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About the Department

As we have seen in the elimination of the Jews during the Second World War, the genocide in Rwanda, the apartheid in South Africa and the history of segregation in the U.S., the church often lacks a prophetic or reconciliatory biblical message at the heights of ethnic conflict. The wall of partition that Jesus Christ destroyed keeps alienating people from each other to the point of destroying each other.

Sincere Christians also get confused where to put their primary allegiance. They ask whether they should abandon their culture, language, ethnic or racial background in order to love others or be accepted by them. They say, is it possible to be local and global, is it possible to be a Hutu Christian and love Tutsis, or to be white and love blacks and vice versa?

The apostle Paul who embraced the universal scope of the gospel never hesitated to say that he is a Jew from the tribe of Benjamin. Being a Jew was his sociological and anthropological heritage. However, his Christological conviction and understanding of life enabled him to be servant to all people including the Romans who colonized, killed, impoverished, and sent many of his own people to diaspora. Both in word and in deed he was confident to say “imitate me as I imitate Christ.”

Ethnic and Reconciliation Studies helps us to achieve the goal of embracing our own cultural identity while simultaneously bringing reconciliation between ethnic, racial and cultural groups. By rooting our understanding in a biblical theology of race and ethnicity, students learn to share a "message of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:19).


Areas of Study

The Department of Ethnic & Reconciliation Studies offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of areas including: 

  • Africana Studies (African and African Diaspora):  prepare to minister among Africans and African expatriates by understanding the racial, ethnic, cultural and spiritual issues that arise in these communities.
  • Reconciliation Studies: prepare to share a "message of reconciliation" by understanding the roots of racial, ethnic, cultural and religious conflicts across the globe.


Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the programs in the Department of Ethnic & Reconciliation Studies are able to do the following:

  • Students will have a healthy and biblical understanding of their people and their culture.
  • Students will have a comprehensive anthropological and sociological understanding of people outside of their culture.
  • Students will develop a theology and methodology of reconciliation.
  • Student will be able to become bridge makers between racial, ethnic, and cultural groups
  • Students will be effective mediators in the areas of conflict.
  • Students will come to grips with the biblical understanding of the origin of evil and deal with it theologically.
  • Students will have a well-defined theological anthropology.
  • Students will embrace the beauty of unity in diversity and joyfully serve to advance the kingdom of God.