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MA in Intercultural Ministry Leadership

The Master of Arts in Intercultural Ministry Leadership degree is designed to equip you, the leader, in today’s missions movement. Whether you will be serving on the front-lines as a missionary, working to develop national leaders, or serving as a strategic sender, this degree will help you accomplish your goals.

At the end of your degree you will:

  • Internalize and practice the spiritual disciplines that form the godly character necessary for transformational leadership.
  • Understand current issues and trends in global leadership.
  • Become aware of how differences in worldview and culture shape perspectives and practice in leadership.
  • Make effective use of the tools and methods available to leaders for understanding, shaping, and influencing the culture of the organization they lead.
  • Understanding the value and methods of collaborative relationships in intercultural settings.
  • Be able to cast vision and create a strategic plan in an intercultural leadership context.
  • Understanding how to develop leaders in an intercultural setting.
  • Have learned the skills and tools necessary to become a lifelong leader.

There are 2 different tracks you can take to accomplish your MA in Intercultural Ministry Leadership:

The Course Track is designed to be more content based and focuses on how you can implement the content your learning in the classroom immediately.

The Thesis Track is designed for those who want to further their education after an MA or teach at an advanced level. The thesis track is also beneficial for those interested in ministering overseas because some countries only acknowledge master’s degrees with a written thesis (for instance, Brazil).

Intercultural Ministry Leadership Core Classes - 2 Classes

Jesus as Leader
This course will examine key areas in which Jesus laid a foundation for intercultural leadership. It will particularly emphasize: guiding the student to study foundational issues related to servant leadership; and focusing on Jesus and the specific ways in which he modeled leadership for his disciples as well as for us today. As Jesus did in the first century, the student may find that much of his style of leadership runs countercultural to leadership theory and practice today. (3 Credits)

Spiritual Formation for Leaders
This course examines spiritual principles and examples that can be utilized in intercultural spiritual leadership. The student will study how God develops leaders, the essential qualities needed for spiritual leadership, and how to be successful and finish well as a spiritual leader. In addition, it will also address how to avoid common pitfalls that leaders encounter. Opportunities will be provided for personal evaluation and practice in one’s cultural context. (3 Credits)

Intercultural Ministry Leadership Electives - 4 Classes

You can choose any of the following 4 classes to fulfill your elective requirements:

Transforming Organizational Culture in Mission
Every organization, whether a church, mission, or secular business, has a personality, a way of doing
things, a culture that often has more impact on its effectiveness to its mission than the actual mission
vision and goals. Some organizational cultures are energized, healthy, and motivating to their members.
Some are mundane, others chaotic and toxic. The intent of this course is to help you develop an
understanding of the concept of ministry organizational culture, how it energizes or enervates the people
who are part of that culture, and how it helps or hinders the accomplishment of the organization’s vision
and goals. The course is very practical, with tools and keys to researching the culture of the organization,
perspectives of how members see it and where they would like it to be, and step-by-step methods for
transforming the culture of an organization as it is needed. Prerequisites: A church, mission, or NGO as a
context for research in this course. (3 Credits)

Leading Multicultural Teams in Missions.
Leading Multicultural Teams is a very complex process taking into account many things. This includes
the differences in worldview, sources of identity, ideals of achievement, orientations to authority,
responses to (or preferences for) ambiguity, different values in the ways by which knowledge is acquired,
perspectives on time, orientations to work and economic values, and other cultural differences which
often lead to misunderstanding and conflict. This course looks at biblical and servant-leader-oriented
perspectives on multicultural team leadership, contrastive cultural ways of perceiving and functioning,
foundational traits and attitudes for managing the multicultural team, how to work with people who have
differing cultural values, how to handle conflict, how to develop effective “intercultural intelligence,” and
how to lead a multicultural team. (3 Credits)

Lifelong Christian Leadership Development
Leading Multicultural Teams is a very complex process taking into account many things. This includes
the differences in worldview, sources of identity, ideals of achievement, orientations to authority,
responses to (or preferences for) ambiguity, different values in the ways by which knowledge is acquired,
perspectives on time, orientations to work and economic values, and other cultural differences which
often lead to misunderstanding and conflict. This course looks at biblical and servant-leader-oriented
perspectives on multicultural team leadership, contrastive cultural ways of perceiving and functioning,
foundational traits and attitudes for managing the multicultural team, how to work with people who have
differing cultural values, how to handle conflict, how to develop effective “intercultural intelligence,” and
how to lead a multicultural team. (3 Credits)

