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Bachelor's in Community Development

If you want to make a greater impact in your community through a Christian worldview, the BS in Community Development program at Indiana Wesleyan University was designed for you. It is estimated that 1 out of 3 people in the world are living in poverty. With so much suffering in the world, there is plenty of God’s work to do here in the United States, and all over the world. Discover how IWU helps students pursue rewarding careers helping improve the lives of the people and solving societal challenges through God’s love.

Why Pursue My B.S. in Community Development at IWU?

There are several benefits to pursuing your community development degree at IWU. This accredited degree program is taught by faculty with experience helping build local, national, and global communities in a variety of professional contexts. We also provide student services, from tech support to tutoring, to help you succeed in this program. Students learn from expert faculty who will become mentors in the faith, integrating classroom learning with biblical truths for a Christ-centered environment that encourages spiritual growth.

What Will I Learn in this Bachelor’s in Community Development Program?

This community development program is designed to help students gain the knowledge, skills, and Christian principles to change the world. Students engage in career-focused coursework, projects, and class trips for hands-on experience. Upon completion, students should have a strong understanding of scripture, along with the leadership skills to help deal with issues of poverty, hunger, and other social ailments. Course topics cover ministerial placement and persistence, ministry in context, non-profit management, and more.

What Makes IWU Different?

Education Pioneer

IWU has provided on-campus education for more than 100 years.

Rooted in Christ

Faith-integrated curriculum and a commitment to changing the world.

Superior Support

Center for Student Success for counseling, tutoring, and more!

What This Bachelor of Science in Community Development Has to Offer

This BS in Community Development program offers students a variety of paths:

  • Path to Ordination: Pair this major with the Pastoral Ministries double major to be eligible for ordination within the Wesleyan Church and some other denominations
  • Urban Studies Minor: Designed to equip students with the essential knowledge and resources to actively participate in and facilitate development in urban settings
  • Community Development Minor: Designed to equip students with the essential knowledge and resources to actively participate in and facilitate development in local, national, and global communities

After Graduation
Potential Careers

  • Education Administrator
  • Urban and Regional Planner
  • Clergy
  • Community Health Worker
  • Counselor
  • Social and Community Service Manager

Work in Various Industries

  • Industry

Program Requirements

General Education Requirements

Students in these majors meet the general education competencies by taking the approved standard courses or meeting competencies except as otherwise noted.

Admission to Professional Majors

Admission to the majors within the Division of Practical Theology may require a formal screening process separate from the initial declaration of intent. The process includes the successful completion of the prescribed courses designated by each major. Students need to have a GPA of 2.25 cumulative and 2.5 in the coursework required for the major. Students must also file application forms including a written essay and references. In some cases a personal interview with school faculty may also be required. Enrollment in some advanced courses in the division is restricted to those admitted to these majors. A student needs to start the application to the major process by the end of their sophomore year (60 credit hours) and after the successful completion of the designated courses in his or her respective majors. Delay on this process will prohibit students from enrolling in advanced courses in their professional major.

Continuation in Professional Majors

Students must maintain a cumulative 2.25 GPA and a 2.50 academic GPA in coursework required for the major. Failure to do so may necessitate repeating courses or withdrawal from the major. The School of Theology and Ministry faculty reserves the right to request the withdrawal of any student who in its judgment fails to satisfy the standards of Christian character, moral integrity, and social fitness required for a professional minister.

Wesleyan Students

Students anticipating future service in The Wesleyan Church should include Wesleyan Church History/Discipline (REL-431) among their elective courses. The Christian Ministries and Pastoral Ministries majors are specifically designed to meet all the academic requirements for ordination in The Wesleyan Church. Any deviation from the course requirements should be approved in writing by both the Dean and the Executive Director of Education and Clergy Development for The Wesleyan Church. Students who are members of The Wesleyan Church should be in contact with their District Board of Ministerial Development (DBMD) prior to applying for admission to the professional majors.

Graduate Credits-in-Escrow

A senior who is currently enrolled at Indiana Wesleyan University and who is within the last semester of completing course requirements for the baccalaureate degree may, with the approval of the appropriate dean register for a maximum of two graduate courses per semester. Such students who desire to take additional graduate courses after earning the baccalaureate degree must follow the regular admission procedure.

Graduate courses may not be counted at Indiana Wesleyan University for both graduate and undergraduate requirements.

Advanced Standing with Credit

Graduates of undergraduate programs with relevant theological courses in Bible, theology, church history, and practical theology, and who enroll in the relevant graduate programs of the School of Theology and Ministry may receive advanced standing with credit on the basis of competence achieved in certain undergraduate courses. Advanced standing with credit may not exceed 25% of the total hours in the program. Advanced credit may be granted for the courses listed below under the following conditions:

  1. The courses were taken at a regionally accredited or ABHE accredited institution. The School of Theology and Ministry reserves the right to determine whether or not courses are equivalent.
  2. A student has received at least a "B" in the specific courses as indicated with at least one course on the 300 or 400 level and no course below the 200 level, and
  3. The student successfully demonstrates competency of the required graduate course outcomes through either an oral or written assessment performed by a designated academic representative of the School of Theology and Ministry.
  Required Undergrad Courses
BIL 510 Biblical Hermeneutics (3)

Two of the Following:

BIL 202 Inductive Bible Study
BIL 301 Pentateuch
BIL 302 Historical Books
BIL 305 Poetic Books
BIL 307 Minor Prophets
BIL 312 Johannine Literature
BIL 314 Paul's Earlier Epistles
BIL 315 Paul's Later Epistles
BIL 317 Hebrews and General Epistles
BIL 320 The Apocalyptic Literature
BIL 434 Luke-Acts
Any BIL 400 level book study

 THE 500 Christian Doctrine (3)

Two of the following:

THE 233 Theology I
THE 310 Christology
THE 311 Ecclesiology
THE 333 Theology II: Salvation/Holiness
THE 420 The Life and Legacy of Augustine of Hippo
THE 428 The Theology of John Wesley
REL 431 Wesleyan Church History/Discipline

 REL 510 History of the Global Christian Church (3)        

Two of the following:

GLM 380 History of Christian Missions and Contextualization
REL 382 History of the Christian Church
REL 384 History of the Christian Church in the Middle East
REL 392 History of Protestantism

REL 525 Spiritual Care and Counseling (3)

Two of the following:

REL 229 The Christian Life: Sustaining Spiritual Vibrancy throughout Life
YTH 471 Pastoral Care and Counseling I: Children to Adulthood
REL 472 Pastoral Care and Counseling II: Through the Aging Process

  • Completion of 124 semester hours; however, some majors may result in the student earning greater than 124 credit hours by graduation.
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher
  • Completion of the designated semester hours in the major area with a GPA of 2.25 or higher as required by the major. Additional requirements as prescribed by each department must also be met.
  • Completion of all general education requirements
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Indiana Wesleyan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC),, 312-263-0456. Other accreditations and associations of Indiana Wesleyan University are available at

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