Gearing up to serve

New class combines faith with action-based learning

Walla Walla University is offering a new class this winter designed to prepare theology students to better serve and engage with their communities. Titled Community Engagement–Churches, the class draws on the relationships, experiences, and lessons in best practice collected from the operation of the Center for Humanitarian Engagement over the last five years. 

David Lopez, director of the CHE, will be leading the class and coordinating guest lectures from a variety of civic leaders in the community. The majority of the course will involve direct engagement with the local community through visits with local political leaders, city planners, non-profit leaders, as well as participation in town hall meetings and church services. Interactive lecture time will complement the class’s community interactions. 

“As we have been engaging communities through the Community Action Relief Experience (CARE) Project with Adventist Community Services, it became very apparent that Adventist church members and leaders need help redefining community and service,” Lopez said. “What better way to do that than incorporating community engagement into the education of our future pastors and church members?”

The class curriculum was constructed in partnership with the Center for Community Change under the supervision of the Andrews University Department of Theology. Lopez noted that this class is unlike most offered at the undergraduate level, creating a unique opportunity at WWU for theology students to be equipped with skills to reunite churches with the larger world community and reach beyond the church in their ministry.

Posted Jan. 4, 2023

Theology students