The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman is undoubtedly my favorite reading resource during my many courses in BGU. I remember being greeted in 2009 by these lines on the introductory page “Why go through all the trouble of writing a second expanded and updated version of The World Is Flat only a year after the first expanded version was published and a mere two years after the original? I can offer a very brief answer: because I could and because I had to. Precisely because of the powerful technological forces detailed in this book (emphasis mine)” I asked myself why is BGU attempting an 8-City Immersion Course in 8 weeks, the answer is quite obvious – because we can and we have to.
I graduated from BGU in 2012 in the midst of a transition moment filled with much uncertainty; a transition into what BGU President Dr. Brad Smith described then as BGU 3.0. One of the key features of the BGU 3.0, as I recall, was greater emphasis on E-learning (virtual learning was not a common phrase then). This was a period when E-learning was viewed with much skepticism, but little did we know that BGU was journeying into a new reality of education and life generally; a future where the world will eventually come. Here we are, nine years later. BGU continues its rich tradition of offering leaders the unique opportunity of taking a plunge into cities and using cities as laboratories for transforming research in seeking Shalom.
The Virtual Urban Immersion 2021 offers a unique perspective as we deploy technology to overcome the travel restrictions and other challenges of COVID-19 to take a virtual plunge into 8 cities over 8 weeks through the unique and contextual lens of BGU’s Alumni network. BGU’s Alumni will walk students through their transformational leadership initiatives and other ministries that give unique insight into
these major global cities. Students will be exposed to four cities in the AMERICAS (Fresno, CA in the USA, Port-au-Prince in Haiti, Porto Alegre in Brazil, and Georgetown in Guyana), two cities in ASIA (Manila in the Philippines and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia), one city in AFRICA (Harare in Zimbabwe), and two cities in EUROPE (Budapest in Hungary and Moscow in Russia). These cities possess unique personalities and identities. Each of these virtual plunges will be used as lenses to deepen our understanding of BGU’s eight Transformational Leadership perspectives.
The instructional team which will include selected Faculty mostly BGU Alumni from these 8 selected cities. They will communicate the unique transformational perspectives of their cities to orient students and participants to the BGU distinctive graduate level learning experiences through this innovative Virtual Urban city Immersion which will include livestream city tours, ministry site visits as well as live
interactions with urban city leaders and ministry practitioners.
Particular attention of this course focuses on the issue of concentrated poverty and wealth across these global cities. City leaders will also reflect on how they are being impacted by history, culture, gospel and contemporary realities. This course provides students with the foundations of what Transformational Leadership means in communities globally with more pointed reflections on current global health, economic, environment, racial and gender issues A city immersion course is a required course for all doctoral studies at BGU and this innovative offering is also available as EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE for BGU Alumni at reduced cost (details below).
Students and participants will be exposed to perspectives on Transformational Leadership, specializations emphasizing spiritual resources for global and urban ministry, research methods, and urban exposure field experiences. Graduate students can expect to be challenged with eight perspectives as a baseline for studying Transformational Leadership.
Students will pay their regular credit-based tuition fees and an administrative fee of $250 per person for the whole course.
Non-Student Participants and BGU Alumni who want to use this opportunity as an educational experience will pay a total of $300 for the 8-week immersion experience.
Don’t miss this unique and exciting opportunity to discover what God is doing in global cities around the world!