Oregon Christian University Hosts Series on How the West Relates to Majority World

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Public invited to George Fox University sessions that educate attendees on the West’s interactions with Latin America, Afghanistan, Muslim countries and others

The topic of how the West relates to the Majority World will be the theme of a lecture and discussion series hosted by George Fox University, a Christian college in Oregon, this fall.

“The Majority World and the West” sessions, featuring speakers from across the world, are open to the public free of charge. Sessions will be held in Room 105 of the university’s Hoover Academic Building from 7 to 8 p.m. on Monday nights through Monday, Nov. 7.

Guests will include an Afghani student at George Fox, Suhila Haidary, who will provide an insider’s view about the effects of war and what organizations are playing a role in assisting her country (Oct. 3). Also participating will be Stuart Willcuts, a George Fox alumnus who manages the Palestinian Community Assistance Project for Mercy Corps, who will speak on ways the United States is involved in the Muslim world (Oct. 10).

“Our specific goals for the series are that our students gain a better understanding of some of the issues facing the Majority World, develop the skills to evaluate proposed solutions, and have the ability and confidence to affect change,” said program co-director Caitlin Corning, a professor in the university’s history major.

Following is a presentation schedule and synopsis of each session.

September 19: “Means for Reducing Maternal Mortality” – Marcella Gowan, an assistant professor of nursing at George Fox who served as a missionary nurse/midwife for 20 years, will examine one of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, its need, nature and scope, the strategies people bring to bear in efforts to help, and reasons the goal remains elusive.

September 26: “Which Way Home?” – Hear the voices of children from the Majority World in a 2010 Emmy Award-winning documentary film that follows unaccompanied children leaving homes in Honduras on a journey through Mexico to what they hope will be a new life in the U.S.

October 3: “On the Ground in Afghanistan” – Haidary shares an insider’s view of the effects of war while also providing insight into Afghanistan’s history, strengths and the challenges it faces.

October 10: “Hearts and Minds in the ‘Clash of Civilizations” – Willcuts, who spends two to three days a week in Gaza with a 65-member team, will share about the Palestinian Community Assistance Project, a USAID-funded initiative that is the largest single injection ever of U.S. taxpayer monies into Gaza.

October 17: “When Helping Hurts: Do No Harm” – Fred Gregory, a former president of World Concern who also served with Mercy Corps in Guatemala, China, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan, will team with Hal and Nancy Thomas of PRODOLA, a doctoral program that equips Christian leaders in Latin America, to discuss how the best intentions of the West can harm people in the Majority World and how we can avoid these pitfalls.

October 24: “Who’s in Charge? Dependency, Accountability, Partnership” – A discussion on how Western humanitarian groups attempt to empower local peoples, which can have positive and negative results. Attendees will explore these issues and discuss practices that facilitate effective local partnerships.

October 31: “When the Great Commission is Illegal” – Shawn McConaughey, associate superintendent of Global Outreach for the Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends, will discuss the Christian mission and ethics in Majority World countries that do not allow missionaries.

November 7: “So You Want to Change the World?” – George Fox psychology professor Kristina Kays and political science professor Michael MacLeod offer strategies in their fields about promoting real change, countering compassion fatigue and consumer apathy.

November 21: “Liberal Arts and Critical Issues Research Exhibit” – Senior research teams present their findings on the Majority World and the West in the school’s Edwards-Holman Science Center and Hoover Academic Building’s atriums, from noon to 4 p.m.

The Liberal Arts and Critical Issues course is a required part of the general education program taken by students their senior year. The course is designed to encourage students to integrate their specialized knowledge and general education with Christian faith, in the context of addressing a public issue of current significance, according to Corning.

For more information on the course or the speakers, contact Corning at 503-554-2673.

George Fox University is ranked by Forbes among the top Christian colleges in the country. George Fox is a Christian university classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first tier regional university and a “Best Value” school. More than 3,500 students attend classes on the university’s campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland, Salem, and Redmond, Ore., and Boise, Idaho. George Fox offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 majors, degree-completion programs for working adults, five seminary degrees, and 11 master’s and doctoral degrees.

Caitlin Corning
Co-Director, Liberal Arts and Critical Issues Program


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