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Associate Program Overview

Our Associate of Arts in Intercultural Ministry Degree curriculum follows the same basic format as the first year of the bachelor’s degree. Associate degree students focus on biblical and theological studies, personal spiritual development, courses in missions and ministry.

Associate degree students also participate in intercultural practicum as a part of the spring semester of their second year. This practicum is designed to give students an introduction to life and work on the mission field.

Two Great Ways To Earn This Degree

On Campus

Study with your peers among our world-class professors with all of our on-campus activities and discipleship experience.


Continue your ministry while studying from your home with the same world-class professors and online peer interaction.


Associate of Arts Course Overview

All courses for the AA in Intercultural Ministry Studies and Bible & Theology are taken in a semester class structure. All students take the same classes in the sequence below.

The classes and sequence below can change a little from year to year, so be sure to look through our BGU catalog on the forms and documents page to get the most up to date course list.

Freshman Year

Semester 1

BTH111 Old Testament I: Pentateuch to Ruth (3 credits)

The first course in the study of the historical background and general themes of the Old Testament books with a view to giving the student an overall perspective on the message of the Old Testament in the light of its contemporary setting. This course will cover the creation, the fall, the flood, the Patriarchs, Moses, the Exodus, the Tabernacle, the Law, and other issues and events recorded in the Pentateuch to Ruth.

BTH141 Hermeneutics (3 credits)

This course is a study of the principles, methods, and rules necessary for correctly understanding the meaning of Scripture and applying that meaning to our lives today. The course will examine the rules and approaches necessary for the different literary genre of scripture.

ENG111 English Composition (2 credits)

In this course, students will focus on the process of writing comprehensible, correct, and effective essays. They will learn how to express thoughts logically, clearly, and coherently in a variety of rhetorical modes. The course will teach students how to critically revise and edit their own compositions while avoiding mechanical, grammatical, and orthographical errors.

HUM112 Critical Thinking, Logic, and Research Methods (2 credits)

This course focuses on loving God with your mind by developing foundational skills in critical thinking, analytical reading, rhetoric, and scholarly research. Students will use these foundational skills throughout all their subsequent courses during their BGU program.

MIS111 Intro to Missions (3 credits)

A broad overview of God’s mission in the world as revealed through His activity in the Old and New Testaments. The course also introduces the historical, cultural, strategic, and practical dimensions of the world’s mission mandate.

PRT111 Practical Training (0 credits)

SPD111 Foundations of Soul Care (1 credit)

This course will explore the impact and application of the transformative work of Christ and how that work specifically applies to Christian maturity and care for the soul (mind, will and emotions). Starting from the foundation of being created in God’s image, students will learn how to pursue a deeper walk with Christ as they learn more about their identity as a child of God. Students will learn how to let go of fear, anxiety, unforgiveness and ungodly coping mechanisms as they discover what it means for believers to love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. This course will include interactive lectures as well as personal testimonies and lessons from Student Life and other BGU Staff.

BGU111 Student Success: The BGU Way (1 credit)

This course is designed to help students be successful both academically and personally as they integrate into the Bethany community.  They will be exposed to a variety of topics such as research methods, time management, communication skills, and interpersonal relationships.  Students will also become familiar with a variety of services which are made available to them on campus through the Student Resource Center, the IT department and Prayer Ministry.

Semester 2

BTH122 The Gospel of the Kingdom and Work of the Holy Spirit (3 credits)

The study of Luke and Acts will demonstrate how Jesus’ teachings, prayer, miracles, parables, death, resurrection, ascension, and sending of the Spirit advance the great story of the Bible, fulfilling the promises of God. Students will develop an integrated understanding of the New Testament culminating in a final oral exam in which they will tell the story of the gospel and how it spread into all the world. Students will use their New Testament timeline to tell this story including key events, missionary journeys, churches planted, persecutions, and letters written.

The course will also include practical components of learning to pray, being filled with the Spirit, leading Discovery Bible Studies, praying for and having gospel conversations with unbelievers, and other missionary activities so that students can take their place in God’s continuing story.

BTH131 Fundamentals of Christian Theology (3 credits)

This course, as an introduction to essential Christian doctrine, seeks to equip the student with the fundamentals of Christian belief common to the worshiping community, the body of Christ around the world.  Structured around the Apostle’s Creed, and drawing on classic ecumenical consensus, Missional Theology seeks to answer the question, “What have all Christians, everywhere, always believed?”

