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Getting the Seminary into the Slums

by Jaime Garispe '11

On November 3, APU students had an opportunity to step into what more than 1.3 billion people around the world call home. A simulation on Cougar Walk showed how roughly one in six individuals in the world live—in slums and unthinkable conditions. The Slum Simulation, part of APU’s annual Global Vision Week, recreated the daily reality of these people to raise awareness and to call for action.

Global Vision Week, held from November 1–5, is a missions-oriented week dedicated to bringing APU students, faculty, and the surrounding community’s attention to global issues. Over the course of the week, booths lined Cougar Walk from several offices and programs at APU including, the Office of World Missions, the Center for Global Learning and Engagement, the International Center, Mexico Outreach, and the Office of Ministry and Service.

The Master of Arts in Transformational Urban Leadership (MATUL) puts on the Slum Simulation for students interested in working with those in economic need overseas. Students accepted to the program would work with individuals living in conditions similar to those of the simulation.

In an effort to mobilize apostolic leadership, APU adopted the MATUL program two years ago. Through field work and residency, it gives students the opportunity to study abroad in areas such as Nairobi, Chennai, Manila, and Port-Au-Prince. The MATUL program also shows APU’s dedication to educating students who are passionate about global issues and evangelism overseas.

Viv Grigg, Ph.D., international director of the program, stated that the program is “downwardly mobile.” It focuses on generating disciples through mentor-based training who can develop churches in areas of extreme economic disadvantage and demonstrate the Kingdom of God among the poor by focusing on pioneer evangelism and the transformation of the societal structure.

“Essentially,” said Grigg, “the goal is to get the seminary into the slums.”