Urban Ministry Studies


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.

  1. The Urban Ministries major is rooted in the fact that there is life-transformation through Jesus Christ—He changes lives and circumstances.
  2. It includes nine months of living in an urban area known for various urban issues. The cooperation is with the Urban Hope Training Center in the Kensington area of Philadelphia.
  3. Students will study eight areas of concentration that are issues found in all urban areas of the world.
  4. The ministry they will be involved with uses a holistic approach to the Gospel, but also includes the value of connecting with local churches.
  5. Students will be mentored by experienced urban leaders who are living in the inner-city and connecting with the community.
  6. Students will be involved in contact-making, outreach, discipleship and teaching in a cross-cultural setting.
  7. Students will learn through observation of and interaction with various organizations and groups in the Northeast, traveling to various world-class cities as a group.
  8. Options will be given to students to visit urban areas outside the U.S.A. to observe other ways of meeting social, material and spiritual needs.
  9. Students will be taught by practitioners who will equip students to work in many areas of social services.

Course Requirements for B.A. or B.S. in Urban Ministry Studies

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Examples of courses in this major:

UMS 1100 Foundations of Urban Ministry

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.

UMS 4830 Urban Studies Field Experience I

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.

YMI 3140 Cross-Cultural Youth Ministries

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.

ICS 3110 Intercultural Communication

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.

BBL 3130 Understanding World Religions

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.

SOC 1100 Introduction to Sociology

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.