Intercultural Studies

Course Outline

Taking the Word of God into cross-cultural contexts presents unique challenges. We offer appropriate training for those called to reach region and people groups around the globe. Global University allows you to study within a flexible time frame wherever you are. You may be interested in overseas mission and in need of formal training. Or you may have a full-time job and be unable to attend a university campus.

If you want to share God’s Word in new and diverse cultural contexts, both at home and abroad, Global University’s Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Studies is for you. You will learn how to relate to people of other faiths and cultures and in so doing, be able to better communicate the life-changing gospel message.

The Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Studies is designed to provide the biblical and theological knowledge needed for cross-cultural ministry. After successfully completing this curriculum, the student will be able to preach and teach the Word of God to varying and diverse people groups and cultures.

Course Content

Intercultural Studies

Cross-Cultural Communications
How do cultural differences affect the way people interact? How might one improve his or her communication skills in a shrinking world? Cross-Cultural Communications attempts to help the student discover answers to these current problems. Perhaps the most important aspect of this course relates to the word mission. The course is dedicated to helping the student become a sent one to present Christ and His kingdom in an environment other than his or her own. To do this, the course addresses how communication and culture relate, how to reach people where they are, how different people think and express ideas across cultures and subcultures, and how the thoughts and expressions of people affect their behaviour.

Christian Adult Education in Cultural Context
Through this course the student will be enabled to help others become effective teachers of adults. The course is designed to quicken the student to understand and apply the principles of Christian adult education to a program of church leadership training appropriate to his or her cultural context. It combines a study of theory, history, and practical application with a variety of anecdotes to illustrate the concepts. The focus is primarily on education and training for church leadership and ministry, although the principles can apply to other programs. The course also emphasizes the recognition of individual, cultural, environmental, and occupational demands that inform the shaping of a contextualized educational program. It is intended to provide the tools to enable educators to teach Christian adults with excellence.

Human Relations
Human Relations involves an analysis and application of the commandments given by the Lord in Matthew 22:34–40. The theme is love as typified by the Greek word agape. In this course, the author examines the agape concept thoroughly and applies it to every kind of human relationship. Based on a biblical model, this course focuses on practical applications for individuals in all their relationships: with God, with others, and with themselves.

Preparing and Preaching Bible Messages
The intention of this course is to give a clear understanding of the basic principles of Christian preaching. It stresses the prime place of biblical exposition in authoritatively communicating the Christian message. It deals with practical matters such as the preparation of sermons, sources of materials, construction of sermon components, variety of sermon types, and delivery of sermons. It also stresses the importance of preachers themselves in effectively communicating their messages.

Marriage Counselling: A Cross-Cultural Approach
Marital distress is universal. This course attempts to address the void of pastoral training in marriage counselling. Founded on God’s Word, it begins by looking at a model of lasting change based on a biblical theology. It examines key biblical passages to establish a clear understanding of God’s purpose for Christian marriage and presents a biblical-practical-motive model of marriage counselling. Marriage illustrations from various cultures help show how the biblical model can be a powerful tool in the pastoral counsellor’s hand.

Introduction to Missions
The orientation of Introduction to Missions is both biblical and contemporary. The Bible’s teaching on missions is outlined through both the Old and New Testaments. Two international and biblical missions themes are treated throughout this course: those of the redeemed people of God and Christ’s strategy of missions. A former missionary writes from his own years of experience.

The Bible and Missions
This course is a biblical study about the missionary task of the church. The Bible and Missions focuses on world evangelism and discipleship. The author emphasizes the lost condition of humankind and God’s plan of redemption. He presents the church as the agency God uses to reach the world with the gospel. The course introduces the student to the spiritual resources available to the church for this task. Biblical illustrations focus on the church’s and individual’s involvement in missions, emphasizing commitment and responsibility.

