This course begins with a brief examination of historic relief and development theories, focusing in on a more careful examination of post WWII models and their evolution through the 1960s, 70s, and 80s toward the Transformational Development models of the 1990s and beyond. The continued emphasis on Modernization and Westernization in contemporary practice will create a frame around a discussion of alternate ideas for community health and well being. The cost/benefit between asset and deficit based methodologies will emerge through the examination of the biblical and theological issues raised when applied to human systems and communities.

Jesus followers must be willing to interact and engage with an inquiring mind, in a knowledgeable way and in a Christ-like manner with peoples of other faiths. This course provides an overview of the major World Religions including the place of Christianity in the religious arena. It offers a foundation for understanding the classification of religions as well as the chronological development, adaptation, geographical distribution, worldviews, and cultural impact of world faiths. A summary of major religious innovators/figures, central doctrines/teachings, sacred myths and texts – including potential emerging world religions – will lead into a discussion concerning appropriate Christian responses to the world’s religions and their adherents. Indigenous values such as respecting others and story-telling are central to the approach utilized in this course.


This course will delve into unique Indigenous theological contributions to the meaning of Christian faith and life. Utilizing a thematic approach, the intersection of one’s experience with the Creator, the nature of the spiritual, the Gospel story, redemption and redeemer will be explored in contrasting views with Western theological methods.

This course will further introduce diverse hermeneutical principles from within an Indigenous theological perspective, rooted in cross-disciplinary contextual studies. We will explore methodologies that encourage post-colonial and post-modern approaches to engaging with scripture, and apply insights gained from contemporary critical studies as well as introduce competencies for teaching scripture from an Indigenous hermeneutic. We will further explore a distinct Indigenous hermeneutical disposition, based on language, voice, history, interpretation, and values.


The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the tasks and tools of Christian theology, including the development of a common theological vocabulary, so as to understand the nature of Christian faith and acquire the capacity to converse with others in shared terms. An introduction to Indigenous theological terminology will be introduced in the latter part of the course as a bridge to Theology II: Theology and Ethic of the Land. 

The Christian tradition has been handed down over time and adapted to different settings and peoples in that long history.  This course introduces the student to the history, thinking and worship of the Christian church, to the key developments in the work and witness of the church over the centuries, and to the particular denominational traditions that have shaped the faith of the student’s congregation.


Continuing on from Church History I, this course will examine ways in which the Indigenous church has been planted and has grown within North American and other Indigenous contexts. Special emphasis will be given to its growth and development through the various attempts in its history to contextualize or indigenize Christianity.

The student will work in a community agency or non-profit organization as a field placement, selected jointly with their supervisor. This should be a setting focused on community transformative development where possible, from a primarily asset-framed perspective. The placement will be chosen so as to provide the optimum contributory learning experience.



The student will work in a community agency or non-profit organization as a field placement, selected jointly with their supervisor. This should be a setting focused on community transformative development where possible, from a primarily asset-framed perspective. The placement will be chosen so as to provide the optimum contributory learning experience.



Continuing the exploration of the biblical values and praxis of community, this course will help students understand how community is presented in the New Testament Scriptures, with a particular focus on how community is both similarly and differently referenced in the pages of the New Testament compared with the Hebrew Scriptures. Finally, the course will seek to enable understanding of the nature of community in the early church and its implications, if any, on our thinking about the holistic development of community within the Kingdom of God.

A general introduction to the historical, sociological, and theological context in which the New Testament Scriptures came into existence, this course will familiarize students with the content and structure, distinctive theology, and introductory matters of the New Testament. In addition, the student will be introduced to the nature of the early Christian community, its transitions and changes from a strictly Hebraic construct as found within the Jewish community, and projections made for its future development.

This course advances the participants’ skills so that they have good capacity in both understanding and implementation in various kinds of community need. This is the capacity builder level and is deigned to increase student competence in community and organizational facilitation and facilitation of community planning using asset-based tools. While also providing the basis for continued personal growth in asset-based skills, this course also uses the practicum undertaken at the end of the course to create the framework for certification with the NAIITS community of certified practitioners.