This major prepares you for effective ministry in an urbanized world. The majority of the world now lives in the city, and there is an increasing need for workers to be trained to effectively lead ministries and social agencies in urban areas. The capstone of the Urban Ministry Studies program is a nine-month field experience, where you will live in the heart of inner-city Philadelphia at the Urban Hope Training Center. The field experience provides students with real-world classroom experience, as the cities of the Northeast become the “classroom” for those nine months.
Examples of courses in this major:
The course will help the student develop a biblical framework for urban ministry and gain an overall understanding of foundational principles for effective urban ministry. Students will gain an understanding of the history, contemporary practices and centrality of the local church in effective urban ministry. Each student will learn principles to (a) understand the diversity of urban settings, (b) target the needs of various people groups within an urban area, and (c) develop strategies for effective urban ministry within that culture. The course will be taught at the Urban Hope Training Center in Philadelphia, offering hands-on training.
Both field experiences will be taught through a semester-long residency at the Urban Hope Training Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Students will spend a total of two semesters completing the field experiences. Students will live at Urban Hope and will travel to ministry sites in various cities of the Northeast throughout their field experiences.
The student will learn how to assess relevant issues related to specific cultures and how to target the needs of youth within various socio-economic groups. This class will develop strategies for meeting the needs of youth in a cross-cultural context and how to church plant using youth as a target group. The students will be taught how to train youth leadership to accomplish church planting and development. This class will be held in Philadelphia, a cross-cultural setting offering hands-on training.
Students will examine the principles and processes of communicating effectively with people from a second cultural context, whether in multi-cultural U.S.A. or in other countries. The course will investigate functional perception and how cultural worldview, beliefs and values affect perception through the eyes of each individual. Students will explore how the shaping of the message, the style of communication, and the use of communication networks help to penetrate different cultures with the gospel. Dangers of ethnocentrism and its affect on the cross-cultural communication process will be discussed. The principles examined are valuable for intercultural relations in any field of work.
Students will examine the belief systems of major religions with a view to understanding why the tenets of each system make sense and drive behavior for the adherents. They will also examine how each religion affects the host culture and how the culture affects the religion. The inadequacies of each belief system will be considered in light of the adequacy of Christianity.
An introductory study of humans functioning in society. Basic principles of sociology will be discussed, including organization, structure, strata and problems in American society. Emphasis will be placed on observational techniques that will help to develop a spirit of active participation in the world.
The individuals who will challenge you to learn:
B.A. in Biblical Studies and Youth Ministries, Grace College; M.A. in Global Urban Ministry, Bakke Graduate University.
Jason Holt is a director at CE National (Church Effectiveness), where he oversees the ministry of Urban Hope Training Center and Community Church. Jason and his wife, Christy, have lived in inner-city Philadelphia since 2001 and are part of the original team that established Urban Hope as a local church and training center in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. Jason and Christy have four children and are committed to raising their family in the inner-city.
B.S. in Communication, Ohio University; M.Div., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Ph.D. in Biblical Theology (New Testament), Wheaton College
Matt Harmon brings a passion to equip people to encounter Christ through the Scriptures and lead others to do so as well. His research interests include the use of the Old Testament in the New Testament, Biblical Theology, Pauline studies, and the life/ministry/theology of Jonathan Edwards. He served as full-time staff with Campus Crusade for Christ for eight years, doing evangelism and discipleship with college students. He taught courses at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Wheaton College as well as in the local church. On a regular basis, Harmon also teaches for Campus Crusade for Christ, helping to train staff in interpreting and teaching Scripture. In his spare time, Harmon also teaches training workshops for Bibleworks. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Society for Biblical Literature. Harmon and his wife, Kate, have two sons.
B.A. in Christian Education, Wheaton College; M.A. in Christian Education, Talbot School of Theology; Ph.D. in Educational Studies (Character Development and Spiritual Formation), Talbot School of Theology
Christy Hill brings her passion and training in spiritual formation to facilitate the holistic development of students while at Grace. Her research interests include personal and interpersonal development with empirical work conducted in the area of adult attachment styles and relationship with God variables. She taught at Biola University and Talbot School of Theology before coming to Grace in 2006. While she focuses primarily in women's ministries, she has served in a variety of leadership roles cross-culturally, in the local church and in the parachurch context. Hill has developed a number of Bible study materials, published in the Christian Education Journal and presented research findings at the North American Professors of Christian Education Conference, a society of which she is a member.
B.A. in Social Science, Biola University; M.A. in Education, California State University, Fullerton
T.K. Kurtaneck is a director at CE National (Church Effectiveness) in Winona Lake, Indiana, where he oversees the ministries of Operation Barnabas and The National Institute for the Development of Ministries to Youth. T.K. is married to Dana, and they have two children.
B.A. in Pastoral Studies, Moody Bible Institute; M.Div., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Th.M. in Practical Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; D.Min. in Preaching, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Rock LaGioia has been heavily involved in pastoral work since 1987. A member of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and the Evangelical Theological Society, he has authored numerous magazine articles and written book reviews. LaGioia has taught a wide variety of college courses such as spiritual formation, preaching and theology at Moody Bible Institute and Taylor University. He has also taught graduate level homiletics and theology courses at Trinity International University and Huntington University Graduate School. LaGioia and his wife, Kathy, have been blessed with two sons.
Diploma in Advanced German, Goethe Institute; B.A. in History, Grace College; M.Div., Grace Theological Seminary; D.Min. in Intercultural Studies, Grace Theological Seminary
Roger Peugh came to Grace in the fall of 1989 with three years of pastoral experience followed by 20 years of missionary experience as a church planter in Germany. While at Grace, he was involved as an elder in a church plant for 13 years. He is an active Bible conference speaker as well as guest-lecturer in several German Bible schools. In addition to his role as professor in the School of Ministry Studies, Peugh serves Grace College as campus prayer coordinator and is serving as the interim dean of chapel. Peugh, who has authored books on the topic of prayer, is married to Nancy, and they have four children and eight grandchildren.
B.S. in Urban and Regional Planning, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; M.Div. in Biblical Languages, Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary; Ph.D. in Theological Studies (Old Testament), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Tiberius Rata came to Grace Theological Seminary from Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama, where he served as assistant professor of divinity. Before that, he taught at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois, and Emmanuel Baptist University in Oradea, Romania. He has also pastored churches in California and Alabama and served as an interim pastor in Michigan and Indiana. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Institute for Biblical Research and has presented papers at the national conventions of the Evangelical Theological Society. Rata is chair of the undergraduate Department of Biblical Studies. He and his wife, Carmen, have two sons.
Some of the positions you can obtain:
Students would be qualified for paid and support-raising positions in urban churches.
Students would be qualified for paid and support-raising positions in Christian ministries in urban areas.
Jobs are available in city and county recreational and after-school programming. Students would be qualified to work in juvenile group home environments.
Employment could be found with the Department of Human Services and wrap-around services like Therapeutic Support Specialists. With further study, students could gain employment in social work. Additional courses in psychology or sociology could qualify students for certain social service jobs.
Students could find employment with city and local municipalities in planning and development through internship experiences in these fields during their educational training. Students interested in jobs in planning should consider getting GIS certification in addition to their core curriculum.
Students could gain employment in staff support roles in public schools. Students who are wanting to teach English to language learners in the U.S. and abroad could find employment by taking additional classes to gain ESL certification.