Who We Are
WCIU was founded in 1977 as a faith-based educational institution focusing on international development
as understood and practiced by agencies, development organizations, and educational institutions around
WCIU fulfills its mission by providing distance education programs to equip professionals serving
with these kinds of organizations, as they address the multi-faceted challenges of societies around the
globe. WCIU offers graduate degree programs in International Development with various specializations.
WCIU prepares men and women to discover and address the roots of human problems in order to bring God’s blessing to the peoples of the world.
A Distance Education University
WCIU programs are delivered through distance education. Rather than traditional face-to-face classroom interaction, students interact with instructors and classmates through the Populi Online Classroom Management system. Students must have access to a computer and the web in order to take courses from WCIU. Students who demonstrate initiative in communicating with fellow students, faculty and staff gain the most from distance education course delivery.
1. WCIU’s programs are Faith-based but Non-sectarian:
WCIU’s underlying core value is a belief in a divine Creator who can be known through the physical universe and the sacred collection of writings commonly known as the Bible, portions or the whole of which are accepted as authoritative by Jews, Muslims and Christians alike, and widely respected by other religions. We are also followers of Jesus, whose teachings have been instrumental in inspiring and motivating social reformers, scientists, and development practitioners over the past 2,000 years. WCIU’s reason for equipping students for development work is based on in two biblical commandments: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second most important commandment is this: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ (Jesus, the Bible, Mark 12:31-32). We welcome persons of every socio-religious background to engage with us in understanding this biblical perspective and to pursue the sacred ideal of biblical shalom — the mutual pursuit of right relationship with God, with self, and with others that leads to peace, health, and well-being for all.
2. WCIU’s Educational Programs are Holistic and Integral:
WCIU’s educational is committed to reflection and critical thinking that integrates personal faith-generated commitments with practical service. Core courses integrate an understanding of history and the social sciences with the biblical narrative and worldview. This approach aims at generating the holistic growth and personal development of our students as they work with others to address the social challenges of their field contexts, employing their professional services with the goal of social transformation.
3. WCIU’s Educational Programs are Mentored:
Although WCIU offers field-based extension programs, we are committed to providing our students virtual contact with experienced scholar-practitioners who comprise our faculty. We also recognize the immense value to professional growth of peer mentoring and as often as possible, organize our students into cohort groups. This lessens the sense of isolation distance learning can produce, and provides a stimulating learning experience in which students can share their insights related to their work, their community engagement, and their personal development with others involved in similar work around the world.
4. WCIU’s Educational Programs are Flexible:
WCIU’s programs are designed for working adults serving with international development organizations in a variety of global contexts, or preparing to do so. Our part-time, field-based approach allows students to work toward a degree while actively serving with their organization almost anywhere in the world. We seek to encourage a healthy balance of the student’s time commitment by encouraging synergistic integration of study and research with their work.
5. WCIU’s Educational Programs are Collaborative:
WCIU recognizes the value of working with organizations, both educational and service oriented, who share the same fundamental values and perspective. We work at creating viable partnerships with these organizations in order to generate the best environment and context for learning to take place for students, employees and volunteers. We recognize that these relationships will not always be formal academic partnerships, but rather collaborative efforts aimed at strengthening the hand of those serving to address pervasive problems and challenges faced by the peoples of developing nations. This also means a commitment to providing courses and materials in various languages of instruction.
WCIU strives to generate the following competencies in its students:
1. The ability to apply insights gained from the understanding and integration of biblical, cultural, historical, and applied research in addressing the social challenges they face as part of an agency, organization, or institution working in a particular social context.
2. The ability to generate collaborative grass-roots efforts in addressing pervasive problems facing societies in their specific field and context.
3. The ability to use applied research methods in the assessment of needs, and the formulation of programs that effectively address the needs and challenges of specific socio/cultural groups and contexts where they work.
4. To be responsible for their own learning by organizing and administrating self-generated research and learning programs using primary and secondary resources available to them in the context where they serve.
5. The ability to communicate the results of their research and programs in effective ways to a variety of audiences, including other scholars, supporting constituencies, and the people they work with which may include non-literate populations.