Introduction to Islam
This course is an introductory study of Islam, including its beliefs, practices, and present status as a world religion. The history of Islam is summarized, and key terms are defined. In the final unit, the author contrasts key beliefs of Islam with Christianity and offers practical guidelines for effective Christian witness to Muslims.

Christian Ministry in a Muslim Context
Christian Ministry in a Muslim Context was developed to train Christians to understand how to relate to the Muslim culture. The author writes from experience as a missionary for several years in South Asia and the Philippines. Students are introduced to the significantly different Islamic culture, worldview, and practices and the adjustments a Christian must make to appreciate, communicate, and relate to Muslims. Objectives for the course include how to contextualize an individual’s lifestyle to facilitate relevant ministry and how to prepare a contextualized message for sharing the gospel with Muslims. The course helps the student understand the spiritual conditions of the Muslim culture and what is helpful for effective ministry.

Philosophy of Missions
This course is composed of individualized special readings and/or research techniques to define a philosophy of missions. Any student desiring to complete this directed reading must submit a proposal to the Dean of the Undergraduate School of Bible and Theology. Global University provides a list of approved books that can be used to fulfil this directed reading. If a student would like to use books that are not on the approved list, a proposal for the directed reading course, detailing the books to be read and project to be completed, must be submitted to the International Office for approval by the Dean of the Undergraduate School of Bible and Theology. Course guidelines and a list of approved books may be found at

People and Their Beliefs
After an introduction to the concept of religion, the course surveys ten of the prominent living religions of the world: animism of the Majority World and religions of India (Hinduism and Sikhism), of East Asia (Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Shintoism), and of the Middle East (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). The course treats the origins, development, tenets, and literature of each and evaluates each in the light of Christian concepts. The course concludes with an analysis of the departure of heretical sects from orthodox Christian principles.

Thesis (Or Substitute two 3-Credit Modules)
A bachelor’s thesis is written under the direction of a Global University adviser. Students must be within six credits of completing all coursework required by the degree program before submitting their thesis proposal. Students must submit their enrollment for the thesis at the same time as they submit the thesis proposal. The thesis proposal must be developed by the student and approved by the Dean of the Undergraduate School of Bible and Theology before enrollment in this course is permitted. Once the thesis proposal is approved, students will have 12 months to submit the final copy of the thesis. Write to your Global University director for further information.


The Life of Christ in the Synoptic Gospels
This course is a study of the life of Christ from the viewpoint of the Synoptic Gospels—Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The Life of Christ in the Synoptic Gospels helps the student grasp the chronological progression and the spiritual significance of important events in Christ’s life. It also stresses His message and His method, including His parables and miracles. Organized around three themes—the world, the Man, and the message—this study helps students integrate their understanding of His life and work with a clear commitment to live by the principles He taught and the values He demonstrated. They are enabled to preach and teach about Christ with greater understanding and effectiveness.

Paul's Salvation Letters: Galatians and Romans
Paul’s Salvation Letters: Galatians and Romans gives the student a deep appreciation of the apostle Paul. In the midst of church planting, he explains the gospel, confronts false teachers,
distinguishes between law and grace, and shows how the gospel is rooted in Old Testament Scripture. His systematic explanation of the gospel to the Romans gives the student insight into the major doctrines of sin, salvation, and sanctification. The student also learns how union with Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit enable him or her to mature spiritually and live victoriously.

A Study of the Book of Hebrews
A Study in the Book of Hebrews uses both analytical and topical studies to develop the main themes in the Epistle to the Hebrews. An introductory study of the structure of the book helps the student see more clearly its relationship to the Old Testament and the pattern of its development. Historical information on the background of the book gives an understanding of its warnings and exhortations. Numerous charts and outlines emphasize the main truths of the Epistle and are of great value to those who want to preach or teach from Hebrews.

Principles of Biblical Interpretation
This course is divided into four units. The first unit presents fundamental truths that must be accepted before beginning a study of the Bible. The second unit deals with general principles of interpretation that are applicable to any type of literature. Specific rules that apply to special types of literature are overviewed in the third unit. In the final unit, the student is given sample passages of Scripture to which he or she will apply the guidelines of interpretation that have been learned.

