Psychology

Orphans & Vulnerable Children

“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” Isaiah 1:17

An estimated 101
million
children have lost just their father.

An estimated 17.8
million
children have lost both of their parents.

Serve the Father by serving the fatherless

Whether you are interested in working with refugees, foster care, orphans, or in anti-trafficking efforts, Taylor University's Orphans & Vulnerable Children major (OVC) will equip you to address the multi-faceted problems facing vulnerable. This program is designed to provide a theoretical grounding in child development, sociological factors, and global health issues, as well as immersive learning experiences that will allow you to competently serve the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of these children.

With a council of expert professionals helping advise the program, the OVC major prepares students through teaching best practices and a holistic model of care. You, as one of Taylor's OVC students, will study on current trends in orphan/child care and interventions, fund-raising, non-profit management, and health—all of which will be complemented by significant practical experience.

Students will get a real-world exposure to local and global issues vulnerable children face by participating in two internships-one local or national and one international. By having one global and one domestic practicum, students will receive a multi-angle perspective of child care while becoming aware of cultural biases, identifying differences in ethical issues, practicing humility and sensitivity, and building unconventional thinking skills.

In two specialized monitoring and evaluation classes, you will consult with local and global organizations about the effectiveness of their work. Join in the data collecting and analysis process, and discover data-informed techniques that will help you best assess the quality of care intervention.

Our students also receive technical training in grant writing, policy development, and intervention. They explore topics such as family systems, intercultural awareness, disaster relief, and the impact of violence and trauma on children. This range of knowledge will equip our graduates to serve non-profit, missions, non-governmental (NGO), or governmental work as they feel called.

Crossing disciplines to target a global need

Orphans and Vulnerable Children

Where most majors emerge from established disciplines, Taylor University's Orphans and Vulnerable Children major was created to give students interdisciplinary training targeted at addressing a universal need. With an estimated 153 million orphans in the world today, the OVC major pulls together multiple disciplines—public health, sociology, education, social work, psychology, international studies and relations, and business—to allow students to acquire a strong goal-oriented skillset and an inter-disciplinary understanding of serving vulnerable children world-wide.

With the crossover into many different academic disciplines, students are encouraged to pair this major with another major and/or minor in a variety of fields, such as public healthpsychologysociology, PPE, and missions/intercultural relations.

Degree Options*

*Official curriculum guides will be available starting Summer 2018.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of person is this major for?

The Orphans & Vulnerable Children major is for someone who is passionate about vulnerable children and wants to explore his or her calling as it relates to their needs. These students should be searching for the route to best equip themselves with the technical skills to serve this population.

What do you mean by "vulnerable children"?

All children are technically vulnerable. But, in the international community, the term "vulnerable children" refers to young persons under the age of 18 who are unprotected, unable to receive adequate care, or unable to cope with or recover from a systemic loss of power (economic hardship, lack of stability, social exclusion, etc.). Vulnerability is most often identified in orphans-children who have lost a mother, a father, both parents, or a primary caregiver.

Will we study other vulnerable populations, or just children?

The OVC major directly addresses the needs of vulnerable children, but related to vulnerability, you will also learn about resiliency, trauma, refugee migration, and trafficking—all of which impact broader populations. The technical skills you receive in this major would also help you pursue multiple types of humanitarian work, in addition to direct care for children.

If I'm not a Psychology, Social Work, or Sociology major, how will I get a job?

When students study these individual disciplines, they often gain surface-level knowledge of a large academic field. Orphans & Vulnerable Children majors will narrow in on their passion for at-risk children and acquire a robust, interdisciplinary understanding of the work of intervening in the life of vulnerable children, whether through community development, missions, non-profit work, etc. Our students will gain the skills that specifically matter in these fields. Because of the professional connections already linked to the OVC program, our faculty will also bring professionals into class, help students network, recommend students for internships, and assist students in shaping their resumes.