The Department of Sociology and Reconciliation Studies prepares students to live and serve in our complex multicultural world of rapid urbanization, diverse religious voices, political conflict, and a widening gap between the haves and have-nots. Students are encouraged to use the tools of the social sciences to meet these challenges in the light of an informed Christian faith.

The department offers programs to engage this changing world by building a sociological core, and applying these core understandings to real-world concerns such as crime, poverty, and racism. We offer majors in sociology, criminal justice, and reconciliation studies. Minors in the department include sociology, criminal justice, reconciliation studies, and cross-cultural missions.

 

Majors in Sociology and Reconciliation Studies

Minors in Sociology and Reconciliation Studies

ANT200U • Introduction to Anthropology. 3 Credits.

Study of humankind, with an emphasis on human social and cultural systems. Focus on one non-Western culture in anthropological perspective. Study of the discipline, methods, and theories of anthropology.
Prerequisites: GES130 (may be taken concurrently) or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Spring

ANT214U • Peoples and Cultures of Latin America. 3 Credits.

Comparative ethnography of Latin America. A holistic study of the social structures and cultures existing in Latin America today, with special emphasis on one cultural group.
Prerequisites: GES130 (may be taken concurrently) or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Occasionally

ANT241UZ • Peoples and Cultures of Africa. 4 Credits.

Comparative ethnography of contemporary African societies and cultures with particular reference to the Sub-Saharan region. Examination of Africa’s geography and historical context. Topics include: politics and economies of the region, population and urbanization, social institutions, women’s issues, the family, and religion.
Prerequisites: GES130 (may be taken concurrently) or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Fall

ANT242UZ • Peoples and Cultures of the United States. 3 Credits.

Comparative ethnography of contemporary United States cultures. A study of cultural origins and development of cultures in this complex, multicultural society with specific focus on Native American, immigrant minority, and dominant majority cultures of the United States. Special attention given to the nature of this pluralistic society and processes of community formation.
Prerequisites: GES130 (may be taken concurrently) or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Fall

ANT301K • Human Origins and Diversity. 3 Credits.

Fossil evidence for human origins and development. Human adaptation to the environment, human genetics, heredity, and comparison of humans to other primates.
Prerequisites: Laboratory Science (D) course; Mathematics (M) course. Offered: Occasionally

ANT318GZ • The Urban Church. 3 Credits.

Taught on site in cities around the world (e.g., Amsterdam). Students research the challenges of urban communities and help local churches develop church-based responses to these challenges. Intensive interaction with urban communities and churches. Method for applied and experiential learning in response to social needs.
Prerequisites: [GES130; Contemporary Western Life and Thought (L) course; World Cultures (U) course] or [GES246; World Cultures (U) course]. Offered: Interim, odd # years

ANT371GZ • Christianity in Cross-Cultural Perspective. 4 Credits.

How Christian faith and practice are influenced by and expressed through social systems across the globe. Aspects of the social structure of selected Christian groups, both Western and non-Western, with emphasis on how these structures contribute to and result from Christian conversion, belief, values, and practice. Relational, cross-cultural intensive experience required to understand and apply learning.
Prerequisites: [GES130; Contemporary Western Life and Thought (L) course; World Cultures (U) course] or [GES246; World Cultures (U) course]. Offered: Spring

RES201 • Introduction to Reconciliation Studies. 3 Credits.

Overview of theory and literature in the field, contributing factors leading to the need for reconciliation in our world, and paradigms for reconciliation praxis. Biblically based principles and processes for moving toward societal reconciliation. Cultural and religious diversity, conflict resolution, spiritual disciplines, social and economic justice issues (racism, sexism, classism), and related subjects are covered.
Offered: Fall, spring.

RES207U • Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Our Multicultural World. 3 Credits.

Compares and contrasts the lives and messages of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X with an application to the present world situation. Each leader is examined within the context of African-American culture and religion, the broader cultural diversity of the United States, and the rest of the world.
Prerequisites: GES130 (may be taken concurrently) or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Fall, spring

RES215 • European American Experiences, Whiteness, and Reconciliation. 3 Credits.

