Urban Studies Major

Course Description

The major in Urban Studies embodies the mission of Warner Pacific College as an “urban Christ-centered liberal arts college.” It gives students a critical awareness of urban life and an opportunity to study and research the urban context where they will be working and living. It exposes students, by means of a faith-based framework, to the socio-historical forces that shape human life in cities, their historical development, as well as the sociological, economic, political, and spiritual factors that influence the direction of cities in the future. In addition to preparation for careers in urban studies, the program is an excellent second major option for students seeking careers in education, business, ministry, the sciences, social work, or liberal arts, given that it is within cities where students will primarily practice their life vocations. It is thus important for students to comprehend the context in which they will be engaging life.

In the initial launch of the program the major will focus on the primary emphasis: Urban Studies. As the program evolves other emphases will be made available: Community Development, Urban Education, Urban Ministries, and Urban Youth. In its full implementation, all five emphases will be available to meet the diversity of urban needs and the interests of students. The program also offers a minor.

Warner Pacific College has an agreement with Portland State University so that students can take a maximum of four courses at PSU‘s Urban Studies Program. Courses below marked with an asterisk (*) are Portland State University courses. PSU is on the quarter system, however, thus their 4-credit courses are the equivalent of 2.68 semester credit hours at WPC.


Part 1: General Education Core
(See Core Studies Requirements)

Part 2: Urban Studies Major

Prerequisite: SOC 140 Principles of Sociology

43-46 Credits: 24 credits in residence; 27 credits upper division. Required:

Foundational Phase—Major Core: 16 Credits

URB 140Introduction to the City3
URB 380Urban Theory3
SS/BUS 393Research Methods and Applied Statistics4
URB/USP 430Urban Studies Research Methods**3
URB/PM 480Christ and the City3
Developmental Phase—Major Courses: 24 Credits
URB/USP 312Urban Housing and Development**3
SOC/HIS 340Ethnic Relations in America3
URB/SOC 360Urban Sociology3
URB/HIS 370History of the American City3
URB/SS 403Grant Writing & Fundraising for Faith-Based Programs3
Electives: 9 credits. Select three of the following courses:
BIO 216Urban Ecology3
URB/FA 235The City and the Arts3
URB/EN 245/345Urban Literature3
URB/USP 311Introduction to Urban Planning**3
URB/CM 320Faith-Based Economic Development3
SOC/REL/TH 351Christian Thought in American Culture3
SOC 365/REL 360Christian Social Concern3
SOC/URB 375Community Sociology3
URB/SOC 390Poverty in the Urban Context3
SOC/URB/REL 395Sociology of Urban Religion3
URB/PM 410Urban Ministries3
URB/EC 420Microeconomic Development3
URB/USP 445Cities & Third World Development**3
URB/PHS 450Urban Resources & Sustainability**3
Culmination Phase—Capstone Courses: 6 Credits
SOC 491Senior Internship3
URB/PHIL 495Wisdom – Its Acquisition and Practice3

**Courses that will be taken at Portland State University

Major Competencies and Outcomes

Students who major in Urban Studies are expected to demonstrate at the end of their program the following competences and outcomes. These will be measured in the Culmination Phase of the program, when students take their last two courses: SOC 491 Senior Internship, and URB/PHIL 495 Wisdom—Its Acquisition and Practice capstone course.

1.   Graduates will demonstrate an understanding of what constitutes “the city” in all its dimensions and its role in the development of human societies.

2.   Graduates will develop an “urban mindset” which will prepare them psychologically, sociological, and spiritually for engaging the city in whatever urban context, culture, and country they may find themselves.

3.   Graduates will comprehend in a practical manner the role and mission of the church, and how to be salt, light, and leaven in their respective communities.

4.   Graduates will learn methods of researching the city, analyzing data, and develop skills in doing urban ethnographies.

5.   Graduates will critically evaluate the role of faith-based efforts as catalysts for urban transformation through the development of an urban theology.

6.   Graduates will experience first-hand engagement in social service actions in meeting the various needs of diverse urban communities.

7.   Graduates will identify and explore practical examples of micro-economic initiatives and how to economically revitalize “dying” communities.

8.   Graduates will comprehend and analyze the complexities of national origin, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, and cultural relations in urban contexts and how these social divides challenge the mission of faith-based institutions in their efforts to reduce discrimination and manifest equity and inclusiveness in all their programs and practices.

9.   Graduates will develop an ethical framework empowered by wisdom that results in the application of the knowledge and experience gained in the program through the best practices for the widest common good, emanating from cognitive humility—the realization that one does not know everything.

10.   Graduates will be empowered to dynamically advance the vision, values, and mission of Warner Pacific College, as an urban Christian campus, in its role of being a catalyst for change in the City of Portland and beyond.