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Course 502: Organizational Systems

SKU: CVC 435/502

Students are introduced to systems theory with a focus on organizational systems to see the world in terms of interconnected patterns that constitute human, technical and natural systems, and to learn how to reinforce or change these systems appropriately. Students focus on a technology-focused organization to document their interconnected systems such as goals, strategy, environments, structures, processes and people. They map the alignment of these subsystems in order to consider leverage points for improvement, especially in respect to power dynamics, funding, or organizational communications.

This course will help students to:

  1. Use organizational theory to better understand, map and model internal and external organizational environments.
  2. Model systems of funding, communication and power to synthesize new insights into organizational and social systems relevant to ministry.
  3. Understand how to build effective systems models using spreadsheets and diagramming software.
  4. Apply systems thinking to common strategic issues faced in technology-focused organizations.
  5. Understand the systems complexity to understand the limitations of of reductionist, quantitative methods.
  6. Understand how to adapt the principles of systems thinking into the living systems of ministries.


Title Cost
Meadows, Donella. H., & Wright, Diana. (2008). Thinking in systems: A primer. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green. $15.65

Steinke, P. L. (2006). How your church family works: Understanding congregations as emotional systems. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN: 9781566993296


Burton, Richard M., Obel, Borge, & DeSanctis, Gerardin. (2011). Organizational design: A step-by-step approach (2nd ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press.  ISBN: 978-0521180238

Total Book Cost $96.23
Total Tuition Cost $800.00
Total Cost of Course, including Books (at Full Price) $896.23


To register for this course:

  1. If you are not already a student: Apply Now & agree to the terms of the included Enrollment Agreement. Once your application is approved, log in to Populi to register.
  2. If you are a student: log in to Populi, and register from your student dashboard.

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