Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies

Overview

A major part of ministry in God's work today is in an international setting, either in missions, where it is cross-cultural, or in a person's home country, where it is multicultural. Missionaries and pastors must be spiritually and practically prepared to be effective in our changing world with its variety of cultural worldviews. To prepare people for this ministry, Grace Theological Seminary offers a 48-hour Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies.

This degree includes coursework in Bible, theology, hermeneutics, spiritual formation and prayer, intercultural and missions courses, and a six-credit hour required internship.

Course Requirements for Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies

Courses

Examples of courses in this major:

MI 6030 Intercultural Communication

A study of the principles and processes of communicating effectively with people from a second cultural context. The course focuses on functional perception and how cultural worldview, beliefs and values affect that through the personal perception of each individual. The shaping of the message, style of communication and communication networks for each cultural context are explored with a view to penetrating each culture as deeply as possible with the Gospel. The dangers of ethnocentrism and some current methods of contextualization are discussed.

MI 6060 Applied Cultural Anthropology

The nature of humans and how their culture affects them are explored with a view to how this, in turn, affects ministry in intercultural contexts. Worldview assumptions and resulting values, beliefs, behavior and attitudes are studied as to how they affect people in their perception and understanding of the physical and spiritual world around them and, ultimately, their understanding of the Gospel. Social organization is examined as to how it affects ministry strategy and the nature of culture change is investigated with a view to evangelism.

MI 6080 Teamwork and Leadership Training in Missions

The student will study the biblical principles that mandate teamwork in the world mission task, concentrating on the unity of the Godhead as the ultimate model for all unified human relationships. Attention is given to God’s model of reproducing reproducers as His intended normative approach to leadership. The transcultural application of the relationship of Father, Son and Holy Spirit will be carefully studied.

MI 6090 Principles of Contextualization

This course prepares the student to fit evangelism, church planting, church development and relief ministries into the social and cultural context of the receiving people. It majors on preparing missionaries to plant Christianity in the soil of the targeted people group, so it will grow up within their context rather than spread a veneer of Christian values over that culture. The contextualization of methodology, theology, and forms and expressions in the local church is discussed. The danger of Western values being expressed in Bible interpretation and the importance of taking into consideration the religious worldview and the definitions used in the receiving culture are discussed. Emphasis is given as well to the differences of the cultural context within which the biblical text was written.

MI5110 Understanding World Religions

In this course, the belief systems of major religions are studied with a view to understanding why the tenets make sense and drive behavior for the adherents. How each religion affects the host culture and how the culture affects the religion will be explored. The inadequacies of each belief system will be discussed in light of the adequacy of Christianity. An introductory understanding of biblical theology is assumed. 

Faculty

Careers