How did the world come into existence? What is humanity? Why do we exist? How did evil come into the world? Paul Hoff discusses these and many other difficult questions in the interpretive Study Guide Genesis. He includes spiritual types and practical applications. He traces the thread of God’s plan of redemption from its beginning promise in Eden to the formation of God’s chosen people through whom this plan would be realized.

The Book of Acts
The author states that the approach of this IST is unapologetically Protestant, evangelical, conservative, and Pentecostal. An expansive study with eighteen lessons, this course is available only in a three-credit format, with a required collateral writing assignment (CWA). Students will learn and be able to defend evidences for the traditional dating and authorship of Acts as well as explain why these are important to the book’s historical reliability and spiritual authority. They will gain new appreciation for the work of the Holy Spirit and the foundations from which Pentecostal theology and practice developed. The students’ relationship with Christ and determination to be involved in building God’s kingdom will be enhanced.

How does one relate the Bible to contemporary church life? In the Corinthians Study Guide, the author helps the student do this through an in-depth study of the Corinthian letters. He begins with exegesis, teaching the student how to use this method of Bible study to understand the problems faced by first-century Corinthian believers. Then, for each major problem the apostle Paul dealt with, the author suggests a possible solution or an interpretation that can be applied to the church today. This course is
especially helpful to those who desire to preach and teach as it demonstrates a methodology of Bible interpretation. An overview of 2 Corinthians is also included in this study.

Wisdom Literature
This course introduces the student to the ancient pursuit of wisdom, both in Israel and among her neighbours, and the genre, content, and social context of the wisdom writings. The course examines both Old Testament wisdom books and wisdom writings produced in the period between the Testaments.Particular attention is given to themes that run throughout the wisdom tradition and the ways these themes develop and change in successive wisdom writings. The course also considers the ways wisdom writings helped shape the New Testament and continue to influence the church today.

Old Testament Literature: His Story
This course is a study of beginnings. It shows how the ancient, inspired Hebrew writers expressed in narrative form a record of God’s saving deeds from the beginning of God’s work with all humankind. From these narratives, students can see God’s unfolding plan of redemption through what Christians believe to be God’s revelation. Concepts like covenant, priesthood, law, trust, faithfulness, and righteousness come from the Old Testament. Such knowledge is basic to understanding the New Testament. The Old Testament is the only Bible Jesus, His followers, and the early believers had. Storytelling is one of the oldest methods of communicating from one generation to the next. Learn to tell God’s story from the record of the Old Testament and be equipped to pass it on to your generation and those to follow.

New Testament Literature
This course is intentionally a literary approach to understanding the New Testament and is not intended to be a survey course. More attention is given to understanding literature—especially divinely sponsored literature—than is given to survey the specific contents of each book. The overarching goal is to prepare students to appreciate and understand the New Testament more fully in its divinely ordained original context. The intent is that this understanding will better equip students to be faithful in interpreting the Word more closely to the authorial intent.


The person, work, gifts, and ministry of the Holy Spirit are the topics examined in this biblical study. Among the questions discussed from both the Old and New Testaments are these: Who is the Holy Spirit? What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit? How do I live a Spirit-filled life? Students are encouraged to apply these and other related biblical teachings to their own teaching and preaching ministries.

Man and Sin
Man and Sin is an introductory study of the biblical doctrines of the origin and nature of humankind and of the problem of sin and its effects. Students will learn to appreciate these subjects from a biblical, systematic, and, to a lesser extent, historical perspective. The course emphasizes biblical interpretation from the view of evangelical Christians, but this position is understood against the backdrop of predominant non-Christian worldviews.

The Bible and the Church
In The Bible and the Church, a basic study of bibliology and ecclesiology, the student investigates the nature and authority of the Scriptures. In the second half of the course, the authors consider the biblical basis for the church, its Old Testament antecedents, and its beginning, nature, and purpose.

