Dr. Amy Stumpf’s parents were relief and development workers in Thailand. She grew up observing the refugee camps, orphans and human trafficking that plagued the country. However, even as a child, Stumpf knew there is more to fixing the problems of the people in Thailand than just relieving their immediate needs.
“At some point, even as a young child, I kind of looked around and said, ‘Yes it’s good we’re here providing care to refugees, but it would probably be better if someone would stop that guy that keeps making the refugees. Why don’t we just go take care of him?’” Stumpf said.
That childhood experience is part of what inspired Stumpf, associate professor of society and religion, to head up the creation of California Baptist University’s new global justice minor.
“In Christian and secular settings, we have students who say, ‘I want to help solve problems in the world,’” Stumpf said. “For our Christian students, they want to do that from a decidedly biblical platform from a personal relationship with God.”
The new minor will equip students with theological and theoretical foundations for justice, global knowledge and practical skills of how to apply their knowledge.
Students across the board of professional disciplines at CBU are encouraged to look into the minor and concentration, Stumpf said. At 21 hours, the global justice minor was designed to be accomplished by students from any major.
“We purposefully slimmed it down because we really want it to be very doable and attractive to students from a variety of professional degrees,” Stumpf said. “We know that there are some big majors” in terms of units.
Stumpf said she wants engineers, nurses, educators, storytellers and anyone hoping to work overseas to look into completing the minor.
“You better have a platform that is professional because most countries aren’t like, ‘Oh, you want to preach and start a church and evangelize? Come in!’” Stumpf said.
For Stumpf, this minor is about equipping students with the knowledge of how to look at root causes of world issues such as poverty and then be able to work with institutions on how to fix it rather than just relieving the immediate needs.
“You can relieve and develop a lot, but at some point you’ve got to have the world powers implement policies that will promote justice and minimize exploitation,” Stumpf said.
Students can expect integrated coursework and classes such as microfinance, social entrepreneurship, global studies, current events and world movements and Christian social ethics.
“We live in a growing global community,” said Cassie Hanlin, sophomore anthropology and psychology double major and global justice minor. “In a world surrounded by globalization, and as a follower of Christ, I believe we are called to social action.
“The global justice minor allows me to pursue social action with a global mindset.”
International health majors will be required to complete the global justice minor.
“They’re doing all the clinical things, but they recognize that we don’t want to send people overseas without the theological foundation, the global knowledge and the conceptual idea of integrating and applying,” Stumpf said.
In addition, intercultural studies and Christian studies majors will now be able to declare a concentration in global justice.