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Certificate in Community Transformation – Courses


4 Class Core
Biblical Theology of the Marginalized Discover the Bible’s testimony to God’s kingdom as good news for the poor and marginalized. As we explore Scripture from Genesis to Revelation, we will encounter the biblical call for the church to be a community of, among, and for those on the margins.
Urban Mission Theology Explore the theological and spiritual foundations for being “on mission” in the city and for the city. We will see how the incarnation of Jesus gives us a foundation for ministry and a perspective for interpreting social and cultural realities in our own neighborhoods. In the spirit of John Perkins’ principle of Relocation and drawing on local Memphis history and ministry models, we’ll discover principles and practices for bearing witness to the God who became flesh and “moved into the neighborhood.”
The Church & Community Development I Learn how to move from charity to empowerment by mobilizing the gifts and abilities of churches and neighborhoods. Drawing on When Helping Hurts and asset-based community development strategies, we’ll explore best practices and tangible strategies for welcoming and walking with economically poor neighbors.  Students will also conduct asset-mapping exercises in their own communities.
The Church & Community Development II Meet your neighbors and mobilize for mission. Together, we’ll learn tools for engaging communities, mobilizing assets, networking and strategizing for change, and addressing injustice, all from a biblical perspective.  Students will also conduct community listening initiatives in their own communities.
Ministry Concentration Courses (Students doing the 18 hour Certificate choose 1)
Church & Job Readiness Gain the knowledge and skills necessary to launch and lead a faith-based job readiness ministry as part of church or non-profit initiative to empower individuals from generational poverty for economic success. We’ll consider the context of widespread underemployment in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty, best practices for equipping job seekers to find and keep work, how to recruit volunteers and participants, facilitation skills for leading engaging trainings, and how to network with the business community to help connect job seekers with employers. Graduates will become certified facilitators for Work Life, a job training curriculum developed by Advance Memphis and the Chalmers Center.
Church & Financial Literacy Gain the knowledge and skills necessary to launch and lead a faith-based financial literacy and biblical stewardship initiative in a church or nonprofit context. We’ll consider the role of the church and ministries in financial education, how best to help adults learn basic budgeting and finance skills, how to recruit and equip participants and volunteers, and how to walk with people over time on the road to financial health. Graduates will become certified facilitators of Faith & Finances, a financial literacy curriculum designed to be accessible for low-income learners and those with little financial experience produced by the Chalmers Center.
Special Topics Individuals or groups interested in other focus areas can inquire about the possibility of independent studies or small group courses as alternative ministry concentration courses.
Internship Students help lead or launch a ministry initiative related to their chosen Ministry Concentration as part of a semester-long internship.


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