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COURSE TITLE: Field Course in International Development
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3(4 days pre-field lectures/seminars; 3 weeks on field; 3 days post-field seminar)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: First-hand observation of, and active participation in, a selected rural or urban community development project in Africa, Asia or Latin America. Projects focus on basic human needs in subsistence economies. All students complete a field-based research assignment. Pre- and post-field classes, readings and assignments emphasize Christian perspectives on development, methods of community development, and cross-cultural skills.

The offering of this course is depending on enrollment, availability of a host partner agency and financial support.

Prerequisites: Three credits in economics, geography, political science or sociology; or consent of instructor.

Participants must also present a medical letter of good health, and sign a waiver of liability.
  • Serving with Eyes Wide Open, David Livermore (journal due February 7)
  • Short Term Mission -  handouts  (journal due Feb 28)
  • Integral Mission – handout – Journal due March 28
  • When Helping Hurts (excerpts) (plus short handout from Serving God Globally) journal due April 4
Pre-field Assignments40%
Field Journal30%
Group Assignment and Presentation30%
COURSE OBJECTIVES AND APPROACH: On completion of this course, students should be able to:
  1. describe and attempt to understand poverty in subsistence economies from multiple dimensions (i.e., spiritual, economic, political, social, environmental)
  2. explain community-based models of development used by Christian development agencies to empower the poor
  3. reflect on and articulate change in participants’ personal lives (spiritual growth, lifestyle, perception of/solidarity with the poor, career aspirations, education, etc.).
The pre-field component introduces biblical perspectives on the poor, development thought, the community development model, preparation for a field-based assignment and some cultural orientation.  On the field, students receive more in-depth orientation, live and work with the poor; gain insight into the causes and effects of poverty, participate in a service project; gain cross-cultural skills; work with Canadian and host-country partner groups; and build group interaction skills.  On return, students present the results of their field-based assignment.

Examples of questions to be asked in the course include:
  • who are the poor? What perceptions do we have of them? And why are they poor?
  • what does the Bible say about the poor?
  • what is our relationship with the poor? are we givers? helpers? partners? learners?
  • what models of development are available?  are there Christian models?
  • what is community development?  how do we empower communities and institutions that serve the poor?  Are these sustainable?

Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may vary from one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.

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