Measuring and Improving Christian Leadership. 
Extensive research over the past decades has identified many dimensions both of Christian leadership
dysfunction and of leadership effectiveness. Most of these fall into three arenas — leader qualities and
characteristics, relating to followers, and managing contextual realities. During this course, students look
at the “dark side” of leadership (the dysfunctional), reflect on essential character qualities for effective
leadership, consider various disciplines necessary for effective Christian leadership, and do self-reflection
and personal growth planning on a range of personal character attributes. (3 Credits)

Mentoring and Developing Christian Leaders
Leaders lead but, for any number of reasons, often fail to develop new leadership they can work with to
expand ministry, or even, who can take over for them one day. The development of leaders, both through
personal influence and mentoring, as well as through intentional organizational action, is a crucial need in
Christian churches and organizations. As part of the intercultural leadership program, the primary focus of
this course will be on the intentional, strategic development of leaders in any organization and culture
through coaching and mentoring, based on carefully designed planning as well as through the unplanned
and unplannable experiences of life and ministry. The purpose of this course is to help you and your
colleagues, as leaders, be intentional in discovering potential leaders, deliberately setting out leadership
development strategies, mentor and coach developing leaders, and release new leaders into deeper-level
ministries. (3 Credits)

Collaborative Missions Leadership
Collaborating, engaging in partnerships, and networking across denominational, mission, national, and
cultural boundaries is the new norm in missions. This course will prepare the leader with the perspectives,
knowledge, steps, and potential for skills necessary for establishing and completing successful ministry
collaboration. Starting with a biblical and theological foundation for collaborative ministry, the course
moves to foundational elements and personal skills needed, as well as a series of steps that can be
followed for successful collaboration. Included are case studies and examples of successful collaborations
in mission outreach. (3 Credits)

Creative Innovation in Christian Leadership
A study of creation and God’s dealings with mankind shows that creativity is one of the hallmarks of
God. God’s people are also meant to be creative and innovative in life, ministry, and business. Some of
the greatest scientists and inventors have identified their creativity to the insights given by the Spirit of
God. This course focuses on the development of creativity and innovation in bringing the transforming
power of the Gospel into ministry, how to find and develop ideas, and how to apply these ideas as the
Spirit gives guidance and liberty. (3 Credits)

Vision & Strategic Planning in Mission
This course will lead the student through the creative processes of strategic planning for impact in
ministry. These include the identification of core values, development of sound mission and vision
statements, current team and ministry assessments, goals and outcomes identification, and development of
steps, processes, and resources for accomplishing the mission and vision. Either cross-cultural mission or
church will be the course contexts for the development of a strategic ministry growth plan. This course
requires that students have a specific ministry in view — either a local church or a specific cross-cultural
ministry — for which they will do strategic planning. (3 Credits)

General Electives - 3 Classes

Our general electives requirements are designed to fit your needs. We have a large selection of courses that you can choose from.

You can download our academic catalog to see all of our courses.

Intercultural Studies - 2 Classes

You can choose any of the 2 classes to fulfill your Intercultural Studies requirements:

Cross-Cultural Communication
Communication is complex; cross-cultural communication is even more complex. This course first lays a foundation of theory in the field of intercultural communication. It overviews many elements and processes involved in the sending and receiving of messages within intercultural contexts. It then addresses issues in communication that students must be aware of, including 15 factors affecting cross-cultural communication, communication competence models, cognitive social learning concepts, perception, categorization, attribution, and cognitive complexity. The course wrestles with the implications of these for effective ministry and how to implement training to develop these competencies.

Intercultural Interaction
This course will explore the factors that serve to facilitate or impede communication within one’s cross-cultural context. The student will be able to learn the difference between perceived communication and the reality of what cultural communication consists of and apply the principles to help him or her communicate more effectively.

