Community Development Minor
Every community faces challenges. If you’re the kind of person who wants to work with them to overcome those challenges, consider a minor in community development. When you graduate, you’ll be ready to help communities flourish and experience the beauty and joy of God and His creation.Request Info
When you minor in community development, you’ll learn how to strengthen communities and make them better. Dordt’s highly qualified faculty will ensure you know the fundamentals. They’ll also help you understand how to apply your minor to whatever field you pursue after graduating. As you study and interact with your fellow students, you’ll work together to learn how to build stronger and more resilient communities.
You’ll learn from guest speakers. You’ll interact directly and electronically with community development professionals. You’ll discuss videos and articles on topics and issues in the field. You’ll make an impact by working directly with organizations. And you’ll understand what a Christian perspective of community development looks like.
What You'll Learn
What you’ll learn as a community development minor will benefit you for the rest of your life. Environmental stewardship. Creation care. Poverty alleviation. The effect of current events on the world. They’re all part of your minor coursework. You will also identify the beauty and brokenness that are part of every community and identify and explore various development approaches and strategies.
What You Can Do With A Community Development Minor
By minoring in community development, you’ll leave Dordt ready to make an impact in your professional career. Community development minors can apply their knowledge and compassion to careers in business, science, education, and more.
A Business Developer develops adjustments to increase customer engagement through research and data on their company’s products and services.
Program Officers perform all the tasks that fall under overseeing and managing an organization's programs, budgets, projects, and development.
Public Affairs Specialist
A Public Affairs Specialist would be responsible for developing different content and media that attempt to influence public policy.
To earn a community development minor, students will need to complete seven community development courses, one sociology course, and theology or social work course.
- Community Development Seminar I: An introduction to the community development discipline with an emphasis on current events and a holistic understanding of the discipline. The class will meet in one three hour laboratory block and integrate guest speakers, discussion and analysis, field trips, and interaction (direct or electronic) with community development professionals. Graded on a pass/no record basis.
- Communities and the Environment: An introduction to contemporary environmental studies and creation care, with emphasis on class discussion of relationships between human population and resource use in light of biblical teaching about environmental stewardship. Particular attention is given to the biotic and ecological dimensions of creation stewardship and planetary distress. Designed to be taken by community development majors concurrently with Community Development 161.
- Field and Laboratory Investigations in Environmental Studies: A field and laboratory exploration of fundamental issues, concepts, and techniques of contemporary environmental studies with a biological and ecological focus. Includes visits to sites of natural history and stewardship interest both locally and regionally. Also includes an introduction to important technological tools in environmental studies and analysis of physical and biotic parameters of the environment. Required for students majoring or minoring in Environmental Studies or Community Development.
- Helping Communities Flourish: Christians are called to love their neighbors and can do so by working to strengthen communities in North America and throughout the world. In this course we will examine community development strategies and practices (historical and current) used in domestic, international, urban, and rural settings. Our goal will be to identify those that fit well with a Christian view of the world and are likely to help communities flourish in the long term. We will also explore how these practices and strategies can be successfully implemented.
- Community Development Seminar II: An examination of emerging trends and practices in community development. Particular emphasis will be put on how the field is developing and how Christians can contribute to it now and in the future. The class will meet in one three hour laboratory block and integrate guest speakers, recent articles and videos, field trips, and interaction (direct or electronic) with community development professionals.
- Community Development and the Kingdom of God: An exploration of the opportunities community development professionals have to live as kingdom citizens. This course will build on the framework established in Community Development 201, extending the theoretical and practical concepts and examining how they relate to our calling as Christians to work toward restoration and shalom in urban, rural, domestic, and international settings.
- Professional Conference Attendance: Participation in a professional community development conference. Examples include the ECHO conference and the International Development Conference at Calvin University. Pre-conference and post-conference activities and assignments will be utilized to help participants prepare for, and process, the experience. Prerequisites: sophomore standing; permission of instructor.
- Sociology and Social Justice: Includes an examination of culture, socialization, social structure, group behavior, and inequalities (of class, race, and gender), as well as identifying and analyzing the pressing problems in our world that requires an understanding of social change that occurs through collective action and social movements. Through an exploration of predominant sociological theories, students are able to contrast those with a biblical worldview that challenges them to articulate how a reformed Christian understanding of creation (and norms) sin, redemption, and consummation may be used to positively affect social interaction, organizations, and institutions.
- Vulnerable Populations: A historical and contemporary analysis of groups considered vulnerable by economic and social standards in American society. Causes, consequences, and implications for society are examined from a biblical view of humankind with an emphasis on social work practice.
- Diversity and Inequality: Students examine the historical and contemporary factors related to diversity and inequality in North America and increase their appreciation for the contributions of diverse groups in culturally-pluralistic societies. The course assumes that human diversity is created good and explores how to discern that goodness after the Fall. Students assess their own biases in light of course material and increase their sensitivity to diversity.
- Christian Ethics: What does it mean to pursue the good life and how do we so as faithful disciples of Christ? What do we owe to God, neighbor, stranger, and enemy? Answers to these questions are more difficult to come by than we might expect – or hope. We live in a world rife with sin, corruption, and moral disagreement. Even faithful Christians can arrive at profoundly different moral judgments about life in the church and the world. This course aims to equip students with theological and ethical tools that they can use to reflect critically on what it means to live faithfully in contemporary society.
- Christian Mind and Heart: In conversation with great thinkers of the past, we will discuss the biblical foundation for Reformed thinking, the responsibility of humans to fulfill our mission as image-bearers in God’s world, and the development of a Reformed world and life view for actual Christian thinking and living. Students will explore significant issues of Christian life through personal and group projects that engage particular aspects of their major studies or life vision.
- Church, State, and Social Welfare: This course examines the question of which societal sphere is responsible for protecting vulnerable people. The course will follow the historical path of development of the modern social welfare institution, with a particular focus on the Progressive Era and the birth of social work and public administration. Students will examine structure, development, and contemporary response through discussion, research and varied readings on the biblical call to care for our neighbor, charity, social justice, and the normative role of the state and the church. Students will wrestle with this fundamental question: “How must I, acting alone, or in combination with others, behave towards vulnerable people?”
Ready to take the next step?
Still looking for the right fit? Here are some additional program options that we think might interest you or are often paired with this program. You can also view the programs page to keep exploring your options.