Whether you are interested in working with refugees, foster children, orphans, or in anti-trafficking efforts, Taylor University’s Orphans & Vulnerable Children major (OVC) will equip you in best practices designed to serve vulnerable children in global and local contexts by meeting emotional, physical, and spiritual needs.
The OVC major incorporates classes from Public Health, Missions, Education, Social Work, Psychology, and Anthropology. You will also take unique courses will provide an overview of the current struggles vulnerable children worldwide face regularly.
You, as one of Taylor’s OVC students, will study current trends in orphan/child care and interventions, fundraising, non-profit management, and health—all of which will be complemented by significant practical experience.
Students will gain 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 orphan care while becoming aware of cultural biases, identifying differences in ethical issues, practicing humility and sensitivity, and building unconventional thinking skills.
The holistic OVC curriculum is designed to help you acquire a strong and goal-oriented skill set, an interdisciplinary understanding, and practical steps for serving vulnerable children.
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.
Together, these OVC classes will help you become aware of culture and power differences through theological and ethical views of vulnerability, and attain technical skills such as competence in care, research, and policy.
With the crossover this field has with multiple academic disciplines, students are encouraged to pair this major with another major and/or minor. For example, students interested in a career in non-profit management or creative advocacy could add a major in management or marketing to further specialize their skills. Students interested in global work with orphans and vulnerable children could add a minor in TESOL to give them a competitive skill that is in high demand worldwide.
OVC majors who do not add another minor or major are required to take 9 additional credits in a specific area of study (such as psychology, public health, management, etc.). This will give students the ability to enter the workforce with a specified skill in addition those acquired in the major.
Students interested in course descriptions and academic policies can check out our Undergraduate Catalog here.
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 the needs of children. These students should be searching for the route to best equip themselves to improve the human condition. They should also be motivated by social justice, equity, and sustainability and constantly evolving in their careers as they research, learn, teach, and grow.
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.
The OVC major directly addresses the needs of vulnerable children, but related to vulnerability, you will also learn about resilience, 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.
The Orphans and Vulnerable Children major applies the Scholar-Practitioner framework. By using this model, we encourage our students to become lifelong learners and change agents in a global landscape. Through our coursework, our students gain a dynamic understanding of their field and have the opportunity to apply their learning to the cause of the vulnerable.
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. OVC students also will acquire a robust, interdisciplinary understanding of the work behind intervening in the lives of vulnerable children, whether the students’ interests lie in 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.