540 Urban Realities


The aim of the MA in Transformational Urban Leadership is to increase the capacity of emergent leaders among the urban poor, with wisdom, knowledge, character and skill across the full range of leadership dynamics of urban poor movements.

Course Design Contributors: Dr Lorenzo C. Bautista  and  Dr Fermin P. Manalo, Jr.
Rev. Dr. J.N. Manokaran, Dr Fletcher Tink, Dr R. Slimbach., Dr Viv Grigg

I.  Course Description  
This course structures a dialogue between two processes, urban theologising and social analysis (urban studies in economics, developmental studies, anthropology, sociology, history) in a mutually enriching interaction that generates perspectives and analytic methods for transformative urban mission (including urban research methods if not covered elsewhere).

II.  Expanded Course Description /Course Rationale
This course introduces the students to processes of better understanding of urban reality and its relation to their faith. It will focus on generating social and theological insights from field experience guided by tools for social analysis, cultural analysis, and resources of bible and theology. 

The processes of urban theologising will be developed. Theological wisdom does not usually come in a vacuum but in the fray.  Urban experiences lead to reflection. The prophetic sensibilities emerge from the tension generated by the encounter between a vision of the just God and the experience of failed justice around us. The integration of disciplined social observation and the prophetic vision is at least as old as Amos and the 8th century Prophets.

Urban contexts (as for any cultural configuration) are best understood utilizing a multidisciplinary approach. The opposite approach of reductionism , simplistic solutions that underlies populism is not a Christian option, when one understands the nature of Biblical Wisdom literature and the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding.

Social action is based on social analysis which requires engaging social theory.

Social action, social theory and social analysis all involve theological understandings of complex issues.


The course will seek to generate social and theological insight  through an inductive approach. The outputs of the inductive process will be strengthened by synthesizing,  inputs and readings.

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