Congratulations to the graduates from the International Studies program! IST majors spend a semester abroad to carry out research on a specific cultural issue, then they report on their research at a campus-wide presentation. In addition to the worldview curriculum, the graduates have taken courses in political science, business, missions and Bible, foreign languages.
Pictured from left to right: Dr. Kenneth Nehrbass, and International Studies graduates Sara Ornelas, Jelissa Myers, Mason Graves. Not pictured: International Studies grad Andrea Thomasson.
Dr. John Perkins told the history within missiology of the coining the term “Christian community development” and the three “Rs” of development: Relocation, reconciliation, and redistribution. “It’s not about taking from the rich and giving to the poor.” Perkins explained, “Because then the poor will just want a Mercedes Benz like the rich have. It’s about changing values and educating people.”
Dan Barber, missions pastor at Pinelake Church, spoke on church planting movements among Somali (Muslim) refugees in East Africa. Barber explained that “sharing the four spiritual laws” won’t work in Muslim areas, but community development such as clean water projects, do often create opportunities for further discussions about Jesus Christ.
The BU Far East Movement will have an event called “Grab your dumpling and leave your finger print”at the student center on April 11 from noon to 2pm. The club will produce a piece of art work and will want to invite students come leave their finger print on it, in return, we reward them fried dumplings. In preparation, a number of BU students stayed up late Friday night with the goal of making 1000 dumplings
Before graduating, International Studies majors have a capstone course called “Integrative project”. They combine their 50+ credit hours of courses in political science, anthropology, business, geography, language and theology in a final research paper which examines a certain phenomenon in their host culture. Mason Graves and Jelissa Myers both spent a semester in Spain, where they collected data on contemporary problems that Spaniards face. This month, both Mason and Jelissa will be presenting their research:
- Mason Graves: 1pm, Monday, April 15 in the student theater, will be presenting on the changing values in Spain due to globalization.
- Jelissa Myers: 11am, Tuesday, April 16 in the student theater, will be comparing Muslim and Catholic family structures and values in Spain with those of the typical American family.
Which development efforts are sustainable and holistic? Which ones are just born out of a savior complex, create dependency and cause demoralization? Certainly, Habitat for Humanity’s model is one which recognizes the capacity of lower income people to improve their situation. Did you know that owners of Habitat houses must finance their homes (interest free) and put in “sweat equity hours” to construct their own home as well as other Habitat houses?
These themes- dependency, capacity building, sustainability- and our biblical mandate to help the widow, orphan, foreigner and poor (plus engage in political advocacy for their needs) are the content of the Global Social Responsibility Course. The course also requires a field trip with service hours related to community development. Pictured here are some students in the course who helped paint a Habitat house in Jackson this month, along with Dr. Nehrbass.