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Urban Ministry

About the Urban Ministry Program

The urban ministry program through the Department of Theology combines both theological and interdisciplinary courses to prepare the student for the vast opportunities for ministry in urban and cross cultural settings. The focus of this major is on the preparation of the student rather than on the development of specific ministry skills, so that the student may be faithful in the call to serve and share the Christian gospel creatively. Thus, this program seeks to develop both a wholesome theological understanding and an understanding of the significant issues in overcoming social and cultural obstacles. Students in the major and minor are expected to model a lifestyle becoming of a minister of Jesus Christ in covenant with the SAU program. Admission to the major/minor commits the student to a yearly renewal of this covenant through recommendations and review of the student’s campus life, academic performance and ministry activity.

Other programs offered through the Department of Theology include:

Why should you choose SAU’s urban ministry program?

The urban ministry program combines the strengths of the religion faculty and the faculty in other areas of the University, particularly those disciplines that contribute to the University’s urban studies program. Thus, this interdisciplinary program brings together the subjects and disciplines that will come to bear on the student’s future ministry practices, giving the individual the background by which to serve in creative and effective ways. The student is required to do vocational exploration in missions or cross cultural ministry as well as ongoing involvement in the field during their time as a student.

All ministry programs in the Department of Theology offer a creative blend of solid academics, practical ministry training and application, and spiritual formation. Included in all department programs is a central theological curriculum, which provides an essential foundation for all forms of Christian ministry. This curriculum includes courses in the four areas that make up what is commonly known as the Wesleyan Quadrilateral: Scripture, tradition, reason and experience.

Courses, Course Descriptions & Four-Year Plan

The courses for the 56-hour urban ministry major include such subject areas as biblical interpretation, philosophy of ministry, doctrines of the Christian faith, exploring ministry, counseling, Christian ethics, and introduction to philosophy.

View the course requirements and layout, course descriptions, a sample four-year plan, as well as learn more about the urban ministry program at Spring Arbor University in the undergraduate catalog.

On-Campus Opportunities

Spring Arbor University offers a wide range of activities and opportunities for students to get involved and apply what they’re learning in the classroom to real-world contexts. Here are some opportunities that may interest theology students:

  • Interfaith Shelter Ministries – Interfaith Shelter is a homeless shelter located in downtown Jackson. Spring Arbor students spend one day a week serving food and visiting with the people of the shelter. They also lead small group fellowships and organize an annual food and clothing drive. For information about volunteering at Interfaith Shelter, please call 517.789.8735.
  • Small Groups – Students have many opportunities to join a small group, whether it’s the Student Development and Learning small group program, a residence hall Bible study group, a prayer group, or accountability partners. Whatever your need, Spring Arbor will be able to fill it.
  • Spiritual Life Retreat – Although students always look forward to activities like the traditional four-square tournament and the Frisbee golf competition, the real reason for the Spiritual Life Retreat is spiritual development and genuine life change. More than 150 students steal away for a weekend of games, good food and a gratifying, spiritual jumpstart to the school year. Students literally sleep outside the student development office to reserve a space for this wildly popular event.
  • Spring Break Mission trips – During Spring Break, a handful of mission teams gear up and hit the road to minister to and serve people around the country and abroad. For information, contact Cecilia Said at

See a full list of the various activities and organizations available to students at Spring Arbor University.