ANT3310EN - Kinship, Family & Intimate Relations

Course description

Examination of diverse forms of family structures and functions, kinship systems, and other intimate relationships across cultures from an anthropological perspective. Students will evaluate selected ethnographic case studies from different cultures on mate selection, marriage practices, kinship systems, parenting practices, and changes pertaining to contemporary families.

How this course benefits students

The family is the basic social unit and is a key to understand the broader sociocultural system of human societies. The course will enhance missional leaders’ and missional-minded believers’ cross-cultural literacy to the family, kinship, and other intimate relationships. Challenges and changes facing contemporary families are among the top social problems. Students will develop insights into the changes and challenges of families, be prepared to integrate families in their missional work, and will take an active part in family rehabilitation endeavors.

Why this course is important

The family is a divine institution, and its formation, structure and natures vary across time and space. This course integrates cross-cultural and social scientific perspectives with biblical principles to examine the structure and nature of contemporary families and intimate relationships. This is a unique course that provides missional leaders and other learners with holistic knowledge of the situations of contemporary families.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Dr. Samuel Jilo Dira, Professor of Cultural Anthropology

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

This course is based on the firm understanding that the family is the divine institution created by God (Genesis1:28), and marriage is the most intimate relation of all human relation that unites man and woman in a “one-flesh” union (Genesis 2:23-25).

Missionally driven

The course prepares learners for the mission of reaching people in the gospel of Christ.

Contextually informed

The course examines family, kinship, and intimate relationships in a broader context of anthropological and sociological theories as well as biblical views and cultural relativism.

Interculturally focused

The course examines families and kinship relations in a cross-cultural approach. It will scrutinize cases studies of families of diverse socio-economic, ethnic, racial, cultural, and nationality backgrounds from biblical and theological points of view.

Practically minded

The course integrates anthropological/sociological theories and concepts of families, kinship, and intimate relationships with the real life of today’s world. Learners will examine case studies of family structures, parenting styles, and diverse forms of kinship systems in their communities.

Experientially transformed

Learners will examine case studies and stories of real-life experiences of different family situations and intimate relationships. They will also have an opportunity to convert their knowledge into practical experiences in reaching families in the gospel of Jesus Christ.