Sample SOP Community and Development


Type or print a statement of approximately 500 words (master’s level applicants), 600 words (doctoral level applicants), or 350 words (MAPMin or MAYM applicants). List your objectives for seeking the degree to which you are applying. Include the nature and purpose of your interest in pursuing graduate education to meet your personal, professional, and academic goals; your philosophical perspective; and an indication of what you hope to accomplish professionally in ten years following the completion of your proposed course of study. (Use a second sheet if more space is needed).


Poverty is not a lack of things, or ambition…it is a lack of options.

It is a never ending cycle from generation to generation, because each generation is born into a life with little or no opportunities…a life without hope.



Since hearing this fascinating view on poverty, during my advocacy training for Compassion Canada, I have included it in my world view, and have come to realize that this is something I have been trying to change since junior high.


Background and Motivation

In 1994 I participated in my first social service project. In a junior high classroom of 11 students I learned to skillfully pack, and wrap, a gift-filled shoe box to be delivered to a boy or girl around the world I would never meet. This simple hands-on project called Operation Christmas Child exposed me to the world of international relief, and the joy of humanitarian service. I have been doing it ever since.


Since then, I have realized that shoe boxes were a good start, but I could do more. Over the years the Lord has blessed me with opportunities to aid others both at home, and overseas. In the spring of 1999, I participated in a short-term mission trip with students from my school to Guadalajara, Mexico. This two-week field experience allowed me to build, and develop interpersonal skills with the team of students, and faculty as we built a school.


Living near our worksite also gave me the chance to immerse myself in the local community by eating, singing, touring the country, and working alongside the youth in our neighborhood and the local tradesmen. This interaction provided me with an invaluable lesson (what did you learn or what was the lesson)  in the importance of community involvement within humanitarian service.


Why graduate studies at Andrews University?

I have chosen to pursue graduate studies because it will enable me to develop, strengthen my leadership, management and organizational skills through courses such as Concepts of Community Development, and a hands-on field practicum.


I believe my open-mindedness, concern for others, enthusiasm, and willingness to learn are the qualities I would bring to the Behavioral Science Department, and CIDP program. These qualities have led me from working with international students as the assistant to the Transitions Coordinator/International Student Advisor during my undergraduate studies at Southern Adventist University; to child sponsorship and recently becoming a volunteer advocate for Compassion Canada, a Christian child development ministry.


These experiences have created in me a desire to explore the complex issues associated with cultural diversity, both nationally and internationally through the Intercultural Relations concentration. Because of your strong history of service to the local and international community I believe an MSA in Community and International Development from Andrews will prepare me for future challenges in this field, and help me spread a little hope through more than just gift-filled shoe boxes once a year.


I want to develop, create opportunities, and support any community I live in, whether locally or abroad until Jesus comes.