Missiological Anthropology
This course looks at the universals of culture from the perspective of a missionary, using theory, research, and case studies to help missionaries think about issues and processes of cultural adaptation/contextualization they must work through. As an applied course, this is meant to be practical, its concepts and principles integrated into cross-cultural ministry. (3 Credits)

Applied Church-Planting Models and Methods
Lessons from evangelistic and church-planting models from around the world are compared to identify strengths and weaknesses of each, and how to personally develop a contextually effective method from the insights gained. (3 Credits)

Contextualization in Missions
Every church exists in some cultural and sociological context. Yet missionaries tend to plant churches that function like their home-culture churches. It is essential that the church be both biblically sound and culturally viable. Contextualization is an essential concept and a necessary skill. However, contextualization is fraught with controversy over degree of contextualization and how contextualization in various contexts is undertaken. These issues will be considered and a theory and model for a biblically and missiologically sound approach to contextualization developed. (3 Credits)

Bible & Theology - 1 Class

Dynamics of Kingdom Ministry
This course gives students a personal and Kingdom-oriented theology of ministry, demonstrating God’s heart and passion for the world through Scriptures. How mission fits into the extension and promotion of the Kingdom of God is studied, including the power and resources of the Kingdom, the centrality of the Kingdom in proclamation, and the final victory of the Kingdom over Satan and all his kingdom as mission works towards the culmination of this present evil age and the inauguration of the eternal Kingdom of God, the reign of the King, Jesus, and the role of the glorious people of God in all of these events. The course is intensely practical, each student working through how a Kingdom worldview should transform life and ministry. (3 Credits)

Bible & Theology - 1 Class

Dynamics of Kingdom Ministry
This course gives students a personal and Kingdom-oriented theology of ministry, demonstrating God’s heart and passion for the world through Scriptures. How mission fits into the extension and promotion of the Kingdom of God is studied, including the power and resources of the Kingdom, the centrality of the Kingdom in proclamation, and the final victory of the Kingdom over Satan and all his kingdom as mission works towards the culmination of this present evil age and the inauguration of the eternal Kingdom of God, the reign of the King, Jesus, and the role of the glorious people of God in all of these events. The course is intensely practical, each student working through how a Kingdom worldview should transform life and ministry. (3 Credits)

Intercultural Leadership - 2 Classes

Jesus as Leader
This course will examine key areas in which Jesus laid a foundation for intercultural leadership. It will particularly emphasize: guiding the student to study foundational issues related to servant leadership; and focusing on Jesus and the specific ways in which he modeled leadership for his disciples as well as for us today. As Jesus did in the first century, the student may find that much of his style of leadership runs countercultural to leadership theory and practice today. (3 Credits)

Spiritual Formation for Leaders
This course examines spiritual principles and examples that can be utilized in intercultural spiritual leadership. The student will study how God develops leaders, the essential qualities needed for spiritual leadership, and how to be successful and finish well as a spiritual leader. In addition, it will also address how to avoid common pitfalls that leaders encounter. Opportunities will be provided for personal evaluation and practice in one’s cultural context. (3 Credits)

Leadership Electives - 3 Classes

You can choose any of the following 3 classes to fulfill your elective requirements:

Transforming Organizational Culture in Mission
Every organization, whether a church, mission, or secular business, has a personality, a way of doing
things, a culture that often has more impact on its effectiveness to its mission than the actual mission
vision and goals. Some organizational cultures are energized, healthy, and motivating to their members.
Some are mundane, others chaotic and toxic. The intent of this course is to help you develop an
understanding of the concept of ministry organizational culture, how it energizes or enervates the people
who are part of that culture, and how it helps or hinders the accomplishment of the organization’s vision
and goals. The course is very practical, with tools and keys to researching the culture of the organization,
perspectives of how members see it and where they would like it to be, and step-by-step methods for
transforming the culture of an organization as it is needed. Prerequisites: A church, mission, or NGO as a
context for research in this course.

