FCS4100 Legal & Ethical Faith Community Services

Course Overview

Educational Level: Upper undergraduate, Bachelor
Credit Hours: 3 Credits
Instructor: Dr. Melinda Whitman

Course Description:

Meeting the financial, social, physical, and legal needs of a community cannot be met by government alone. Churches and faith-based non-governmental organizations are critical to being the feet of Jesus in a community. Whether it is a food pantry, community center, tax and legal advice, after-school programs, and neighborhood events, these services provide a faith bridge to those who may not be connected with a local church. Although well-intended, these services must be operated ethically and legally. In this course, students will focus on understanding what laws apply to these community services and how to develop ethical guidelines for their operation.

How This Course Benefits Students:

Undergraduate students will likely be aware of many faith-based organizations that exist in their commuinities. However, it is important for students to recognize that all community services must comply with certain laws and should operate with a defined ethical code. Students will be directed to applicable tax and employment laws and will have the opportunity to review financial accountability standards for evangelical organizations, as well as existing faith-based community services that operate ethically.

Why This Course Is Important:

Governments cannot meet the practical needs of all communities. Churches and other faith-based groups must step in the gap to feed and clothe the poor and, in so doing, will be a witness for Christ. It is critical that these organizations be above reproach and operate legally and ethically. The actions of a Christian are often a greater witness than words. Christ commands that His followers show His love in practical ways, yet also be subject to the rules of the government (laws and ethics).