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MD575: Childhood in Global Perspective: Foundations for Mission with Children at Risk (4 units)
Desiree Segura-April, Assistant Professor of Children at Risk
Fall 2012 Pasadena / FullerLive!


This course examines variables that influence the way children and youth are viewed, treated, listened to, parented and discipled as they grow up in contemporary societies. It draws from theological, anthropological, sociological, and cross-cultural psychological perspectives. It explores cross-cultural understandings of children and youth, multi-cultural child development, listening and relating to children and youth, cultural stories of children and childhood, and social and political implications for child development, behavior and relationships. Missiological implications for mission and ministry with children and youth, including those at risk, are discussed.

  1. Analyze children and childhood through the lenses of theological, anthropological, sociological, and cross-cultural psychological theories and models.

  2. Gain understanding from a variety of perspectives on children and childhood held by influential theologians and Christian movements throughout church history.

  3. Demonstrate understanding and interaction with the issues related to the child in history, theory, a globalized world, community, the family, peer groups, school, work, and play.

  4. Articulate the missiological implications for child participation, the rights of the child, and policy; ministry with children at risk; and the church, evangelism, and discipleship.

  5. Develop an in-depth understanding of the expression(s) of childhood within one particular context chosen by the student.

This course will meet once a week for three hours throughout the quarter. Students will learn via lectures/presentations, media clips, class discussions, student presentations and small group exercises.

REQUIRED READING: 1500 pages from the required texts as identified in syllabus. If you have previously read any of the required texts, an alternative text must be approved by the professor.
Bunge, Marcia J., ed. 2001. The Child in Christian Thought. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. ISBN: 9780802846938. Pub.price: $38.00.

Corsaro, William A. 2011. The Sociology of Childhood. 3rd ed. Los Angeles: Sage/Pine Forge Press. ISBN: 1412979439. Pub.price: $43.00.

Gielen, Uwe P., and Jaipaul L. Roopnarine, eds. 2004. Childhood and Adolescence: Cross-cultural Perspectives and Applications. Westport, CT: Praeger. ISBN: 9781567506617. Pub.price: $55.00.

Levine, Robert A., and Rebecca S. New, eds. 2008. Anthropology and Child Development: A Cross-Cultural Reader. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN: 9780631229766. Pub.price: $49.95.

May, Scottie, Beth Posterski, Catherine Stonehouse, and Linda Cannell. 2005. Children Matter: Celebrating Their Place in the Church, Family, and Community. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. ISBN: 9780802822284. Pub.price: $26.00.

Wells, Karen C. 2009. Childhood in a Global Perspective. Cambridge, UK; Malden, MA: Polity Press. ISBN: 0745638376. Pub.price: $24.95.

  1. Annotated Bibliography, including abstract and critique for each required reading and research source (due in four parts)

  2. Collaborative student-led theological class debate (working in small groups)

  3. An integration/research paper focusing on children and childhood in a particular context and including implications for mission (2,500-3,000 words with full annotated bibliography)
** Students are advised that the details of these assignments are subject to change.


RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: Elective. Required for Children at Risk Emphasis.


This ECD is a reliable guide to the course design but is subject to modification. (July 2012)