Leading Multicultural Teams in Missions.
Leading Multicultural Teams is a very complex process taking into account many things. This includes
the differences in worldview, sources of identity, ideals of achievement, orientations to authority,
responses to (or preferences for) ambiguity, different values in the ways by which knowledge is acquired,
perspectives on time, orientations to work and economic values, and other cultural differences which
often lead to misunderstanding and conflict. This course looks at biblical and servant-leader-oriented
perspectives on multicultural team leadership, contrastive cultural ways of perceiving and functioning,
foundational traits and attitudes for managing the multicultural team, how to work with people who have
differing cultural values, how to handle conflict, how to develop effective “intercultural intelligence,” and
how to lead a multicultural team. (3 Credits)

Lifelong Christian Leadership Development
Leading Multicultural Teams is a very complex process taking into account many things. This includes
the differences in worldview, sources of identity, ideals of achievement, orientations to authority,
responses to (or preferences for) ambiguity, different values in the ways by which knowledge is acquired,
perspectives on time, orientations to work and economic values, and other cultural differences which
often lead to misunderstanding and conflict. This course looks at biblical and servant-leader-oriented
perspectives on multicultural team leadership, contrastive cultural ways of perceiving and functioning,
foundational traits and attitudes for managing the multicultural team, how to work with people who have
differing cultural values, how to handle conflict, how to develop effective “intercultural intelligence,” and
how to lead a multicultural team. (3 Credits)

Measuring and Improving Christian Leadership. 
Extensive research over the past decades has identified many dimensions both of Christian leadership
dysfunction and of leadership effectiveness. Most of these fall into three arenas — leader qualities and
characteristics, relating to followers, and managing contextual realities. During this course, students look
at the “dark side” of leadership (the dysfunctional), reflect on essential character qualities for effective
leadership, consider various disciplines necessary for effective Christian leadership, and do self-reflection
and personal growth planning on a range of personal character attributes. (3 Credits)

Mentoring and Developing Christian Leaders
Leaders lead but, for any number of reasons, often fail to develop new leadership they can work with to
expand ministry, or even, who can take over for them one day. The development of leaders, both through
personal influence and mentoring, as well as through intentional organizational action, is a crucial need in
Christian churches and organizations. As part of the intercultural leadership program, the primary focus of
this course will be on the intentional, strategic development of leaders in any organization and culture
through coaching and mentoring, based on carefully designed planning as well as through the unplanned
and unplannable experiences of life and ministry. The purpose of this course is to help you and your
colleagues, as leaders, be intentional in discovering potential leaders, deliberately setting out leadership
development strategies, mentor and coach developing leaders, and release new leaders into deeper-level
ministries. (3 Credits)

Collaborative Missions Leadership
Collaborating, engaging in partnerships, and networking across denominational, mission, national, and
cultural boundaries is the new norm in missions. This course will prepare the leader with the perspectives,
knowledge, steps, and potential for skills necessary for establishing and completing successful ministry
collaboration. Starting with a biblical and theological foundation for collaborative ministry, the course
moves to foundational elements and personal skills needed, as well as a series of steps that can be
followed for successful collaboration. Included are case studies and examples of successful collaborations
in mission outreach. (3 Credits)

Creative Innovation in Christian Leadership
A study of creation and God’s dealings with mankind shows that creativity is one of the hallmarks of
God. God’s people are also meant to be creative and innovative in life, ministry, and business. Some of
the greatest scientists and inventors have identified their creativity to the insights given by the Spirit of
God. This course focuses on the development of creativity and innovation in bringing the transforming
power of the Gospel into ministry, how to find and develop ideas, and how to apply these ideas as the
Spirit gives guidance and liberty. (3 Credits)

Vision & Strategic Planning in Mission
This course will lead the student through the creative processes of strategic planning for impact in
ministry. These include the identification of core values, development of sound mission and vision
statements, current team and ministry assessments, goals and outcomes identification, and development of
steps, processes, and resources for accomplishing the mission and vision. Either cross-cultural mission or
church will be the course contexts for the development of a strategic ministry growth plan. This course
requires that students have a specific ministry in view — either a local church or a specific cross-cultural
ministry — for which they will do strategic planning. (3 Credits)

General Electives - 1 Class

Our general electives requirements are designed to fit your needs. We have a large selection of courses that you can choose from.

You can download our course descriptions to see all of our courses.

Thesis - 5 Classes

Each student will have a faculty advisor assigned while the student is taking the Research Methods course who will advise while the student is looking at research design, doing preliminary literature research, and developing a bibliography. The advisor will help the student clarify the thesis proposal which must be accepted by the thesis committee. Students then write their thesis using accepted thesis format, footnoting, and bibliographic methods following the Turabian format. When the faculty advisor feels the thesis is ready for submission, the committee will receive the thesis from the student for evaluation. Thesis grading is on a pass/fail basis.

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