Urban Ministry

Concentration in Urban Ministry

With its main campus in Dallas and a program in Houston/Galveston, Perkins School of Theology is well situated to equip church leaders to serve as transforming agents in an urbanizing world. In the 21st century, ministry will require understanding the dynamics that create tension and oppression in our society, a willingness to hold up the vision of God’s justice and a commitment to work for righteousness in the social, economic and political realms of life.

Concentration in Urban Ministry is available to students enrolled in the M.Div. degree program and is intended especially for those called to engage communities in articulating and living the Gospel personally and socially in ways that bring healing to the lives of men, women and children.

Concentration is administered through the Urban Ministry Steering Committee, which designates the list of courses meeting certification requirements. Students who declare their intent to earn the certificate normally will be advised by the Urban Ministry adviser. Students must register for the certificate through the registrar.


Students pursuing the certificate will be expected to work toward developing the following competencies:

  1. Learning how to appreciate, analyze and cope with the complex connections between congregations and their communities in the process of urbanization
  2. Learning how to engage biblical and theological studies with contemporary urban problems, especially in areas of social justice, peacemaking and mission
  3. Learning how to assess the importance of issues such as culture, ethnicity, language, gender and age as these affect congregations in urban settings
  4. Learning how to deal with inequalities manifested in poverty and wealth in class-based urban systems
  5. Learning how to understand the interaction of diverse communities in America, especially in transnational urban environments involving global population movements
  6. Learning how to develop effective pastoral and spiritual leadership, advocacy and relationship building in the urban community within and beyond congregational settings

Concentration Requirements

A certificate will be granted to students who fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Formally register for the certificate through the Urban Ministry adviser and the registrar.
  2. Complete at least 15 term hours in approved Urban Ministry courses (See the list of designated courses below.).
  3. By the senior year (or before entering into a full-time internship), demonstrate involvement in urban ministry outside of formal coursework, usually through participation in an urban community project (approved by the Urban Ministry adviser) connected with a faith-based organization
  4. Complete an internship (12 term hours) in an urban or peri-urban community setting, identified and approved by the Intern Office

Designated Urban Ministry Courses

The following courses are currently designated among those that can be taken to fulfill the 15 term hours required for Concentration in Urban Ministry. Students should consult the list of designated courses each term for new courses.

BB 8315 Biblical Exegesis from a Hispanic Perspective
CE 8312 Liberation Themes and Educational Ministry
CE 8338 Emancipatory Educational Ministry with Adolescent Girls: Liberating Ophelia and LaTomika
CE 8362 Christian Education in an Urbanizing World
EV 7307 Theory and Practice of Evangelism
HH 8023, 8323 The Church and the Mexican-American Community
HH 8027, 8327 Christianity and Social Justice in the Southwest
HX 8354 African American Christianity in the United States
MN 7320 Ministry in the Black Church
MN 8026, 8326 Ministry in the Hispanic Church
MT 8345 African American Liberation Theology
MT 8385 Martin and Malcolm and Theological Ethics
PC 7321 The Caring Congregation
PC 7322 Pastoral Care and Family Systems
PC 8345 Justice Issues in Pastoral Care
ST 7029, 7329 Doing Theology from a Hispanic Perspective
ST 8311 Contemporary Theology
ST 8027, 8327 North American Hispanic Theology
ST 8345 Theologies of Hope and Liberation
ST 8347 Theology in a Post-Modern World
TC 8375 Advanced Feminist Theory
TC 8310.Theology, Religion and Cultural Studies
TC 8340 The Christian, the Church and the Public Good
XS 7302 Issues in Urban Ministry
XS 8302 Race Relations and the Church
XS 8003, 8303 The Church in Society
XS 8326 Broad-Based Community Organizing: Holiness and Politics in the Urban Church
XS 8330 The Social Ministry of the Church
XS 8321 Christian Mission in Cultural Context
XS 8332 Contemporary Issues in Urban Ministry
XS/WX 8340 The Church’s Global Nature and Mission: A Planetary Connection
XS 8350 The Social Mission of the Church

In addition, students may do independent reading or field-based courses in urban ministry with the approval of (1) a sponsoring faculty member willing to supervise the course and (2) the Urban Ministry adviser, Dr. Hal Recinos, before proceeding through the normal channels for obtaining permission to take such courses.

Students pursuing Concentration in Urban Ministry and the Concentration in Hispanic Studies may double-count those courses designated for both certificates.