Master of Arts in Social Justice and Community Development
The MA in Social Justice and Community Development degree is an ecumenical and interfaith program that engages students through a values-based perspective that provides:
- an interdisciplinary foundation in justice theories and religious social ethics
- a comprehensive, integrated curriculum, useful for various career paths in community development and social justice
- practical tools in community organizing, social analysis and change, communication and non-violence, advocacy in public policy, working with volunteers, and grant writing and fundraising
- opportunities to focus on specific areas of community empowerment, such as congregation-based strategies; housing and economic development; healthcare; or building sustainable and asset-based communities.
The degree is designed for those aspiring to affect social transformation in local communities as well as to those committed to restoring economic equity, social justice, or ecological health on a national or global scale.
The MA in Social Justice and Community Development is offered in partnership with the Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education (SCUPE). SCUPE was established in 1976 to address the need for urban pastors to become more effective agents of social change. Using experiential education, SCUPE programs are designed specifically for seminary students, grassroots community leaders and pastors. The partnership between IPS and SCUPE gives the MASJCD an ecumenical, multi-cultural and community-based foundation. For more information on SCUPE, click here.
Beginning in the Fall of 2013, incoming students will have the opportunity to complete all or part of the MASJCD degree online. Through a customizable degree, students outside of Chicago will be able to fulfill all of the degree requirements online while completing a local internship and applied research project. Alternatively, students are also welcome to do the first year online and come in for a semester to do a Chicago based internship or Chicago based collaborative research project.
Students at SCUPE seminaries also have the option (pending approval of their home seminary) to complete a joint MDiv/MASJCD through their home seminary and the Institute of Pastoral Studies. SCUPE member seminaries include: Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Christian Theological Seminary, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Luther Seminary, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Payne Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University and Western Theological Seminary. We have a current partnership in process with Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Other partnerships can be negotiated through the home seminary, SCUPE and the Institute of Pastoral Studies, pending the approval of all parties.