An overview of theory, research and action in international community development. Students will learn about both industrialized and less developed countries in various parts of the world in their assignments. The course helps students understand the processes and dimensions of human and community development work.
A major goal of this course is to prepare students for work in the complex field of community development occurring in cross-cultural settings, and in organizations characterized by diversity, or in institutional contexts that serve a culturally diverse multinational or immigrant clientele.
Unequal distribution of power and economic resources are important issues we face in our world today. The cause and effect of the inequalities that have been produced within unequal power dynamics are important to be able to identify and respond to at a heightened level of understanding and compassion. As one better understands the context and impacts of these imbalances within the country they are engaged, they can better identify with and value those individuals within those circumstances, while diminishing the possibility to “other” those of different cultures and contexts. This course extends the opportunity to analyze and assimilate insights into international community development as a dynamic process by which disadvantaged people develop capacity to help improve and control their lives in the midst of uneven controls.
As the student reaches out to our global community with the message of Christ s/he will strive to meet them at their point of need and understanding. Understanding better how they have arrived at where they are by examining the positive and negative influences of community development leads to that end. “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.” 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
As the student goes out among individuals from different backgrounds and understandings this course helps s/he to better grasp not only the new culture, but also helps the student to better understand the influences and impacts of community development practices that were potentially impressed upon the receiving culture by the culture and society of our origin.
The content of this course directly strengthens the cultural competence of the student to engage and work with increase knowledge and effectiveness in cross-cultural situations.
As the course unpacks the impacts of international community development effects it reveals both positive and negative influences on population and society and examines the interaction between population dynamics and economic development, social changes and environment, and race and ethnicity factors.
This course offers a practical examination of the influences international community development actions. This strengthens the student’s ability to critically analyze motivating factors and strengthen their impacts in their global setting.
Students will have the opportunity to examine their own real world situations to research, identify and report evidence and impact of various development theories and practices that is demonstrated in their own context.