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Community Development

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Community Development

The Old and New Testaments repeatedly emphasize God's heart for people who are living in poverty. In fact, the Bible reveals in the gospels of Luke and John that caring for the poor is one of the central features of Christ's mission, a mission that He continues to accomplish through His people—people like you and me.

On this page Overview Graduate Outcomes Programs / Features Faculty Contact

Program Overview

Knowing practically what to do to help those who are economically disadvantaged is very difficult. Unfortunately, good intentions are not enough. As described in a book produced by our department, When Helping Hurts, it is actually possible to hurt the impoverished in the very process of trying to help them. In this light, our program draws on biblical insights, the latest research, and decades of practical experience to prepare students to promote lasting transformation in low-income communities and individuals in the U.S. and around the world.

Graduate Outcomes

Students majoring in community development have found employment in a wide range of settings, including non-profits, churches, ministries, international relief and development organizations, government, and philanthropy.

Recent changes to the program have added a social innovation component that further prepares students to address poverty in an even wider range of settings including business, art, environment care, healthcare, finance, and education.

Job Outcomes for Covenant Economics Majors:

  • Director of Savings Group Program Development, HOPE International
  • Neighborhood Engagement Specialist, Loaves and Fishes
  • Senior Community Development Specialist, Dollar Bank
  • Advocacy Manager, Center for Public Justice
  • Program Officer, Cornerstone Trust
  • Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation Specialist, World Vision
  • Conservation Impact Economist, The Nature Conservancy
  • Environmental Sustainability & Disaster Resilience Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Compassion International
  • Evaluation Specialist, Action for Kids
  • Policy Analyst, Maryland Department of Health
  • Volunteer and Co-Sponsorship Manager, Bridge Refugee Services
  • Grants & Impact Partnerships | Evidence-Based Decision-Making | Justice, World Relief
  • Family Physician, Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic - Freedom
  • Lecturer, Carey Baptist College, New Zealand

Recent Grad Schools for Community Development Alumni:

  • Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment
  • Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • University of Chicago Booth School of Business
  • University of Sussex Institute for Development Studies
  • Emory University Rollins School of Public Health
  • University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Public Health
  • Penn State University Rural Sociology
  • Medical College of Georgia
  • Covenant Theological Seminary
  • Denver Seminary
jonathon wilson and his wife

Jonathan Wilson '06

dave connis

Dave Connis ’11

Gracie Woodrow '18

Glory Blankenship '20

Programs & Features

The disciplines of economics and community development have different perspectives, tools, strengths, and weaknesses. For this reason, many students find it valuable to major in both programs.

View Economics Page

The community development major uses an interdisciplinary approach that draws on multiple fields to address the whole person in a wide range of cultural settings. 

View Requirements

Students can also pursue a community development minor which will prepare them for careers and graduate study in a range of disciplines.

View Requirements

All community development majors are required to complete a 12-24 week research internship. Department faculty work with students and partners in the field to design, support, and evaluate these research internships. 

Recent Internships for Community Development Students:

  • Covenant Community Capital, Houston. TX
  • Alliance for Children Everywhere, Lusaka, Zambia
  • Heart for Winter Haven (FL)
  • Friends of Refugees, Clarkston, GA
  • Ethne Community Health, Clarkston, GA
  • Hope for Suffolk
  • Launch Chattanooga
  • Habitat for Humanity

  • CDV 300 Living and Working in a Multicultural Context 
  • CDV 350 Introduction to Social Innovation 
  • CDV 330 Global Health .
  • CDV 343 U.S. Economic Development Interventions 
  • CDV 345 Agricultural Development 
  • SOC 419 Social Diversity & Inequality

  • “Transitional Housing: An Effective Tool for Housing America's Homeless Young Men”
  • “From Superficial to Sacrificial: Rediscovering Biblical Hospitality in Refugee Co-Sponsorship Programs”
  • “Mobile Money as a Poverty Alleviation Intervention in Sub-Saharan Africa”
  • “Sustainable Agriculture and Food Insecurity”
  • “Kayayei: Carrying Shalom in the marketplace”

Guided Capstone Requirements

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 economics or 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.

Meet the Faculty

brian fikkert

Brian Fikkert Professor of Economics and Community Development

russell mask

Russell Mask Professor of Community Development

steve corbett

Steve Corbett Associate Professor of Community Development

Ready to take the next step?

Thank you for your interest in Covenant! By filling out this form, we'll be able to connect you with the best information regarding your program of interest, as well as your Admissions Counselor.


Graduate School of Education

Undergraduate Departments, Majors, Minors, Certificates, Concentrations, and Programs

Academic Certificates

  • Arts Administration
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability
  • Journalism and Society
  • Medical Ethics Consultation
  • Neuroscience
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)


  • Art, 2-D Concentration 
  • Art, 3-D Concentration 
  • Art, Art History Concentration 
  • Art, Graphic Design Concentration 
  • Art, Photography Concentration 
  • Art minor
  • Art History minor

Biblical & Theological Studies

  • Biblical & Theological Studies 
  • Biblical & Theological Studies, Missions Concentration 
  • Biblical & Theological Studies minor
  • Biblical Languages minor
  • History of Christianity minor
  • Missions minor
  • Youth Ministry minor


  • Biology, Biomedical Concentration 
  • Biology, Environmental Concentration 
  • Biology, General 
  • Biology, Health Professions Concentration 
  • Biology minor


  • Business 
  • Business, Accounting Concentration 
  • Business, Finance Concentration 
  • Business, Marketing Concentration 
  • Sport Management 
  • Business minor
  • Sport Management minor


  • Chemistry, Biochemistry Concentration 
  • Chemistry, General 
  • Biochemistry minor
  • Chemistry minor

Community Development

  • Community Development 
  • Community Development minor

Computer Science

  • Computer Science 
  • Computer Science minor


  • Economics 
  • Economics minor


  • Education Studies 
  • Elementary Education (P-5) 
  • Secondary Education Certifications through MAT program 
  • Education minor

Engineering 3:2 Program

  • Natural Science, Pre-Engineering Studies Concentration


  • English 
  • English, Writing Concentration 
  • English minor
  • Writing minor

Health, Wellness and Coaching

  • Coaching minor

History, Politics, and International Studies

  • History 
  • History, Art History Concentration 
  • Political Science 
  • International Studies 
  • History minor
  • Political Science minor

Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Interdisciplinary Studies with Concentrations 


  • Mathematics 
  • Mathematics minor


  • Music, Church Music Concentration 
  • Music, Creative Studies Concentration 
  • Music, General Music Concentration 
  • Music, Instrumental Performance Concentration 
  • Music, Music Education (Pre-MAT) Concentration 
  • Music, Organ Performance Concentration 
  • Music, Piano Pedagogy Concentration 
  • Music, Piano Performance Concentration 
  • Music, Vocal Performance Concentration 
  • Music minor


  • Philosophy 
  • Philosophy minor


  • Physics 
  • Physics minor

Pre-Professional Programs

  • Pre-Law Studies 
  • Pre-Medical Studies 
  • Pre-Nursing Studies 
  • Pre-Physical Therapy Studies 


  • Psychology 
  • Psychology minor


  • Sociology 
  • Sociology, Family Studies & Social Work Concentration 
  • Sociology minor


  • Theatre minor

World Languages

  • French 
  • Spanish 
  • French minor
  • Spanish minor