FCS5200 Historical Foundations of Faith Community Services

Course Overview

Educational Level: Graduate, Master
Credit Hours: 3 Credits
Instructor: Dr. Curt Watke

Course Description:

A critique of historical faith-based approaches to community services among various historically vulnerable population groups such as the dangerous classes, the perishing classes, the working classes, and the immigrant population from an analysis of original source materials. Historical home missions conceived as moral influence, moral reform and social evangelism will be evaluated from theological and missiological perspectives. Students will write reflective papers integrating their historical, socio-theological and missional perspectives as they address ways in which historical approaches inform the application of Christianity to 21st century social issues.

How This Course Benefits Students:

While 21st century social problems in American cities and in the countryside abound, solutions to those problems often seem to evade us. Many students may understand some of todays social issues but they tend to only know about the Christian responses which they have seen or in which they have participated. By immersing oneself in historical eras of great social upheaval and listening to the historical voices of Christian leaders struggling with crafting both an effective and biblical response, students gain insights into the ongoing process of the contextualization of faith community service.

Why This Course Is Important:

Solomon wrote that there is nothing new under the sun. Certainly this is true when it comes to the existence of social issues and how Christians have responded to them. This course uncovers social unrest and upheaval during times of enormous social change and gallant Christian believers who wrestled with understanding their times and responding through faith community services. Students will learn from historical figures who struggled but attempted the social work of Christian mission.