Curriculum: Making a Redemptive Difference (MARD)
The curriculum is designed to equip college students to effectively represent Jesus Christ as redemptive change agents within their home societies and within the context of their vocational calling. We help them develop the skills and the mindset to creatively and courageously apply a Christian worldview to the challenges in their home societies and vocational settings.
Potential student mentees will qualify for participation in the program by completing an application and acceptance by the leadership of Wilberforce Academy.
The Making a Redemptive Difference (MARD) curriculum combines a focus on Christian worldview (understanding why change is needed) with practical project development and management skills (how change is cultivated) within the context of students’ vocational callings. Key themes include:
- Christian worldview
- Culture at the heart of nation-building
- Moral case for democratic capitalism
- The church as model nation
- Servant leadership
- Intercultural skills
Note: Students may take these courses for independent study credit in colleges and universities where they have willing professors. A version of the Comparative Worldviews course has also been created for local church use.
Introduction to Making a Redemptive Difference
Overview of and introduction to the biblical reasons why and the methods for making a redemptive difference back home. Integrated lessons on a Christian worldview, vocational calling, interview and reporting techniques, event planning, study of culture-specific dilemmas and solutions, and a service learning project. (3 credits)
The course is built around a biblical perspective on vocational calling and how to serve Christ as redemptive change agents through our vocational callings. Includes vocational and gift self-analysis, application to situational crises in students’ home cultures, and cultivation of relationships with vocational mentors. (3 credits)
Introduction to the 12 major worldviews that define life in our world, and how these worldviews shape and influence our vision for and capacity to effect redemptive change. Includes study of worldview functions and criteria for choosing a worldview. (3 credits)
Leadership and Life Skills (not yet available)
Besides a biblical view of leadership, this course emphasizes project development and implementation, cross-cultural skills, Bible study skills, and other skills that are necessary for being effective redemptive change agents. (3 credits)
Community and National Development
This course explores the shape, purposes and role of the church in developing the capacities of communities to in turn foster the human capacities of their members. Extensive research opportunities and exercises will make this course highly contextualized for students. This course emphasizes community and national development in non-North American contexts. (3 credits)
Politics After the Fall: Christianity and Public Life in the Nations
Designed particularly for international students, this course explores Christian perspectives on politics and economics that are necessary in order for students to understand the comprehensive impact of Christ’s lordship over society and culture. This course avoids unnecessary ideological polarization. Includes a comprehensive biblical introduction to nations and God’s intentions for them that begins with Genesis 1 and ends in Revelation 22, as well as skills for cultural analysis. (4 credits)
Cross-Cultural Ethics (not yet written)
Applying a biblical worldview to thorny ethical issues found outside the Western world (where most Christian ethical reflection has been generated) and where intercultural interactions in our globalized world require ethical skills that both honor biblical teaching and also the unique cultural expectations of those with whom we interact. (3 credits)
Not currently scheduled.
CONFERENCES, RETREATS, AND LECTURES
These public programs offer in-depth contact with vocational and societal leaders who are equipped to guide students and others to deal with complex issues that cannot otherwise be covered in the MARD (Making a Redemptive Difference) In addition, they educate and inspire friends of the Wilberforce Academy.
Occasional lectures or presentations are made by Wilberforce Academy friends and fellows. In the past, these have included Dr. Thomas Oduro (Principal, Good News Theological College and Seminary, Accra, Ghana), Franz Clotaire (Executive Dirtector, SEED, Les Cayes, Haiti), and Kisongo Mbeleulu (President, ALERT and Wilberforce Academy Fellow).
- Christ Conquers the Culture of Corruption: Every winter since 2012, up to 11 international students (and a few American friends) have spent 25 hours (Friday night through all-day Saturday) exploring how to apply a Christian perspective and solutions to the bedeviling problems of endemic bribery, extortion, and corruption in societies around the world. For more information, contact Dr. Robert Osburn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Agents for Redemptive Change: International Students Conference on Economic Development, October 16-17, 2015, Knox International Center, St Paul, MN
- Agents for Redemptive Change: International Students Conference on Business and Economics, January 11-12, 2013, Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, FL.
- World View for World Healing: Truth, Justice and Reconciliation through Christ’s Transforming Power, October 8-9, 2010 at Grace Church Roseville (1310 Cty. Rd B-2, Roseville, MN). Listen to audio and watch videos from our Oct. 8th-9th 2010 conference here. Speakers: Eric Metaxas (acclaimed Manhattan-based author and speaker and moderator of Socrates in the City), Darrow Miller (international speaker and author of multiple books, including Discipling the Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Cultures), and Dr. Carol Hamrin (China expert who is editing the three-volume series Salt and Light: Lives of Faith that Shaped Modern China).
- Conference on Human Genetics and Religion, September 26, 2009 at the University of Minnesota.