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Transformational Development (MA / PG Dip)

This award equips you to be an effective catalyst and leader for transformational change in contexts of poverty and injustice.

The All Nations MA in Transformational Development explores the role of development and social change in the building of God's Kingdom. It seeks to identify the characteristics of a biblically faithful expression of community and social engagement and the outworking of this in diverse missional contexts in both the global North and South.

Core Modules

These will equip you to study at Masters level through developing advanced study and research skills, establishing a robust theological and biblical basis for missional engagement and giving you a thorough grounding in the field of social and cultural anthropology essential for your studies in transformational development.

Holistic Learning Foundations

Students are enabled to develop the study, research and reflective skills required to engage in the theological, missiological and research components of the programme. The module encourages the student to think in a holistic, integrated way about their studies and experience across disciplines, and to develop their skills as reflective practitioners and researchers, with a view to applying these throughout the programme.

Biblical and Theological Foundations for Mission

Provides students with biblical and theological foundations for the study of critical issues in mission, equipping them to apply ideas from the disciplines of biblical studies and theology to the options available within the programme. The module encourages students to engage with a broad range of theological perspectives, highlighting those from the majority world, and to become aware of issues of context, power and voice within the field.

Following a consideration of the missional nature of the Bible, it also explores select biblical themes and key texts with a view to enhance students’ biblical understanding of missiology. This enables them to make strong connections between their particular area of interest and its biblical rationale, and also to apply to their own relevant missional context.

Anthropological Foundations for Mission

Provides a theoretical foundation from the perspective of social and cultural anthropology, as well as other related disciplines, preparing you to understand and engage with issues which may arise in cross-cultural situations. The theories and issues covered are a necessary foundation to developing cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity to the complexities of living and working vocationally in, or with members of, other cultures. The module will also encourage reflection on experience, and may challenge previously held understandings of culture and mission practice.

Specialist Modules

These core modules are then built upon by two specialist modules:

Community Transformation: Principles and Practices

Provides a critical understanding and analysis of the key concepts and principles of transformational (or holistic) approaches to development, with a particular emphasis on grassroots, community level initiatives. The module will draw on both biblical and theological insight and cutting edge thinking and practice of development scholars, theologians, and practitioners to build a biblically based articulation of transformational change and development.

Topics include:

  • The nature of poverty and inequality

  • Power and participation

  • Complexities of social change

  • Sustainability and empowerment

  • Inclusion

  • Ecology and environment

  • Transformation

  • Approaches to tackling unjust structures (advocacy and civil-disobedience)

  • Peace-building

These topics are explored both from a secular and biblical perspective to equip students to act as agents of transformational change in the diverse contexts they serve.

Community Transformation: Planning, design and management

Builds on the conceptual foundation laid in the Principles and Practices module, by equipping students with the practical skills and knowledge to plan, design and manage transformational programme interventions, and play a leading role in the agencies involved in this type of work in a diverse range of contexts.

The strengths and weaknesses of key actors in development are considered, with particular attention to faith-based organisations, and key current issues are discussed including partnership, decolonisation of development, environmental concerns, inclusion, transparency and accountability. Students gain hands on experience of using both main stream and more innovative tools and approaches for programme planning and design through the use of case studies and scenario planning.

Students have an opportunity to audit a third specialist module from the range of MA modules on offer.

PG Diploma students also complete either the Independent Study Module or Research in Mission: Strategies.

Master’s students then complete a dissertation allowing them to undertake in-depth research on a specific topic related to Transformational Development through the writing of their dissertation (15,000 words). This provides you with the opportunity to engage deeply with a subject you are deeply committed to and facilitates the development of skills in research and fieldwork, supported by taught classes and regular interaction with an experienced supervisor.

Who is this course for?

Suitable if you are experienced in the social and development sectors and wish to explore the implications of your faith on your work and update your knowledge, or if you are looking to re-focus your career to development and the social sector. The All Nations Christian College MA in Transformational Development guarantees a rich, stimulating and transformative learning experience together with students from across the globe.

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