Explores how family history and upbringing influence understanding of whiteness. Since ideological constructions of whiteness are linked to various injustices confronting people of color, students will wrestle with how to adopt practices within the spirit of reconciliation that break down walls of division for the greater good. PQ; Sophomore Standing.

RES220 • Hip-Hop, The Spoken Word, and Reconciliation. 3 Credits.

Engages Hip-Hop and the spoken word as our modern-day Psalms: raw, uncompromising, challenging, confrontational, and confessional. Explores how a conversation among Hip-Hop, the spoken word, and biblical stories cultivate a relationship with God as transparant as the Psalms and Jesus' own relationship with his Father.
Prerequisites: Sophomore Stanidng. Offered: Spring

RES305 • Conflict Resolution and Mediation Skills. 3 Credits.

Provides practical peacemaking and reconciliation skills relevant to helping Christians resolve conflict in a healthy, balanced way. Focus on using experiential learning to develop negotiation and mediation skills.
Prerequisites: RES201. Offered: Fall, spring

RES310Z • Conflict, Reconciliation, and the Church. 3 Credits.

Ministry in an urban, multicultural context. Emphasizes biblical, theological, and historical themes of reconciliation, diversity, poverty, and justice. Experiences include homeless shelters, youth ministry centers, and the religious and cultural life of a major city.
Prerequisites: THE201; junior standing. Corequisites: Carries cross-listing in biblical and theological studies and missional ministries. Offered: Interim.

RES315 • Social Responsibility in the Marketplace. 3 Credits.

Using multidisciplinary perspective, the course explores the different ways and dimensions that businesses relate to society and the nature of reciprocal relationship (whether good or bad) between the two social entities. Examines contrasting ethical arguments in historical contexts about the role of business in society. Considerable time will be spent discussing ways that healthy relationships can be promoted between business and society for the benefit of both entities.
Prerequisites: [GES130; World Cultures (U) course] or [GES246; World Cultures (U) course]. Offered: Fall. Special Notes: Carries cross-credit in sociocultural studies.

RES320 • The Power of Story and Reconciliation. 3 Credits.

Explores complex stories that can nurture cultural humility and empathy. Includes readings of creative and biblical narratives with emphasis on listening deeply to others' experiences. Confronts a world divided by difference and explores how stories can foster understanding between peoples.
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing.

RES481 • Internship in Reconciliation Studies. 3-4 Credits.

Practical learning experience to apply understanding and skills of reconciliation studies in a real-world setting.
Prerequisites: RES201; major in reconciliation studies; junior or senior standing. Offered: Spring

RES499 • Senior Seminar in Reconciliation Studies. 4 Credits.

Prepares students to use the lenses of Christ-centered biblical “reconciliation” theology, critical thinking, multicultural perspectives, social change analysis, and conflict resolution skills for leadership in the work of reconciliation in society. Students study theoretical underpinnings of reconciliation studies and leadership models of reconciliation practice. A service-learning component is required.
Prerequisites: RES201; senior standing. Offered: Fall

SOC101 • Introduction to Sociology. 3 Credits.

Major concepts, theories, methodologies, findings, controversies, and history of sociology. Contributions of sociology to Christian life and thought.
Offered: Fall, spring.

SOC205 • Introduction to Global Social Problems. 3 Credits.

Introduction to global awareness and citizenship. Analyzes social problems and challenges facing the world, including the United States, with a view to action. Emphasizes interaction between global and local issues, and how solutions require broad cooperation. Topics may include education, energy, gender, health, population, social class, technology, urbanization, and work.
Prerequisites: GES160, [GES130 or GES244]. Offered: Interim

SOC229U • Interaction with Urban Life and Systems. 3 Credits.

Experientially based introduction to the religious, ethnic, and economic diversity of urban life. Formal and informal interrelationships of people living in the urban environment and various models for approaching urban ministry. Students explore the reality of living in urban life through intensive study of and interaction with a specific cultural group that lies outside the majority culture(s) found in North America. Students are encouraged to understand their own feelings and social roles.
Prerequisites: GES130 (may be taken concurrently) or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Interim

SOC242U • Race, Ethnicity, and Peacemaking. 3 Credits.

