Master of Divinity in Intercultural Studies

Overview

We live in a world where the needs are overwhelming! Ministry is very challenging, even in our own country. When God calls an individual to minister the gospel in another culture and country, it requires a thorough knowledge of how one preserves the timeless truth of Scripture while ministering in an entirely different context! The M.Div. in Intercultural Studies is designed to do just this.

Students pursuing the Intercultural Studies track of the Master of Divinity degree take 18 hours of intercultural studies classes as part of the regular 90 hour curriculum of the program. This helps students to prepare more strategically for cross-cultural and multicultural ministries in mission or urban settings. Many ministries in today's world, with its mosaic of cultures and worldviews, require tools and understanding that this curriculum in intercultural ministries provides.

All five concentrations have a strong component of practical field experience, a 12-hour apprenticeship, built into the requirements.

Course Requirements for Master of Divinity in Intercultural Studies

Courses

Examples of courses in this major:

MI501 Biblical Theology of Mission

A course on the biblical basis and theological framework for world mission showing how that endeavor is the appropriate and necessary response to our Lord’s presentation of the central responsibilities of all believers: Love God and love people. A closing unit in the class aims at helping prepare students for suffering and possible persecution.

MI603 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.

MI606 Applied Cultural Anthropology

The nature of man and how his culture affects him 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 the person in his perception and understanding of the physical and spiritual world around him and, ultimately, his 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.

MI609 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 to 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.

MI610 History of World Missions

The backgrounds and development of the mission enterprise from the apostolic period until the present are analyzed in view of their benefit to the intercultural task before us today. Careful study is made of missionary families, especially by looking at a number of well known missionaries and how their families functioned. Students will complete this course with a working overview of God’s movement of the Gospel around the world through very special but imperfect servants.

Faculty

Careers