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BA in Economic Development

Why Major in Economic Development?

The BA in Economic Development at Eastern University is designed to prepare students for international work focused on community and economic development. Paired with a liberal arts education, this degree equips students with a breadth of understanding in business and economics, as well as knowledge of various cultural, historical, and political issues, necessary to effect change in the developing world.

Faculty in the Economic Development program place a high priority on helping students gain internship experience with local and international development-focused organizations. Upon graduation, students are strongly encouraged to secure a full-time, overseas assignment with, e.g., the Peace Corps or the Mennonite Central Committee. Graduates of this program will also be prepared to pursue graduate work in development studies. This major has no concentrations, but students are strongly advised to take a minor (or major) with the language, anthropology, environmental studies, missions, political science or sociology department.

Why Major in Economic Development at Eastern?

Eastern's Economic Development program is one of the few of its kind among peer institutions. Unlike other programs which focus primarily on economics or anthropology, the Economic Development program at Eastern requires student to work through a unique blend of business, theology, philosophy, sociology, anthropology and economics. Students are challenged to think through biblical and theological implications related to the empowerment of marginalized communities, the epistemology of prevailing economic opinions and approaches, and the social structure of local communities.

  • Eastern is situated just outside the major, historic urban metropolis of Philadelphia, a diverse city which evinces all of the benefits and challenges of a major urban center and which provides unique learning and living opportunities for students.
  • At Eastern, we integrate Christian faith and business with a missional justice focus.
  • Each major within the Business Department is built upon a breadth of business disciplines such as economics, marketing, accounting, ethics and theology.
  • Eastern's Business Internship Program is a faculty led initiative that seeks to provide students with working experiences to enhance their classroom knowledge.
  • The ENACTUS Chapter at Eastern University is a 4x Regional Champion, recognizing  their pursuit of social entrepreneurship on campus, in urban Philadelphia and in Rwanda.
  • Faculty members have expertise in small business start-ups, includes: 30 years of corporate experience with Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit organizations, business ethics, economics, development, board development, and missions.
  • Study abroad opportunities are available in Lithuania, Mexico, Thailand, China, the UK, and more.
  • The Economic Development program offers collaboration with Eastern's graduate program in Economic Development (at Eastern for over 25 years).

Lindy Backues, PhD

Lindy Backues, PhDDr. Backues is associate professor and co-chair of the Business Management Department at Eastern University, as well as a professor in Eastern's graduate School of Leadership and Development. He received his PhD from Leeds University and his research interests include theology and community development, especially as the two interface in the midst of practical, implemented, missional involvement. He comes to Eastern after nearly two decades of development work in Indonesia, where, among other accomplishments, he founded a multi-disciplinary, multi-faith, community empowerment, non-government organization and served as program supervisor for Tsunami Response, Millennium Relief and Development Services. With his diverse background, Dr. Backues brings tremendous experience and expertise to his courses, which include Faith and Economic Justice, Economic Development of Third World Countries, and an Economic Reasoning Seminar. Learn more about Dr. Backues.

The BA in Economic Development at Eastern University is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

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