Poverty Studies Summer Institute

The Poverty Studies Summer Institute is a unique study opportunity that brings together students, practitioners and ministry workers into an intimate learning community. Over a 3 week period, participants will engage in active learning and discussion about the causes and impacts of poverty and best practices in how to alleviate and end it. 

The Summer Institute offers courses that respond to the material, social and spiritual dimensions of poverty providing both the knowledge and skill base to work effectively in the practice of poverty reduction. The program will consist of 3 one-week intensive courses which may be eligible for credit for Ambrose University degree programs.


Program 2018


Collaborative Leadership for Social Change

An examination of the elements of transformative collaborative leadership in order to equip students in the practice of community organizing, teaching them to reflect on their leadership capacity by engaging in a social change project. These skills are important because leadership that unites communities to take shared action is critical for social change and for developing strong communities.

LE 637, May 28 - June 1
Instructor: Ryan Anderson


Sustainable Development Goals

An exploration of the global Sustainable Development Goals and their historical development, their national application, and their integration into Albertan business, government, and civil society. The course will move from a broad theoretical understanding of a United Nations framework to an applied survey of how such goals and indicators can be applied to improve society through collaboration and innovation. Instruction will consist of lectures, experienced guest speakers and co-lecturers, reflective discussion, and case studies.

BUS/DVST307, May 28 - June 1
Instructor: Angie Redecopp


Co-op Development for Poverty Reduction

An overview of co-operative enterprises and co-operative development as an effective approach to poverty reduction. Participants will learn about the co-operative movement, its history in Canada and internationally, and the values and principles of co-operatives and their contribution to resolving social, environmental, and economic challenges. The course includes skill building in leadership development. Instruction will be provided by Coop Zone, Canada's leading provider of co-op development education.

BUS / DVST 406 June 4 - 8
Instructor: Eric Tusz-King, CoopZone and Randy Poon

Human Rights and Poverty

1-Day or 3-Day Workshop
Professional Development

Participants can register for a one-day introductory workshop (June 4), or a three-day intensive course (June 4-6). Through this workshop and course participants gain an understanding of key poverty-related issues along with the knowledge and skills to engage and address poverty in Canada as a violation of human rights. Taking an enriching, active learning approach, both the workshop and the course combine listening, group work, self-reflection and the practical application of knowledge through prescribed hands-on exercises.

Extend Your Learning with Theory, Theology and Practice Course
Full Course for Credit or 5-day Professional Development

Building on the three-day version of the Human Rights and Poverty Workshop, this extended course provides theological context for human rights and poverty work alongside an understanding of how human rights are situated within Judeo-Christian theology. The course also examines how human rights might be augmented/adapted, and how a human rights framwork can facilitate collaboration between secular and faith-based work.

PV 502June 4 – 8
Workshop Instructor: TBA
Extension Instructor: Derek Cook

Working with Vulnerable populations

This course will focus on basic skills and practice when working with individuals who are vulnerable and/or experiencing homelessness. It will explore the challenges faced by individuals who are vulnerable and homeless, such as lack of education and job skills, poor mental and physical health, and addictions. It will also address the importance of case management , its components, and effectiveness. The course is meant to prepare students interested in working with at-risk persons in this population to provide competent and client-centered help.

PS/DVST 306,  June 4-8
Instructor: Alma Fourie

Community Development for Local Congregations

An introduction to how local congregations can apply the theory and practice of community development to engage their local community and be catalysts for change. Definitions, principles and practices of community development will be discussed, with special emphases on poverty reduction and holistic community transformation from a Christian perspective. Special emphasis will be on poverty and the role of congregations in local poverty reduction.

DVST 309, June 11 - 15
Instructor: Randy Poon


Intersections between Poverty & Government Policy

The course will examine the intersection of social policy and government. Students will discover how governments work, the role of the lobbyist, how a law is formed, how a law is passed, and what happens after the law is passed. The impact of the law, both positive and negative consequences, will be considered. The course will look at current Canadian social programs to determine if they empower people to move out of poverty. It will examine competing theories of anti-poverty and a range of approaches to research on poverty. Consideration will be given to welfare reform and alternative models such as Basic Income and Negative Income Tax. Students will visit the municiple council chambers to observe both council and standing policy committees. Finally, students will consider the structure of a National Poverty strategy. 

BHS 450,  June 11 - 15
Instructor: John Rook

Sociology of Poverty

An examination of the social images, constructions, understandings, and experiences of poverty in Canada. It also draws on the sociological perspective to explore the causes of and possible solutions to poverty.

SO 399,  June 11 - 15
Instructor: Kristen Desjarlais-deKlerk


Registration and Fees

Professional Development

  • 5-day course  $500
  • 3-day workshop  $250
  • 1-day workshop  $100

Register for Credit (Open Studies Students)

  • Cost: $1361 / course
    • subject to change

Ambrose University Students

    Accommodation is available for out of town students in the Ambrose University residence at a rate of $50.00 per day or $275.00 per week. Please email SpecialEvents for more information about residence accommodation.

    For More Information Contact: PovertyInstitute@ambrose.edu