Wartburg West Courses and Internships

During the Fall and Winter Terms, Wartburg West participants receive academic credit both for their internship or field experience and for classes taught by the program directors. Credits depend on the type of internship or field placement experience.


Directors Nelson and Bonita Bock are committed to finding and facilitating quality internship placements for Wartburg West students. They work closely with students to identify and secure placements that meet their needs and objectives. The directors welcome suggestions from students regarding companies and agencies to investigate. Students can expedite this process through the following steps:

  • Visit the internship coordinator in the Center for Community Engagement, second floor, Vogel Library. Click here for a sample list of internship sources.
  • Talk to current Wartburg West students. They can be a great help if they are working at a place that sounds interesting to you.
  • The Wartburg West directors request that students do not make contacts or inquiries on their own, because it complicates the placement process and compromises the program's established relationships. The directors will notify students when it is appropriate to initiate direct contact.

Field Experience for Certification in Education or Social Work
Students receive full-time academic credit for the field experience plus whatever seminar their department requires. The supervision and seminar instruction are provided by adjunct faculty contracted by the college for this purpose. Students also take a 1/2 credit course, Urban Lifestyles, taught by the program directors, which meets weekly and includes the other Wartburg West students.

Internships in Fields other than Education or Social Work
Students work in their internships three days per week and receive two credits. In addition, they take a one-credit course that fulfills an Interdisciplinary (ID) requirement, and a another one-credit course that fulfills a Faith and Reflection requirement (see course descriptions below).


Urban Lifestyles LS 260, 1/2 credit, (Fall, Winter)
Taken by education and social work majors, meets once per week with the Metropolis students (see below), taught by Wartburg West directors. From Course Catalog: Readings, activities in and around Denver, Colo., group discussions, written reflections exploring major issues in urban America as well as students' own participation in the life of the city. P-D-F only.

The Metropolis: Place of Convergence ID 360, 1 credit (Fall, Winter)
Taken by all students except education and social work majors. Half of the requirements for this course are met by participation in Urban Lifestyles class (see above). The other half of this course is fulfilled through additional requirements, including an independent community engagement project, which lead the students into a more in-depth exploration of urban life and the meaning of leadership and service in that context. This course may substitute for ID315, a requirement for Leadership certification. From Course Catalog: Participation in, analysis of, and reflection on urban life and issues from cultural, sociological, and environmental perspectives, including a community service project exploring dimensions of leadership and service in the city. A-B-C-D-F

Christian Faith and Politics in America (Winter) RE 325
Credit course taken by students other than education and social work majors, and taught by Wartburg West directors. Will fulfill Faith and Reflection requirement. This course examines, in historical context, the evolution of church-state issues in the United States and the various ways that Christian persons and organizations see fit to exercise their faith in the political realm. Takes advantage of the proceedings of the Colorado State Legislature as a real-time study of how these issues are played out in the political arena. Demonstrates familiarity with church/state issues in American political history; familiarity with legislative processes; familiarity with concepts and contending political philosophies in regard to church/state issues; familiarity with current political issues that exemplify the church/state tension.

Elements of Leadership LS 115, 1 credit (Fall Only)
Taken by sophomores, meets once per week for a three hour block. Requirements for this course are met by providing leadership to a community project in collaboration with other Denver community leaders, readings, and evaluating leadership theory against practice. Students will assess the success of local leadership as well as develop their own personal sense of leadership.

Immigrant Religions in Denver, Colo. (Fall Term) RE 324
This one-credit course, taken by students other than education or social work students, will fulfill a Faith and Reflection requirement. This course also satisfies a Diversity requirement under the Wartburg Plan of Essential Education. The primary objective is to understand the importance of religious identity and beliefs in the development of human society and its impact on culture. Demonstrates familiarity with various religious traditions that have made their way to the Denver area. Provides understanding of how and why various religious communities made their way to the Denver area, whether and how they have flourished or changed since their arrival, and what impact they have had on the history and culture of the wider community.

Prisons and Punishment RE/PJ 395, 1 credit (Fall Only)
Taken by all Wartburg West students except Education and Social Work majors, meets once a week. Fulfills Faith and Reflection requirement. The United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, expanding from fewer than 350,000 individuals in 1972 to over two million today, with a shocking seven million Americans (1 in every 31 adults) under the prison system’s control whether behind bars, on probation, or on parole. Those under the system’s control are disproportionately poor and/or people of color. This course will first offer frameworks to analyze what many identify as a grave social injustice. We will then learn about the experiences of those in prison by listening to their own voices, granting them authoritative sources on the subject. Finally, we will examine various responses to mass incarceration from prison ministry inside and outside prison walls to restorative justice efforts to the prison abolitionist movement.

Racism and White Privilege IS 201, 1 credit (Fall Only)
Taken by all sophomores, meets three times a week, fulfills IS201 requirement. This course demands both honesty and courage as it examines one of the most difficult and uncomfortable topics of ethical consequence: the continued reality of racism and white privilege. The course will examine the definition of race, racism, and privilege; will discuss the dynamics of racism and a variety of matters like the psychological damage of racism; will study ways to dismantle racism given the problems and possibilities of racial reconciliation; will examine a history of race as seen through the changing institutional forms of racism in the United States; and will evaluate the myth of a “post-racial society.” The course focuses on racism against African Americans, Native Americans, and Latino/as. Finally, while reading Tim Wise’s autobiography of race, White Like Me, the course provides the opportunity for self-reflection on one’s own story of race and racism and the opportunity to wrestle with encounters of diversity while in Denver.

McBride - IS 201 Living in a Diverse World: Racism and White Privilege
McBride - RE/PJ 395 Special Topics: Prisons and Punishment
B. Bock - LS 115 Elements of Leadership
Field Experience in the student’s major

3Y and 4Y Non-Education and Social Work majors
McBride - RE/PJ 395 Special Topics: Prisons and Punishment
N. Bock - ID 360 The Metropolis: Place of Convergence
2 credit Internship in the student’s major

3Y and 4Y Education and Social Work majors
N. Bock – LS 260 Urban Lifestyles (.5 credit)
Student Teaching or Social Work Practicum