The Baltimore Urban Studies (BUS) is a “study away,” experiential learning program, designed to teach, mentor, and train college students in spiritual formation and public health while providing urban global health internships.
Danté Upshaw and Micah Hughes have been close friends and spiritual family since 2001. Now, after two decades of Danté Upshaw working in spiritual formation and pastoral ministry and Micah Hughes working in global health and higher education, their paths have come together again to establish the BUS.
Our nation continues to battle the challenges and effects of this global pandemic that illustrates a disproportionately devastating effect on the health and livelihood of African-American, Latinx, Native, and urban communities. We believe there is an increasing need for Christian practitioners in all areas of healthcare practice and social justice work to have a deeply formed inner life as they seek, with wisdom and compassion, to positively impact individuals and communities. We are grateful to partner with churches, clinics, agencies, and community leaders of Baltimore and Washington D.C. to provide transformative learning experiences for college students from across the United States.
An investigation into the foundational beliefs of the Christian faith, with special attention to their implications in the urban context, the relationship between church and world, and how theology informs, guides, and facilitates personal and community transformation and reconciliation. *Required Course
This course provides seminar-based learning and academic framework around 120 to 180 hours of internships and practicums in community health clinics and agencies in Baltimore, MD. Students will process and gain constructivist learning from their three months of individualized internship experiences through academic readings, seminar discussions, and reflective writing assignments. *Required Course
This course will provide an overview of the major areas of clinical biomedical ethics. Participants will gain familiarity with the terminology, resources, and major frameworks of ethical analysis in biomedical ethics. Issues that will be examined and analyzed include problem solving methods, the theory, and practice of informed consent, end of life decision making, physician-assisted suicide, pediatric ethical dilemmas, spirituality in clinical encounters, the injustice of health care disparities, and the role of ethics committees. Extensive use of case discussion and analysis will help to develop the participants ’ethical problem solving skills.
This course examines and evaluates food assistance and safety net programs in the United States and Global contexts. Students will explore the policies, history, and complexities of urban access to healthy food and gain an introduction to the physiological, psychological, and socio-cultural factors that affect eating behaviors. This course includes international urban case studies and experiential learning with opportunities for safe walking, biking, and volunteering at Baltimore food pantries, visiting urban agriculture programs, and learning from nutrition experts in the field.
This course is designed to integrate foundational principles of healthcare into Spanish language acquisition, with the aim of students becoming better equipped to listen, understand, and communicate with Spanish-speaking patients and community members. One of the goals of this course is to increase awareness of language learning and the need for translation services. Additionally, this course will increase student understanding of diverse cultural issues related to the care of Spanish-speaking populations in Baltimore.
This course will introduce the inseparable link between emotional health and spiritual maturity, and with critical reflection on Peter and Geri ScazzeroScazzero’s thesis that it is not possible to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature. The course will examine the contemplative rhythms of Jesus ’life and an overview of historic contemplative practices. Students will have the opportunity to learn and practice emotionally healthy discipleship skills with the goal of developing a “Rule of Life” that prioritizes sabbath, delight, and other healthy rhythms.
This course will provide a specialized psychology course designed for multi disciplinary health science majors. The disproportionate burden of HIV/AIDS in global cities coupled with a decrease in HIV mortality and morbidity have created an opportunity to apply principles and values of community psychology to help guide our understanding of the complex interplay of environmental and individual-level drivers that influence HIV primary prevention and care for persons living with HIV. Community psychology, the study of person-environment interactions, offers a unique perspective on how social structures, neighborhoods, and individuals shape HIV prevention and care delivery particularly for communities living in urban poverty. Specific theories of participatory action research, multi-level community interventions, structural dimensions of HIV stigma, HIV syndemic framework, and public health policy implications will be critically examined and discussed in this course.
This course is designed for multi-disciplinary health science undergraduate students. Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health and illness in human populations with application of methods of understanding disease dynamics and improving health outcomes. This course introduces students to the history, basic principles, and methods of epidemiology with a focus on global and urban case studies. This course includes epidemiology laboratory learning with applications of the methods used to measure disease frequency and the association between exposures or risk factors and health outcomes; epidemiological study designs and sources of study error and bias; screening; outbreak investigation; and assessment of causality.
This course covers the history of Baltimore from its founding in 1729 to the present. The course includes an analysis of the history of the city from documented historical church sermons, community meetings, and public hearings. History of racialized spaces, history of rich and poor spaces, and urban and suburban dynamics. Students will be encouraged to undertake research projects in areas of their own interests.
This course will be an overview of the New Testament with emphasis on the themes, purposes, and historical context of each book. Students will examine the different literary genres, key persons, and events. One of the goals of the course is the practical application for students to learn to live a deeply anchored life that's sustained by The Spirit and God’s Word.
This course will introduce and examine the Person, the work, and the promise of The Holy Spirit as revealed in Scripture. Students will gain an understanding of the empowering role of The Holy Spirit in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, and how He is promised to empower Christians in our present day. One of the goals of the course is to provide guidance for students to learn how to live and minister in The Holy Spirit in their context.
