Program at a Glance

  • Program Credits

    18 credits
    • Major/Concentration: 18
  • Accreditation


The social justice, human rights and conflict transformation minor equips students with the unique tools for advocacy that they will need to effectively engage in integral mission marked by both the proclamation and demonstration of the gospel to the lost, the least and the last. The minor encourages participants to carefully consider how our proclamation has social consequences and our social involvement has evangelistic consequences.


Note: This list is intended to give you a quick glimpse into the program’s academic offerings, and should not be used as a guide for course selection or academic advising. For official program requirements, see the course catalog.

Core Courses

An introduction to major themes and issues in the anthropological study of social justice and human rights. Common human rights violations will be considered from an anthropological perspective and in the light of Scripture. Various tools for engaging in social activism and advocacy, rescuing the oppressed and undertaking social justice and human rights interventions will be considered.

Explores the "roots and fruits" of aggression, violence and conflict from an anthropological perspective. Examination of biological, ecological and other materialistic explanations for these phenomena, as well as patterns in learning, symbol using and structuring of society as they relate to conflict and its transformation. Consideration of violence, aggression and warfare in small-scale societies, ethnic conflict, cross-cultural case studies, and techniques for conflict mediation and intervention.

Senior level capstone seminar in which the student will search the Bible and the literature dealing with the topic(s) under discussion in the course leading to the discovery of means whereby the subject area may be "integrated" with Biblical truth. The results of the research will be incorporated in a paper or project which will be critiqued by the seminar members and by the professor.

Elective Courses

The nature of people in culture; worldview and perception; culture change; a study of the subsystems of cultures, including social organization, religion, language and related topics. Includes practical applications to global problems such as AIDS, human rights, etc.

Exploration of theory and methods for the study of economic and social relations as they impact human values, with emphasis on analytic tools for comparative research and cross-cultural application.

An exploration of the ethnic dimensions of human association and community, with an emphasis on the cultural construction and maintenance of identity and social memory, particularly among immigrant, refugee, and indigenous communities. Topics include concepts and theories of ethnicity, identity, and social memory; the relationships of language and religion to ethnic identity, and ethnic conflict and nationalism.

A critical exploration of how language relates to power. The course will focus on (a) minority language rights and linguistic imperialism, language shift and maintenance, and linguistic ecology, as well as (b) political, media, gender, ethnic, age, and class language. Students will engage in critical analysis of various kinds of discourse in terms of linguistic articulation, maintenance and subversion of power relations.

Exploration of the contributions of anthropology and/or other academic disciplines to human rights and/or social justice considerations. Anthropological topics may include critical ethnography, cross-cultural approaches to developing international human rights standards, various forms of trafficking (human, organ, cultural heritage, etc.), genocide and ethnocide, anthropological ethics, representation and subjectivity in human rights and social justice contexts, universalism and relativism, anthropology of post-liberalism and neo-liberalism, cultural legitimacy, narrative approaches to transformational change, etc.

Studies in minority literatures of the United States.

Regional studies in the Third World; stress on indigenous cultures. European exploration and colonization; independence movements in the post World War II era; contemporary problems including economic growth and cultural conflict.

African society and culture from antiquity to the present. Emphasis on regional diversity, with particular focus on the effects of Islamization, African diaspora, colonialism, Christianization, modernization and nationhood. Special emphasis on contemporary religious movements.

A study of non-Caucasian ethnic groups in America in light of their historical and socio-cultural background. Practical field experience in an ethnic community.

A study of specific cultural areas with an emphasis on customs, social structures, religion, arts, and history. May be repeated with different course content. Areas of specialty may include:

  • History, People and Cultures of Latin America
  • History, People and Cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Peoples and Cultures of China
  • Peoples and Cultures of India
  • Women in Islamic Cultures
  • Peoples of the Islamic World
  • Native Peoples of America
  • Peoples and Cultures of Southeast Asia
  • Peoples of Europe

Key theories, models and macro concerns in development, and historic overview of the practice of relief and development. Exploration of topics such as poverty, gender, human rights, debt, nationalism and economic development, globalization, and transformational/holistic development. Provides a broad survey of development concepts, trends, and challenges.

Principles and processes of communicating from one culture to another. Focus on different perceptions, ways of thinking, values, non-verbal expression, language expression and subgroups within a culture as they relate to the media and the message.

The distinctive features of the historical ethnic religions, with special emphasis on their comparison and encounter with Christianity and their bearings upon missionary strategies.

Examines gender as an organizing principle in societies at all levels. The course explores the key theoretical approaches to sociology of gender and explains how historical, economic, and political trends impact gender and gender identity, as well as the impact of gender on various social institutions such as the family, government, the workplace, education, and the criminal justice system.

Analysis of economic, political and cultural change in developing countries. Emphasis on social processes leading to hunger, poverty, political conflict, population growth, and environmental problems in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Examination of the basic dimensions of inequality in contemporary American society, how inequality is patterned by race, class and gender, and the effects of inequality on life chances and lifestyles. International comparisons of systems of inequality also examined.