About 35 percent of the world’s poor people live in informal settlements, and their ranks are ever-increasing. University-sponsored training programs play a critical role in developing leaders who will join local citizens in community building. The MATUL program provides a two-year, formal academic training to equip workers to transform communities and reflect on the multifarious issues of informal settlement dwellers.
To face the tremendous challenges of outreach to the urban poor, the MATUL program provides Christian leaders with new knowledge, skills, and emotional and spiritual wisdom to present a transformational gospel to the unreached.
An orientation and training period in Los Angeles is the first step for all MATUL students. During this time, they live in community with one another near the Wilshire District and get to know their fellow classmates in an environment that encourages engagement with and application of classroom material. As part of the learning process, students also partner with emergent churches and movements in Los Angeles. Following the Los Angeles portion, students relocate to program sites abroad, taking with them the experiential skills they honed locally, or they stay involved in urban poor communities in the Los Angeles area.