An HCD program is primarily an academic program, normally offered by academic institutions and part of the course mix of the hosting institution. It is typically designed to lead the student towards academic credentialing or other recognition (Certificate, Diploma, Degree or Master level), intentionally equipping Christians and future church leadership for ministry to children in and outside the Church. Along with deeper biblical and theological reflection, HCD programs provide more opportunity for research and scholarship than most other equipping programs. Experience shows that providing programs in holistic child development can have a revolutionary effect on students and on the institutions themselves.
Features of HCD Programs
- Emphasize on biblical and theological research and reflection as foundation for all courses and approaches to learning.
- View children as present and visible – at the very heart of what the Scriptures say about God’s kingdom, the Church, and mission.
- Produce Christian leadership who view ministries to children as strategic to the mission and growth of the church.
- Provide opportunities to develop skill competencies in all aspects of ministry to children both inside and outside the church.
- Understand the reality of the “4/18 Window” and thus, carefully and sensitively promote evangelism and discipleship of children as part of the caring strategies.