International Development and Urban Studies

Poverty and oppression are facts of life. Many in rural areas face daily struggles--diminishing water for farming, children orphaned to HIV/AIDS, war uprooting people from their homelands.

Around the world, societies are rapidly urbanizing as many search for a better life in teeming cities. In the United States, inner-city areas are often characterized by crime, poverty, and broken families. Children are drawn into gangs, and teenagers become drug dealers as a means to put food on the table and shoes on their feet.

At Fuller we firmly believe that we are called to bring the whole gospel of Jesus Christ, which is a gospel of justice, into God's broken world. Poor and marginalized people deserve the best biblical and professional ministry, and this requires professional equipping. The International Development and Urban Studies emphasis equips students to carry out holistic, Christian mission anywhere in the world.

Our faculty--many having spent years in relief, development, and inner-city work--will prepare you to bring the love of Christ to people in tangible ways. You will gain an understanding of the issues and learn what is needed to bring about holistic change.

How will you help bring transformative hope to the poor and marginalized of our world?

International Development at Fuller

Hear from Bryant Myers, Professor of Transformational Development
International Development and Urban Studies Masters Emphasis at Fuller Theological Seminary - Video

Related Opportunities

Featured Faculty

Alumni in Action

Daphne and Ryan Fowler

MACCS '08 and MACCS '10

IDUS-Fowler"The School of Intercultural Studies' emphasis in International Development is the primary reason I chose to attend Fuller. My experiences working overseas grew in me a desire to better understand why poverty exists, and how Scripture shapes our varied responses. SIS offered a theoretical and theological basis for my calling and the opportunity to learn alongside students from different backgrounds and countries. After we finished our degrees, my husband and I were eager to learn more by placing ourselves in a context where we would daily grapple with the needs as well as the hope of restoration for God's beautiful and broken world. Ryan and I landed in Cambodia, where for three years we served alongside local Cambodian organizations assisting farmers through irrigation and food security projects. Were we fully prepared? Of course not. The technical details we learned on the job. Yet the lessons learned at Fuller truly compelled us to never give up listening, hoping, and looking forward to the day when all is made new."

Adrianne Penner


IDUS-Adrianne"Almost immediately after graduating from Fuller with a Masters in Cross-Cultural Studies (and emphasis in International Development), I moved to Johannesburg, South Africa, where I worked with World Vision International as an international consultant on a global advocacy project. The networks, classes, authors, and development theory that I encountered at a deep level during my time at Fuller made this opportunity--and any success within this opportunity--possible. While my time internationally was brief, my International Development studies have been the cornerstone of my success in my current domestic role. I live and work in a blue-collar town in northern Indiana--a town disproportionately affected by the economic downturn of 2008. In addition to the recent economic depression within my town, many of the families with whom I work and live are plagued by generational poverty. My International Development studies have equipped me with theories and development approaches such as appreciative inquiry, positive deviance theory, and the grand narrative framework (to name a few) that have enabled me to ask better questions as I figure out what life together looks like given this community's story. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, the International Development program at Fuller taught me what it is to own the story of a community. The struggles of this community are my struggles, just as the strengths are my own; the disparities and inequalities are part of my story now, and while there are certainly times and issues where my voice cannot be helpful, the conversation is still mine to which to listen, understand, and engage. This ownership, and the role I play in our communal journey, is a role I am not sure I would have lived into without my time or studies in International Development."

Using Your Skills

Learn about the value of this emphasis for Sharon Boyle (MACCS '08).
International Development and Urban Studies Masters Emphasis at Fuller Theological Seminary Alumni - Video

Curriculum Requirements

To earn an emphasis in International Development and Urban Studies,** students must fulfill the emphasis requirements (20 units) listed below:

Required Courses (16 units):

MD500 Globalization, the Poor, and Christian Mission
MD525 Poverty and Development

Choose One (4 units):

GM518 Introduction to Urban Studies
MN520 Encountering the City
MN536 Transforming the City

Choose One (4 units):

MD528 Development Tools and Practices
MN533 Organizing Urban Communities

Choose One (4 units):

MD524 Advocacy for Social Justice
MD540 Theology of Poverty and Development
MD543 Mission with Children at Risk
MD546 Relief, Refugees and Conflict
MN536 Urban Immersion: Transforming the City
MN540 Urban Church Planting
SP504 Integration of Spirituality and Urban Ministry
TM521 Congregations in the World
TM522 Homelessness, Congregations and Community Partnerships

Scheduled Courses

Required Course (16 units)

MD500, MD525, GM518 or MN520, MD528 or MN533

The following scheduled courses fulfill this emphasis requirement.

Course Number Course Title Faculty Term Location
MD500 Globalization, the Poor, and Christian Mission Myers, BL Summer 2015 Pasadena
MD500 Globalization, the Poor, and Christian Mission Veltman, N Fall 2015 Fuller Online

Chose One (4 units):

MD524, MD540, MD543, MD546, MN536, MN540, SP504, TM521, TM522

The following scheduled courses fulfill this emphasis requirement.

Course Number Course Title Faculty Term Location
MD524 Advocacy for Social Justice

Finkler, KT

Taylor, TF

Summer 2015 Pasadena
MN520 Encountering the City Tiersma-Watson, J Summer 2015 Pasadena
TM522 Homelessness, Congregations, and Community Partnerships Colleti, JR Summer 2015

Bay Area (Menlo Park);

Northwest (Seattle) - LIVE

MN540 Urban Church Planting Haah, KK Fall 2015 Pasadena

Emphasis courses are scheduled on a rotation and may not be available every quarter. For descriptions of courses that fulfill this emphasis, please visit the Academic Catalog.

*New emphasis structure is effective beginning Fall 2014. For information on your current emphasis track, contact your academic advisor.

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