Rev. Upshaw has more than 30 years of experience as an urban and multicultural pastor. He is passionate about teaching spiritual formation, emotionally healthy leadership, and theology to college students and public health practitioners. He served as the Assistant Director of the Office of Christian Outreach at Wheaton College, he is ordained with the Evangelical Free Church of America, and served as the denomination's National Director of African-American Ministries, and was the Dean of Students at Hope Academy in Minneapolis. Rev. Upshaw now provides leadership and oversight of all Baltimore community partnerships, internships, and is the pastor and spiritual director of all programs, faculty, and staff of the Baltimore Urban Studies. Danté and his wife Beverly live in Baltimore and have three children.
Dr. Hughes, has 28 years of international and multi-cultural experience. He co-founded The Mango Project with his wife Avrey Hughes, he founded and directed the Global Health Perspectives program at Denver College of Nursing, and worked with the leadership of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and the Uganda Studies Program to establish and Coordinate the Global Health Emphasis at Uganda Christian University. He earned his BA in Interdisciplinary Studies of Anthropology and Biology from Wheaton College, his M.Sc. in Biotechnology from Rush University, and his Ph.D. in Education from Ashford University. As the Academic Director and Associate Professor, Dr. Hughes provides student mentorship, instruction, academic leadership, and curriculum oversight for the Baltimore Urban Studies.
Depending on the program you select, you will need to check with your college or university for exact costs. However, in most cases if you are a student at one of our partner schools a semester in Baltimore will not cost you more than what you are currently paying for school!
If you are not currently enrolled in a college or university and would still like to attend, contact us.
Students may apply directly at landli.org/register. Applications will be accepted through June 18th, 2021 on a rolling basis until all spots are filled. After registration is completed, student participation will be locked in once a $100 deposit is made. For further questions feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A $100 deposit is required to confirm a participant’s spot on the program after registration. The remaining balance will be due with a firm deadline of June 18th OR immediately upon acceptance if a student is formally accepted after the June 18th date.
Not included in the overall cost is roundtrip airfare in/out of Baltimore (airport code is BWI), some dinners, and any additional excursions or souvenirs purchased during the students free time.
The program cost is $2,800 which includes accommodations, all lunches, all breakfast, and most dinners. Program costs cover group excursions, 24/7 support staff, and tuition for 3 college credits.
Student safety is the utmost priority in all programming details. Prior to arrival, all students will be required to provide a negative Covid test within 72 hours before departure for Baltimore. Each morning a symptoms questionnaire will be electronically sent to students and a temperature check will be given prior to starting class. Additionally, students will be asked to wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizer whenever entering/leaving the students accommodations. Hand sanitizer stations will be provided throughout the student housing.
Each course has one dedicated professor and program host to assist in all program needs. The program host will be housed in the same building as students and be available 24/7 should students need assistance. Overall, a minimum of four faculty and staff members will be coordinating the experience for students.
The program will hold a balance of group excursions as well as free time for the students to complete homework assignments and explore Baltimore and Washington D.C. on their own. There will be a Group excursion in Washington D.C. that will include a public health and social justice Field Learning experience, an overnight stay at a hotel, and a free day for sightseeing and touring museums. All group excursions are subject to availability and may be changed/cancelled due to Covid regulations should the need arise.
On a typical day, students will wake up and have breakfast. then submit a symptoms questionnaire prior to joining the rest of the students, and come to class early to receive a daily temperature check. Throughout the day students will engage in both classroom instruction from their professor as well as on-site and in-field instruction from expert speakers and community leaders. Lunch will be provided each day for the students either catered in or at a local Baltimore restaurant. After on-site and in-field instruction has wrapped up, daily debrief time will be conducted collaboratively for both classes. Students will have most evenings free to explore the city, do homework, or join a group excursion.
Students will be responsible for booking their own flight to and from Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI). Upon registration, students will receive a suggested flight itinerary and arrival and departure window in which they will need to book their flight.
The in-person experience will start on July 26, 2021. Students will arrive on Monday, July 26 and depart on Saturday, August 7. One week of online instruction (7/19 - 7/23) will occur the week before the in-person experiential learning calls will happen in the weeks leading up to the program.
Credit for these courses will be offered through College of the Ozarks. Students will need to meet with their academic advisor and Registrar office on their home campus to ensure all are aware they will be bringing in transient credit. At the end of the two week course a final grade will be administered and a transcript will be sent directly to the student’s home institution.
The Baltimore Urban Studies is aligned with pressing issues we face in today's society. Students will have the opportunity to address topics they are passionate about such as social justice and public health while studying near our nation’s capital. Whether taking one of the courses as a major core credit or a meaningful elective, students will enjoy an intentionally catered itinerary that confronts difficult topics while hearing from a wide range of spiritual, academic, and community leaders.