Regis University Develop Practice prepares you to collaborate effectively with a variety of development actors from a integrated, inter-sectoral and global perspective. With this education, you will be able to facilitate holistic development solutions, ranging well beyond the silo of a single discipline. With an eye to social justice, you’ll navigate economic, political, and cultural complexity for lasting development impact. Moreover, your degree will set you on a path of lifelong learning through a discipline of critical reflection.


Achieving a just and sustainable planet demands a holistic policy and attention to the lived realities of communities around the world. To meet this challenge, Regis offers an integrated and collaborative development education for aspiring and current development practitioners. 

Two Development Practice options are available: 

Master of Development Practice
Development Practice Graduate Certificate


MDP students will receive program communication through an assigned Regis student email account. Course specifics will be delivered through D2L, a learning management system that students use to complete their coursework. Personal email accounts will not be used to communicate program or course information. 

The Development Practice Student Resource Portal (SRP) is located in D2L. The SRP allows students to share news, seek advice and discuss issues as a program community. Career opportunities, a student handbook, master’s thesis information and field immersion opportunities are also available on the SRP.

New Student Orientation

Base Camp, our new student orientation, takes places over two to three mornings prior to the start of classes. During Base Camp, students learn about the academic and cultural expectations of the development practice program, its curriculum and various resources. Base Camp concludes with an outdoor activity in the Denver metro area.

Student Support and Resources

Regis University’s Learning Commons provides academic support for students, like tutoring services, one-on-one and group workshops and writing help from trained ESL students in The Writing Center.

The Regis University Library also provides a full range of online and on-campus services and resources, including the development practice Library Guide (LibGuide), specifically designed as a research source for DP students. Online access to librarians through the Jesuit university library network provides 24-hour access to research guidance.

Additionally, MDP students are represented in the Students and Alumni Advisory Council (SAAC) of the Global Association of Master of Development Practice (GAM) programs. SAAC gives students a professional platform for job opportunities, networking and promotion of the MDP brand to employers.

Our Faculty

Emily Van Houweling
Emily Van Houweling has a Ph.D. in Planning, Governance and Globalization and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech. She has over a decade of experience in international development in nine sub-Saharan Africa countries. Her experience began as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali and includes several large, collaborative research and development projects with a variety of partners. Van Houweling’s research explores issues of equity, sustainability and governance in relation to water and sanitation services. She has taught development courses at the University of Denver’s Korbel School for International Studies and Virginia Tech.

Mairi-Jane Fox
Mairi-Jane Fox has a Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environment from the University of Vermont and a M.S. in Ecological Economics from the University of Edinburgh. Her professional experience includes research in sustainable impact investing, corporate social responsibility and ecological economics. Fox has taught at Colorado charter schools, as well as Colorado State University and Champlain College. 

Karla Esser
Karla Esser has an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Northern Colorado and a M.A. in Education: Teaching and Learning from Regis University. She has taught at various universities, including Regis University, the University of Colorado and Colorado State University, as well as Aurora, Elizabeth and Aurora Public Schools in Colorado. She is also a member of numerous organizations including the Colorado Association of School Executives, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the Colorado Staff Development Council. 

Jude Fokwang
Jude Forkwang has a Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of Toronto and a M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Pretoria. His research has focused on the cultures and peoples of West and Southern Africa. He teaches and researches a wide variety of topics including transnational migration, citizenship, associational life, the politics of traditional leadership and democratization, development and globalization, as well as contemporary African youth identities. His research focuses on the internal developments that have shaped world views, politics, aspirations and imaginaries of the future.

Fokwang released his début documentary, “Something New in Old Town,” which examines the lives of young people as agents of communal change in urban Africa, in 2016. 

Joshua N. Knight
Joshua N. Knight, P.E., Ph.D., C.W.P., graduated from the University of Colorado with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, from the University of South Carolina with a M.E. in Chemical Engineering and from the University of Colorado at Denver with a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (Sustainable Urban Infrastructure). He has twenty years of experience in water, wastewater, environmental and sustainability engineering fields. 

Knight is a Program Engineer at Global Hope Network International (GHNI) in Denver, CO and walks alongside communities to empower villagers to lift themselves out of poverty using local staff to provide knowledge-sharing in the areas of water, food, health, education and income generation. 

Cristin Lasser
Cristin Lasser has a Ph.D. in Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity from the University of Colorado Boulder and an M.A. in Teaching: Elementary Education from Brown University. She has taught at various universities, including Regis University, Colorado Mountain College and the University of Colorado Boulder. Lasser is also a member of numerous organizations, including Higher Educators in Linguistically Diverse Education and Culture, Language and Social Practices and the Comparative and International Education Society.

Ursula Miniszewski
Ursula Miniszewski holds an M.A. in International Studies and a B.A. in History. She is the Program and Development Officer of Gender and the Environment at Global Greengrants Fund. She is a contributing author of award-winning “Climate Justice and Women's Rights: A Guide to Supporting Grassroots Women's Actions,” and co-coordinator of the Summit on Women and Climate. As part of her work at Global Greengrants, she travels around the world speaking about the gendered impacts of climate change and environmental degradation. Miniszewski has experience working on women’s human rights issues in Africa, Europe and Latin America, and internationally focused nonprofits that advocate for women’s rights to a clean, healthy and safe environment. 

Mark Reiner
Mark Reiner, Ph.D., has co-led infrastructure assessment for the Kigali and Rwamagana Master Plans in Rwanda, as well as lead for the initial geotechnical assessment of the proposed new Kigali International Airport location near Nyamata. He served as the first projects director for Engineers Without Borders, where he advised and participated in the project design and approach of dozens of sustainable water, sanitation, alternative energy and structural projects in communities throughout the developing nations of the world.

Dr. Reiner has contributed to the City and County of Denver’s GreenPrint Denver sustainability plan, co-authored Denver’s first carbon footprint and performed a ten-month water/wastewater technology pilot project in Haiti with the UN Mission to Stabilize Haiti. Recently, he formed an IT firm that analyzes utility energy and water data and has opened a private consulting practice. 

Susan Rifkin
After earning two degrees in Chinese studies, Susan Rifkin, Ph.D., worked at the US Academy of Science and the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex UK. She has taught at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the London School of Economics, the Tata Institute of Social Science and several European schools of tropical public health. 

Rifkin lived in Asia for 10 year, where she became the first coordinator of the Community Health Action Network and has helped establish two master degree programs in community health and management, one in German and one in Kenya. She has been widely published on the topic of community participation in health, including developing frameworks for assessing community needs and analyzing and evaluating community participation in health.

Eric Ross

Eric Ross is a professional geospatial researcher and has worked on projects related to urban studies, environmental science, health and built environment, and planning and design for the past 8 years. He is a lecturer in the Departments of Geography Environmental Sciences and Planning and Design at the University of Colorado Denver and for the past 5 years has taught urban studies, mapping and map analysis, geographic information systems (GIS), and cartography and computer mapping. 

Ross is the owner of Five Points Geoplanning LLC, which provides cartography, data analysis and geovisualization among other services. He works with a variety of local, regional, state and national organizations, agencies, and other consultants on projects from historical GIS to future land use development, demographics, and health and the built environment.