Educational Goals

Educational Goals

Throughout modern history, spiritual communities provided significant leadership for movements of social transformation. Movements for change have been mobilized and informed, in no small part, by theological frameworks, religious beliefs, and a transcendent sense of shared community: e.g., the labor movement, the civil rights movement, the antiwar movement, the women's movement, the movement for economic justice, the movement against apartheid, the movement against colonialism, the movement to protect the Earth. United is situated within this prophetic religious tradition and has a long and deep legacy of theological education for progressive social justice.

The curricular offerings in the area of Social Transformation equip students to think critically about socio-political dynamics and reflect constructively on the role of spiritual and theological traditions in movements for social change. These professional, graduate offerings combine the tools and methodologies of social change with practical and constructive theology to prepare innovative and grounded leaders for a increasingly pluralistic world.

Graduates of the Social Transformation degree will:

  1. Articulate a theological praxis of social transformation situated within the justice imperatives of the student’s faith tradition or community and in conversation with broader movements for justice.
  2. Utilize community-based research to critically analyze social issues utilizing a variety of social science methodologies within an integrative hermeneutical framework.
  3. Apply framing methodology to deepen understanding of complex organization and social dynamics, and identify strategic points of leverage for transformational change.
  4. Demonstrate understanding of core strategies for social change, including intended outcomes, strengths and weaknesses and required competencies.
  5. Demonstrate the cultural agility and strategic skills necessary for effective, public engagement in a variety of social, cultural and political contexts.
  6. Design social transformation initiatives by integrating a theory of change model, value proposition design and business concept generation.
  7. Demonstrate collaborative leadership through the application of theological and strategic frameworks for faithful public witness and action in the world.
  8. Build and nurture communities of resilience and hope.

Who is the program designed for?

The Social Transformation offerings are designed to prepare students for a wide range of vocational paths, including: social justice advocacy, non-profit leadership, community organizing, religious organizations, educational institutions, civic and governmental agencies, congregational justice ministries, business, philanthropy, or other community contexts.

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