Academics

“The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him – the Spirit of wisdom and of understand, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD" Isaiah 11:2.

Every piece of our academics is integrated, holistic and community-based; where students actively participate in their own learning process as well as those in their cohort. U4C tries to balance the academic and the real world, with the goal of developing reflective learners with strong critical thinking skills.


Curriculum

FRESHMAN/SOPHMORE YEAR(S): Introduction to the City

As a U4C student you will take prerequisite courses for the program during your freshman and sophomore years at your respective schools. You are encouraged to prepare for the year-long, urban study abroad program by taking a wide variety of classes that include:

  • Speech
  • Research Writing
  • Bible Study Methods
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • English Composition
  • History of Western Civilization
  • World Religions
  • Contemporary Religious Movements

In addition, you will have the opportunity to take the MissionShift (formerly, the School of Urban Ministry) as an introduction to U4C. MissionShift is a two semester, one night a week class where you can earn up to 6 credits (3 credits each semester). Moreover, MissionShift will get you into South Minneapolis exposing you to the issues and topics that you will study in greater detail during your junior year as a resident of the city.


JUNIOR YEAR: Resident in the City

During your year in the city living as a resident of South Minneapolis, you will take an urban intensive set of core classes that are intended to challenge you and expand your understanding of the complexities of urban and cross-cultural work. The classes are taught by faculty on-site in South Minneapolis at a classroom in St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church . . . just a few doors down from the U4C house. Although readings and papers come with the territory, the classes are designed to be interactive and experiential and should encourage you to get out of the classroom and into your new neighborhood!

FALL SEMESTER

Principles of Urban Ministry

This course is intended to provide the learner with an introduction to theory and methodology of urban ministry from a Biblical perspective. An overview of the history, theological trends, leadership and future of urban service, with attention to Biblical principles for evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of urban ministry and designs will be covered to give the students a greater understanding of urban ministry.

History and Contemporary Issues

This class is designed to give students a thorough understanding of the history and development of Minneapolis as well as its current trends and challenges. It gives the student and in-depth understanding of the milieu in which he or she will be studying the rest of the urban classes. The course will be taught using various learning methods including reading, lectures, discussions, research, writing, field trips, media presentations and guest speakers. As in integrative approach, the students will engage in a combination of classroom preparations, field experience and post-experience analysis, creating a critical reference point for the student to deepen his or her Christian worldview, cross-cultural engagement, and understanding of diverse social and cultural contexts.

Significant Urban Ministry Issues

This class is designed to give students a good understanding of several interrelated areas of urban ministry. The students will learn from practitioners and specialists in each of the following areas: chemical dependency (including detox, intervention strategies, treatment methods, community resources, 12-step programs, etc.), teen pregnancy, prostitution and the sex industry, HIV/AIDS, Homeland Security/INS, domestic violence, narcotics distribution and gangs.

Demographics and Research Methods

This class instructs students in the methods and procedures on how to conduct and read urban demographics.  The class will focus on the consumption of demographic material to make competent, strategic decisions.  The class will also require students to conduct mini-research projects to further their understanding of compiling demographic decisions.

Internship

Supervised experience in a non-profit/ministry in the urban, cross-cultural context. This course requires ministry involvement totaling at least 50 hours per credit in the area of the student’s emphasis.

SPRING SEMESTER

Intercultural Communication

This course emphasizes parallels in learning a language and learning a culture in the urban, cross-cultural context. Course assignments and discussions are designed for application in everyday encounters with individuals from other cultures within the city.

Urban Social Psychology

This course will cover various phenomena related to social influence – the power of people to affect, persuade, or control the beliefs or behaviors of others.  The student will become familiar with fundamental topics in social psychology, such as perception, motivation, attitudes, and attitude change.

Race & Ethnicity in America

In this course students will examine the issues surrounding race relations in the United States. This examination will include some of the history of race relations leading up to the most current racial climate. The class will develop a Biblical grid through which to understand the issues. Students will not only study the issues but also learn to think critically about Christian and secular models currently offered to solve racial problems in our nation. The class will also attempt to recast valuable secular models into Biblical categories. The class will suggest alternative modes of thinking about race relations to those concerned individuals and institutions in our culture.

Urban Economics, Entrepreneurship and Community Development

This course is a study of the process of forming and managing a non-profit organization, with a focus on the unique contributions and characteristics of faith-based organizations. Students will spend eight hours on-sight at a local ministry non-profit, attending board meeting, interviewing the chief executive and observing programs. Through this field study, students will witness the application of the concepts taught in class and will be asked to assess the various aspects of the non-profit they are studying. In addition, students will develop an overall concept/vision for a non-profit organization they would like to start and will develop a strategic plan and case statement for it.

Internship

Supervised experience in a non-profit/ministry in the urban, cross-cultural context. This course requires ministry involvement totaling at least 50 hours per credit in the area of the student’s emphasis.

Independent Study

This opportunity provides independent student research on a topic of his/her choice.