Economics and Community Development department at the college of the Presbyterian Church in America in Lookout Mountain, Georgia

Economics and Community Development

The Department of Economics and Community Development examines humanity's stewardship of the resources of God's creation. The department believes that the manner in which humans cultivate and develop the creation emanates from their basic worldview commitments. However, human stewardship is not autonomous but takes place within God's sovereign plan as expressed through His unfolding story of creation, fall, redemption, and consummation. This framework shapes the manner in which the department analyzes and critiques the ways in which individuals, communities, and nations have responded to their stewardship responsibilities.

 

The department offers a major and a minor in economics, both of which lay a strong theoretical and analytical foundation for understanding the manner in which resources are allocated in the local, national, and global economy. Students pursuing the economics major or minor are well prepared for graduate study in a range of disciplines and for careers in government, international agencies, non-government organizations, and the corporate sector.

 

The department also offers a major and a minor in community development, both of which prepare students to understand and address the issues facing poor regions, paying particular attention to working at the community level. Recognizing the multifaceted and integrated nature of both God's creational design and the problems plaguing poor communities, the department takes an interdisciplinary approach that combines training in the liberal arts, in development theory and practice, and in sector-specific development strategies. In addition to laying a biblical foundation for thinking about poor communities, students are equipped to support positive change in cross-cultural settings both domestically and internationally. Students pursuing these programs are well prepared for graduate study or for employment in community-based organizations, churches, missions, relief and development agencies, and the public sector.

 

The Chalmers Center for Economic Development
The Chalmers Center is a research and educational institute which trains workers in church-centered ministries to promote economic development and spiritual transformation in the context of poor communities. In collaboration with partnering agencies and churches worldwide, the Center initiates pilot projects that serve as laboratories for the development of new models that can be replicated by others. Students in the community development major may apply for domestic and international research internships in these projects, providing them with a unique opportunity to participate in the development of state-of-the-art strategies and to gain practical experience.

 

Programs, Courses, and Requirements

Majors
Minors

Drs. Brian Fikkert and Russell Mask’s book From Dependence to Dignity won an award of merit in the missions/global church category of Christianity Today’s 2016 book awards.

"I love the holistic approach of community development. Although I am only a few classes into the major, it is already transforming my view on life. I also have really enjoyed being taught by Dr. Fikkert and Professor Corbett. They are SO knowledgeable in the field of community development and their passion is contagious."
 - Brittany Stout '18

Professor Corbett describes the complex field of community development, and discusses Covenant’s community development major.

Chris Carter

"The Community Development program is preparing me for a life dedicated to the work of Christ in a setting that may otherwise be way out of my comfort zone. The classes are beautifully crafted to give you the confidence and knowledge needed to step into the third world, but also instill an understanding of the necessity of humility and an open heart when interacting with a new culture. Corbett and Fikkert, two of the key professors in the major, are extremely respected individuals in their field, yet meet you at such a personal level and concentrate on your personal growth. Never have I been in a position in my life where I wake up stoked to go to my classes, nor have I ever felt so loved and supported by professors who care so much about your dreams and plans for the future. "
 - Chris Carter '18
Evan Weir '15 discusses the powerful influence of professors like Dr. Lance Wescher, associate professor of economics, who take the time to care for students both in, and outside of, the classroom.