Church Ministries

Great Commission Strategies
This course establishes a biblical theology of the Great Commission. It presents an in-depth study of evangelism and discipleship principles that are universal in their application. Important elements of Great Commission Strategies include the nature of the gospel message, the biblical definition of discipleship, and the methodology of Jesus. Challenges facing the church in multiple ministry contexts are also explored. Finally, the course integrates evangelism and discipleship, presenting them as two sides of a single task.

General Education

Orientation to GU Learning
This course assists new students in understanding the process and expectations of studying with Global University in the distance learning setting. It provides an overview of academic policies and guides students in developing skills in library usage, creative and critical thinking, reading and writing, study and note taking, and time management. Students identify personal learning styles to increase effective study practices and learn to make connections between personal views and other worldviews. They are introduced to how Global University courses are designed, become familiar with how to prepare assignments, and learn what to expect from three credit courses.

Managing Conflict
This course is a study of the effective managing of conflict, particularly in the church. The course draws from a scriptural foundation with input from contemporary Christian and leadership literature. It begins by exploring the definition of conflict and its stages, emphasizing why managing conflict is a key part of a leader’s role in helping the church’s mission. Conflict is understood further by examining sources of conflict, communication, and approaches to conflict. A key part of the course includes scriptural perspectives on conflict from Jesus’ teaching and biblical case studies. The leader’s role in managing conflict is considered, beginning with the leader’s heart and moving to strategies for managing and reducing conflict, as well as how churches, organizations, and leaders can grow during conflict.

Civilization Past and Present 1
This course traces the rise of both Western and Eastern civilizations from their preliterate beginnings. Consideration is given to the development of civilization in China, India, the Greco-Roman world, Eastern Europe, and Russia. The student becomes acquainted with the rise of Islam and the beginnings of civilization in Africa, Europe, and the Americas. This foundation leads to an understanding of states and political systems. As the history of world civilization is developed, a number of global issues are considered, including migration, religion and government, location and identity, and technological exchange. This course concludes with a review of the scientific revolution and the Enlightenment.

Civilization Past and Present 2
This course continues the study of world civilization from the time of the French political revolution and the Copernican scientific revolution. Consideration is given to the rise of Eastern and Western states and the development of modern nations. The student will witness early attempts to establish democratic governments and the formation of the bipolar world that continued through the twentieth century. Global issues include slavery, gender, world war, and international law. The course concludes with a review of world governance.

The Church: From Pentecost to the Reformation
The Church: From Pentecost to the Reformation is an introductory study of Christianity from its birth to the beginnings of the Reformation. The course provides an introduction to history as a scientific discipline and emphasizes the importance of history in relation to the Christian faith. The course deals with the apostolic church, the early church fathers, the ecumenical councils, the emergence of medieval theology and church practice, and the beginning of the Renaissance in Europe. Course content includes a consideration of the contribution of major Christian theologians, the relationship of the church and state, and the rise of monasticism and missions. The twelve lessons enable the student to apply insights from the past to contemporary situations.

The Church: From the Reformation through the 20th Century
This course provides an introductory
study of the history of Christianity from the sixteenth through the twentieth centuries. The student will consider renewal periods, organizational matters, theological issues, and geographic expansion. The student will also examine the lives and contributions of significant Christian preachers, leaders, and theologians, concluding with an assessment of recent trends such as the charismatic renewal and non-Western

*Note: This program requires students to complete an Intercultural Studies pre-test and post-test. The pretest must be completed before students request the final exam for their first course. The post-test is a part of the undergraduate capstone requirement. It is recommended that students begin working on the essay and verbal components of their capstone within six months of graduating. The post-test and Graduate Follow-Up Survey should be completed during their last course. All four capstone components should be submitted before requesting the final exam for their last course. There is no cost for these assessments.