Exploration of challenges facing today's diaspora sojourners: How adaptation and entry occur, and how the diasporic self influences and guides in integrating identity formation and acculturation to a local context. Using case studies, interviews, group discussions, multi-media, and research assignments on biblical and secular diasporas, the student will gain knowledge and insight on how to practically interact with diaspora peoples.
The bachelor level course is intended to be an intro to create understanding of the fundamentals facing diaspora peoples in acculturation and integration to a local context. There is also a component of practicum where knowledge is put into action. The master’s course assumes basic knowledge of the issues and is designed to further equip the student to effectively engage diaspora acculturation and integration from an informed and practical point of view.
Understanding diaspora acculturation and integration is fundamental to the study and engagement of diaspora peoples. There is an ever-changing dynamic to the subject which requires both awareness and flexibility in thinking, methodology and practice. Since human beings acculturate and integrate to a given context, this course is necessary for equipping and understanding these variegated immigration, emigration and living patterns.
Both the bachelor's and master's course have the Bible and a biblical understanding of diaspora, acculturation and integration at their core.
The missio dei informs and is the background of diaspora mission. This particular course on acculturation and integration will examine how to go where God is already working and focuses on the incarnational missional approach to engage for the purpose of individual and community transformation in Christ.
Diaspora acculturation and integration issues require a multi-faceted approach utilizing demographics and social science research methodology as well as biblical and theological truths contextually applied. For both courses, there is no escaping context or the need to properly exegete culture.
By definition and essence, diaspora is 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.
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 interaction with diaspora persons themselves. “Hands on” experience where the learner is engaged is invaluable for diaspora acculturation and integration