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Missions and Anthropology Course Descriptions

ANTH 101 Cultural Anthropology (3)
This course is a survey of the field of cultural anthropology. The class will compare and contrast cultures around the world, discussing topics such as: the nature of culture, race and ethnicity, making a living in the environment, gender and marriage, family and kinship, stratification and poverty, political and economic systems, language, culture and personality, religion, the arts and world views.  A Christian framework will provide the means of determining both the value and limits of cultural relativism.

ANTH 102 Introduction to Archeology (3)
This course will study the procedures and methods of archaeology and studies of the material remains of cultures such as tools, ceramics, fibers, wood, bone and antler, stone, burials, housing.  In many instances students will have opportunities for hand-on examination, analysis and even replication.  Theoretical approaches of cultural functionalism, cultural materialism and cultural ecology; the applications of archaeology to both physical and cultural anthropology; and ethical matters pertaining to the practice of archaeology will be covered. Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C in ANTH 101.

ANTH 103 Physical Anthropology (3)
Physical anthropology, or biological anthropology, includes such concerns as human genetics, disease, race and environmental adaptations, and the search for human origins in the fossil record.  Though this course approaches the question of human origins from a Christian and Biblical point of view, students will be expected to become familiar with a variety of origin models, and with the tools to evaluate them. Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C in ANTH 101.

ANTH 201 People in Places (3)
Cultural geography deals with the ways in which different cultures adapt to, use, and affect the landscape. Topics include cultural perceptions of the environment, the variety of cultural adaptations, technological levels and exploitative strategies, the origin and spread of cultures, the geography of settlement types, and the human impact on ecology. In practical terms, the student, armed with geography’s organizing principles and skills, will be better able to make wise personal and societal decisions about using the environment and will be of more help in resolving conflicts among competing values and groups.

ANTH 210 Race and Ethnicity (3)
The course will begin by examining the validity of the concept of race. Does it exist biologically? And if not, why do people around the world make use of this notion? The latter question will bring us to a discussion of ethnicity and of how people make use of cultural symbols to mark themselves or others off as distinct groups. Our perspective will be global, so we will examine issues of race and ethnicity not only for our own culture but for Africa, India, and many other cultures.

ANTH 251 The Discovery of Foreign Worlds (3)
This course is based on the premise that exposure to and knowledge of a variety of human cultures is essential to mastering a working knowledge of cultural anthropology. Through reading and discussing classic ethnographic writings, students will become familiar with the ethnographic process and with the cultures analyzed in the literature. Students will read from both assigned and elective writings and will prepare an ethnographic report for class presentation that will demonstrate the use of one or more research methods. Prerequisite: ANTH 101.

ANTH 301 Christians, Anthropology and Economic Systems (3)
This course is an anthropological survey of production and exchange systems from a Christian perspective. Along with the data from the field on different types of economies, we will investigate underlying principles and ethics that are the bases for human economic and social interaction. Particularly, our concern will be with revealing the ethic of reciprocity found in all human societies in either overt or covert forms. Ultimately, we will analyze and critique the modern market economy and propose ways to live as Christians “in it and yet not of it.”

ANTH 310 Comparative Religions (3)
This course will examine practiced religions around the globe from an anthropological perspective. Magic, ritual, healing, prayer, religious leadership, myth, formal belief systems and religious changes will be discussed. The relationship between world and traditional religions will be analyzed as well. Our purpose will be to reveal the beauty of the Christian faith and to demonstrate what this faith has to offer to others, both in affirming God’s previous work in a culture and in speaking boldly the Good News of Jesus Christ.

ANTH 320 Language and Culture (3)
Language and culture, or ethnolinguistics, examines the relationship between the cognitive categories of language and the worldview of culture.  Anthropologists have long investigated this relationship as they have done fieldwork in remote places, often learning languages never before encountered by Westerners. This course will approach the field of ethnolinguistics from the perspective of its usefulness for language learning, for identification of a culture’s core values, and for contextualization of the message of the Bible.

ANTH 395 Field Experience (3)
This is a class for doing ethnography, anthropology's primary research method, including data collection and writing.  Students work independently to study a community, discover its culture, and write about a topic within that culture.  Students may collect data during summers or semesters abroad, and then register for the class and write the ethnography after they return.

ANTH 401 Ideas in Anthropology (3)
Anthropological explanations for the nature of human social and cultural life have varied greatly. We will survey the history of anthropological theories, including theories in cultural evolution, rationalism, functionalism, semiotics and psychology. Our aim will be to understand the interrelated nature of various aspects of culture and to witness ways in which Christian transformation can bring about appreciation for traditional ways as well as radical change. Prerequisite: ANTH 101. missions

MIS 100  Introduction to Christian World Missions (3)
A comprehensive introduction to the World Christian Movement as it is involved in mission. The course provides a systematic and critical understanding based on biblical foundations, historical developments, cultural issues and strategic approaches. Emphasis on what has happened and is happening to complete the task of world evangelization.

MIS 200  Expansion of the World Christian Movement (3)
An analysis of the dynamics of the growth of the Christian movement from the Apostolic era to the present day. Special attention is given to the major leaders in evangelization of new peoples and nations and to the diverse structures of mission outreach.

MIS 260  Communicating Faith Across Cultures (3)
Explore the art of intercultural communications and cross-cultural living as members of the "Global Village." This course provides an opportunity for self-discovery, awareness of "other" and development of communications skills required for multicultural  contexts. Specific issues related to ethics, culture, survival and safety in the new environment and stress management are considered. Basic to the course is the supervised development of relationships with people of "other" cultures. The course will bring cross-cultrual communication skills to bear upon the matter of lovingly and effectively conveying the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others.

MIS 220  Biblical Perspectives on Missions (3)
Old and New Testament perspectives which illuminate the nature and meaning of missions today. The Kingdom and people of God are explored along with the missionary nature of the Apostolic Church. Prerequisites: Minimum grades of C in BIB 101, 102.

MIS 310  Missionary Anthropology (3)
This course presents anthropological models of cross-cultural ministry, addressing theoretical and practical concerns. Topics include: Christianity and culture, cross-cultural interpretation of the Bible and the Gospel, contextualization of theology, and the missionary role, gifts and calling, support networks, ministry goals, leadership skills, second language acquisition, and models of interpersonal, ethical and spiritual reconciliation. Prerequisite: MIS 100.

MIS 395 Field Experience (1-3)
Supervised participation in the field efforts of a Christian missions organization that involves direct ministry responsibilities appropriate to the individual’s level of prior experience. Typically, such placement will require one to cross a significant cultural boundary.

MIS 401 Ideas in Missiology (3)
This course will consider the development of missiological thought from the first world conferences of mission to the present.  We will survey missiological ideas, including contextualization, globalization, ecumenicsism, as well as responses to pluralism, and neo-colonialism among others.  Most importantly we will consider varying understandings and contemporary conclusions concerning the nature and task of mission.  The relevance of mission both for the present and the future will be emphasized.  Prerequisite: MIS 100

MIS 420  Contemporary Issues in Missions and Anthropology (3)
This course is a senior seminar synthesizing missiological and anthropological issues and developments as they apply to the 21st century context.  It presumes the interpenetration of biblical studies, missiological theories, and ethnographic and ethnolinguistic processes. Both nonWestern and Western approaches to understanding the missio Dei (the mission of God) will be considered in the context of the history of the growth of God’s Kingdom. Prerequisite: ANTH 401 or MIS 401.

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