Spring Arbor University

Urban Studies

About the Urban Studies Minor

The urban studies minor through the Department of Sociology, Global Studies and Criminal Justice is intended to prepare the University graduate for effective service in a variety of occupations in urban settings. In a world where the majority of the population lives in cities, it is increasingly urgent for students to be well-prepared for urban service. The urban studies minor can be added to any of several majors such as sociology, psychology, theology or Christian ministries.

Other programs offered by the Department of Sociology, Global Studies and Criminal Justice are:

Why should you choose SAU’s urban studies minor?

One of the strengths of the urban studies minor is the academic background and professional experience of the faculty. Faculty involved in the program have experience in urban ministry, community development and community organizing. The curriculum is interdisciplinary and includes experiential components including a field trip to Chicago and community analysis projects conducted by the students. The program has a strong emphasis on developing skills for personal and social interventions.


Courses and Requirements

The courses for the 24-hour urban studies minor include such subject areas as social welfare policies, urban sociology, racial and cultural minorities, social stratification, urban ministry and substance abuse and society.

View the course requirements, course descriptions, as well as learn more about the urban studies minor at Spring Arbor University in the undergraduate catalog.

Career Opportunities

Career Opportunities

The Urban Studies minor provides practical experience and theoretical background for anyone planning to live or work in an urban setting. Students anticipating careers in urban ministry, social services, criminal justice, community development, community organizing, or urban planning should consider including the urban studies minor as part of their program. Visit our career development section.

On-Campus Opportunities

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:

Communidad Aqua Viva – This Free Methodist church for Spanish-speaking residents of the Jackson area was established in 2003 through the work of Spring Arbor students and residents of Jackson. The church offers students an opportunity to minister to the Hispanic people of Jackson as well as provide opportunities to practice speaking Spanish.

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.

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 cecilia.said@arbor.edu.

Model Arab League (event) — Model Arab League is an event sponsored through the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations in which students learn about the politics and history of the Arab world as they study a particular Arab nation and then prepare to “represent” that nation at a mock Arab League summit. Every year, SAU sends a team to the Model Arab League convention held at a participating Michigan university. Learn more about the political economy major and the political science minor.

Multicultural and Intercultural Student Organizations – Students of any color or background are celebrated and supported on Spring Arbor University’s campus. With over ten organizations dedicated to fostering a dialogue between various ethnicities and promoting multiculturalism on SAU’s campus, there is something for everyone. Visit the intercultural relations website.

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