Explores the historical evolution of race and ethnicity in Latin America, especially their creation, perpetuation, and legitimization as concepts. Examines the consequences for various social groups. Includes the intersection of local and global socio-cultural, political, and economic forces. Analyzes the historical role of the Christianity in engaging race and ethnicity.
Prerequisites: GES130 (may be taken concurrently) or GES244 (may be taken concurrently) POS202U or POS310 recommended. Offered: Spring

SOC280 • Urbanization. 3 Credits.

Cross-cultural and comparative study of urban development, form, and heterogeneity in advanced industrial societies and countries of the Global South, Central, and Eastern Europe, and Eurasia. Examination of the rise of cities, their growth in the United States and worldwide, and their functions. Issues of housing, crime, gangs, governance, and other urban issues. Students visit various cities as part of course study.
Offered: Fall.

SOC304G • Sociology of Crime and Deviance. 3 Credits.

Introduction to comparative criminal justice systems, and the role of the police, the courts, and correction institutions in both developed and developing societies. Cross-cultural and comparative analysis of theories and data used to analyze criminal behavior and deviance. How the media and crime-control agencies shape understanding of crime.
Prerequisites: [GES130; GES160; Contemporary Western Life and Thought (L) course; World Cultures (U) course] or [GES244; World Cultures (U) course] POS202U or POS310 recommended. Offered: Fall, even # years

SOC305Z • Intentional Urban Living I. 2 Credits.

Intensive urban learning opportunity involving exploration and analysis of urban community, urban neighborhood social and political structures, and theological issues that arise in an urban context. Involves living in an urban neighborhood in Minneapolis or St. Paul and substantial interaction in the neighborhood.
Offered: Fall.

SOC306Z • Intentional Urban Living II. 2 Credits.

Intensive urban learning opportunity involving exploration and analysis of urban community, urban neighborhood social and political structures, and theological issues that arise in an urban context. Involves living in an urban neighborhood in Minneapolis or St. Paul and substantial interaction in the neighborhood. Involves an individualized research project and/or action project focused on a change initiative.
Offered: Spring.

SOC315 • Social Responsibility in the Marketplace. 3 Credits.

Explores the nature of the reciprocal relationship between businesses and society from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Examines contrasting ethical arguments in historical contexts about the role of business in society. Discusses how healthy relationships can be promoted between business and society for the benefit of both.
Prerequisites: [GES130; World Cultures (U) course] or [GES246; World Cultures (U) course]. Offered: Fall. Special Notes: Carries cross-credit in reconciliation studies.

SOC318G • The Urban Church. 3 Credits.

Taught on site in cities around the world (e.g., Amsterdam). Students research the challenges of urban communities and help local churches develop church-based responses to these challenges. Intensive interaction with urban communities and churches. Method for applied and experiential learning in response to social needs.
Prerequisites: [GES130; Contemporary Western Life and Thought (L) course; World Cultures (U) course] or [GES246; World Cultures (U) course]. Offered: Interim, odd # years

SOC324 • Criminal Justice in American Society. 3 Credits.

Grounded in the philosophy of criminal law, theories of deviance, and the nature and extent of crime in America, students are introduced to the American criminal justice system. Examination of the theory, structure, and operation of its principal components. Assessment of how well this system serves the aims of justice.
Offered: Spring.

SOC330G • Sociology of Third World Development. 3 Credits.

Critically examines economic development theories and sociological issues for developing Third World countries. Strategies for promoting economic development and cultural change internationally, regionally, nationally, and locally. How changes intersect and affect Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Issues and processes involved in community development in a globalized society. Prerequisites: Must be enrolled in Bethel’s Guatemala Term program; .
Prerequisites: [GES130; GES160; Contemporary Western Life and Thought (L) course; World Cultures (U) course] or [GES244; World Cultures (U) course]. Offered: Spring

SOC340Z • Principles and Methods of Intercultural Leadership. 4 Credits.

Grounded in a cross-cultural experience, focuses on practical principles and methods for intercultural visioning, administration, training, and communication for cross-cultural work. Emphasizes developing intercultural competencies needed for collaborative and mutually beneficial outcomes in diverse environments (e.g., mission or ministry; profit and not-for-profit; governmental or agency work).
Prerequisites: Junior or Senior Standing or permission of the instructor. Offered: Spring

SOC350 • Qualitative Research Methods. 4 Credits.

