has such a powerful impact. Media coverage has raised awareness, funding and involvement. Agencies and ministries require personnel equipped to handle the ever-changing dynamics with flexible thinking, methods and practice, prepared for rapid responses to crises when they arise
Both the bachelor's and master's course have the Bible and a biblical understanding of diaspora at their core. So, this course will elaborate on biblical and theological models and examples of such populations.
The missio dei informs and is the background of diaspora mission. This particular course will examine how to go where God is already working among refugees and displaced persons. The focus will be on incarnational missional approaches to engage for the purpose of individual and community transformation in Christ.
Issues involving refugees and displaced persons require a multi-faceted approach utilizing demographics, social science research methodology, biblical and theological truths as well as case studies and practiced strategies which are all applied to a given context. Particularly for practice, proper exegesis of culture and people is essential.
By definition and essence, interactions with refugees and displaced persons will be both interculturally diverse and cross-cultural in nature. The student and the teacher must actively and knowingly engage with diaspora recognizing that they will probably be taken out of their own cultural comfort zone. Additionally, because of security and anxiety concerns with these specific populations, both caution and compassion will need to be meted out liberally.
Content-based instruction alone is not enough. The assignments and even the purpose of the course itself must have some sort of practical outcome or learning will end with “head knowledge” alone.
For diaspora mission, learning will be most powerful on the experiential level. Exercises and assignments will be reflective in part, collaborative as much as possible, and sometimes interactive with diaspora persons themselves. “Hands on” experience where the learner is engaged is invaluable for dealing with refugees and displaced persons.