ORG2200EN - Intro to Communities of Practice

Course description

Communities of Practice (CoP) as defined by Wenger are "groups of people who share a concern or passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly." Students in this course will move beyond rudimentary knowledge CoPs to discover how to cultivate and manage knowledge networks.

How this course benefits students

As the world becomes progressively more complex, the proliferation of Communities of Practice (CoP) will increase among corporations, nonprofit organizations, governmental entities, and educational institutions. Students from any discipline must become familiar with the questions, issues, and options involved in cultivating and managing CoPs.

Why this course is important

Communities of Practice (CoP) have increased in importance. Interorganizational collaboration is important in today's context. CoPs provide a model for connecting people in the spirit of learning, knowledge sharing, and collaboration as well as individual, group, and organizational development.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Organizational Leadership
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Prof. Kelly Schmidt, Instructor in Organizational Leadership

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

Inherent within Communities of Practice (CoP) is working together in community. Members engage help each other, engage in shared activities, and exchange information. The building of relationships enables them to learn from each other. While CoP theories abound, not all have a biblical basis. This course will expose students to biblical models of unity.

Missionally driven

Transformation of people and communities could possibly be done in a harmful way if pursued without an adequate understanding of social and cultural complexities involved in Communities of Practice (CoP). This course helps students become more aware of those complexities in cultivating and managing knowledge networks in which God may already be at work.

Contextually informed

Students will discover how to cultivate and manage knowledge networks within their respective work or ministry environment.

Interculturally focused

Communities of Practice (CoP) by their very nature require working together. In a digitized global era, crossing cultural boundaries is assumed whether virtual or face-to-face. Students will learn how to practice their faith in culturally appropriate ways

Practically minded

A key feature of a Community of Practice (CoP) is that members are practitioners. Students will interact both virtually and face-to-face through a variety of methods including problem solving, requests for information, seeking the experiences of others, reusing assets, coordination and synergy, discussing developments, visiting other members, mapping knowledge, and identifying gaps.

Experientially transformed

Students will engage in collaborative learning and knowledge sharing through activities, group projects, networking events, and creation of resources related to Communities of Practice (CoP).