Qualitative methodologies in the social sciences, with a particular focus in ethnographic field technologies. Interview and observation skills through field work in the Twin Cities area.
Prerequisites: World Cultures (U) course. Offered: Spring

SOC351 • Quantitative Research Methods. 4 Credits.

Study of quantifying social life to answer research questions. Focus on structuring of inquiry (research design, conceptualization, measurement, sampling), modes of quantitative observation (experiments, survey research, content analysis, evaluation research), analysis of data (univariate, bivariate, and multivariate statistics), and research ethics. Students participate in actual quantitative research.
Offered: Fall.

SOC361 • Sociocultural Theory. 4 Credits.

Process of theory formation in the social sciences and concern with the relations between epistemology, analysis, and theory formation.
Prerequisites: One anthropology, sociology, or sociocultural studies course. Offered: Fall

SOC372G • Religion in Society. 3 Credits.

Comparative cross-cultural study of the social and cultural bases of religion in advanced industrial societies and non-Western cultures. Characteristic myths, beliefs, practices, and rituals of religious systems; the relationship between religious and other dimensions of social life; the factors underlying the development, persistence, manipulation, and change of religious organizations.
Prerequisites: [GES130; GES160; Contemporary Western Life and Thought (L) course; World Cultures (U) course] or [GES244; World Cultures (U) course]. Offered: Interim

SOC379G • Mission in the 21st Century. 3 Credits.

Comparative analysis of the social and cultural nature of the modern mission enterprise, its history and development, structure, and dynamics. Introduction to principles of missiology. Exploration and analysis of the intercultural nature of missions, with particular attention paid to the contribution of both first- and third-world participants.
Prerequisites: [GES130; Contemporary Western Life and Thought (L) course; World Cultures (U) course] or [GES246; World Cultures (U) course]. Offered: Fall

SOC381G • Urbanism: A Way of Life. 3 Credits.

Comparative study of urban life and urban social and cultural forces. Ways in which humans construct community; develop distinct urban lifestyles; and interact across social, ethnic, and religious boundaries. Special attention given to implications for urban planning, community development, and urban ministry.
Prerequisites: [GES130; Contemporary Western Life and Thought (L) course; World Cultures (U) course] or [GES246; World Cultures (U) course]. Offered: Fall

SOC385 • Cross-Cultural Exp Guatemala. 4 Credits.

An intensive experience of living and communicating in another culture for a minimum of two months in Guatemala. Student is fully immersed in the culture as much as possible and is guided by a mentor from the host culture.
Prerequisites: Must be enrolled in Bethel’s Guatemala Term program. Grade exceptions: Graded on an S/U basis. Offered: Guatemala Term, spring. Special Notes: Students may receive credit for only one of the following: SCS385, SCS387Z, or SCS389.

SOC387Z • Cross Cultural Experience. 4 Credits.

An intensive experience of living and communicating in another culture for a minimum of two months. Student is fully immersed in the culture as much as possible and guided by a mentor from the host culture.
Prerequisites: ANT200U; Systems (G) course; application approved by the department prior to the experience. Grade exceptions: Graded on an S/U basis. Offered: Occasionally. Special Notes: Students may receive credit for only one of the following: SCS385, SCS387Z, or SCS389.

SOC389 • Cross-Cultural Missions Practicum. 4 Credits.

An intensive ministry experience in a cross-cultural setting for a minimum of one month. Student is fully immersed in the culture, involved in hands-on ministry, and is guided by a mentor from the host culture.
Prerequisites: consent of department. Grade exceptions: Graded on an S/U basis. Offered: Occasionally. Special Notes: Students may receive credit for only one of the following: SCS385, SCS387Z, or SCS389.

SOC481 • Internship in Sociology. 3-4 Credits.

A work-related, hands-on learning experience in an off-campus professional setting. Students are mentored by an experienced professional in the field, and overseen by a departmental faculty member.
Prerequisites: Major in sociology; junior or senior standing.

SOC499 • Senior Seminar. 4 Credits.

A culminating experience to put to use knowledge and skills gained during studies done in the department. A guided research project is completed in consultation with members of the department.
Prerequisites: Major in sociocultural studies; two of the following courses: SCS350, SCS351, SCS361; senior standing. Offered: Spring