The course is called “Missional Theology” because mission is at the heart of the Biblical narratives concerning God’s work in human history, culminating with the life and work of Jesus Christ. For the purposes of this course, the topics of theology are characterized by mission and are related to God’s heart, initiative, and purposes in regard to “taking the church to where it is not.”  The course also applies to the whole life of every disciple, since every believer is to be an ambassador, carrying the mission of God – His Kingdom – into every sphere of life.

SSC112 Health and Wellness (1 credit)

This course is designed to help students understand the need and assume personal responsibility for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As Christians, we believe that God took on bodily human form (John 1:14; Phil. 2:5-11); one implication of the incarnation and the bodily resurrection of Jesus is that God is very invested in human matters and in the physical world. This should impact how we care for ourselves, for those we serve, and for the world we live in. Students will explore the relationship between individual health and cultural, behavioral, environmental and biological factors as well as to develop a sustainable plan to improve personal health.

MIS112 Evangelism, Discipleship and Community (3 credits)

This course is designed to establish a biblical framework for missions with a focus on the crucial activities of the church: evangelism, discipleship and the creation of community. The course will examine how these activities integrate for the purpose of seeing God’s Kingdom come and His will done on the earth.

SSC131 Contemporary Issues: Sanctity of Life (2 credits)

This course focuses on teaching students to honor God with their mind by teaching them to utilize previously learned critical thinking skills. Students will utilize these skills as they examine various texts and sources that inform the contemporary ethical and political debates about the sanctity of life (including, but not limited to, abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem-cell research, contraceptives, and “right to die” issues).

PRT112 Practical Training (0 credits)

Electives (3 credits) [Required in order to meet 60 credits for graduation]

Sophomore Year

Semester 1

BTH212 Old Testament II: Historical Books and Wisdom Literature (3 credits)

The second course in the study of the historical background and general themes of the Old Testament books with a view to giving the student an overall perspective on the message of the Old Testament in the light of its contemporary setting.  This course will cover the historical books from Joshua to the Exiles, the role of the prophets in the history of Israel, and provide an overview of Hebrew poetry and wisdom literature, with a view toward providing an understanding of the Old Testament as preparation for the coming of Christ and the advancement of the Kingdom of God in the world.

BTH221 The Book of Romans: Message of the Cross (2 credits)

This course is considered a foundational piece of the curriculum at Bethany. It is an in-depth, exegetical study of Paul’s epistle to the Church of Rome. A strong emphasis is given to Romans 6-8 to examine the role of the Cross as righteousness, providing freedom from the power of Sin and the Law, and victorious living through the empowerment by the Holy Spirit.

CHM211 Intercultural Ministry Preparation (2 credits)

This course is designed to enable practical preparation for students as they plan for ministry in another culture. Students enrolled in this course will be preparing for participation in Bethany Global University’s Global Internship. The course will focus on practical issues of missionary life and the personal and interpersonal skills needed for effective ministry service. A heavy emphasis will be placed on partnership development.

HUM211 Worldviews and World Religions (3 credits)

This course presents a broad overview of the nature and function of a worldview (especially as relates to religion) and a critical evaluation of dominant non-biblical worldviews by way of an introductory survey of the historical emergence, key doctrines, and various underlying assumptions of the different major world religions. Special attention will be given to practical engagement, effective evangelism and best practices for ministry within the contexts of non-Christian religious systems.

SPD211 Life in the Spirit: Training in Godliness (3 credit)

To be determined.

SSC231 Contemporary Issues: Gender & Sexuality (2 credits)

This course focuses on teaching students to honor God with their mind. Course content is crafted to reiterate and expand previously learned critical thinking skills (learned in HUM112). All previously learned skills will be leveraged, strengthened, and enhanced as students examine and interact with scholarly material related to various views on gender and sexuality.

PRT211 Practical Training (0 credits)

Semester 2

CHM241 Short Term Ministry Practicum (2 credits)

As students engage in their host culture, many things challenge faith and spirituality. This course encompasses the daily life lessons of the individual and the team during the Global Ministry Practicum. Attention will be given to assessment of community life, personal disciplines and issues of character with regular discussions of the implications of life in a new culture to the student’s ongoing spiritual walk.  The student will also participate regularly in assigned ministry opportunities designed to give them a broad view of ministry in context as well as specific opportunities available for future consideration.

HIS211 History in Context (2 credits)

During the Global Ministry practicum, students will discover the local history of the geographic region of the world including ancient to recent political movements, social trends, people migrations, religious trends and the influence of geography, climate, religion and economics on the current social structures. Focus of this course varies according to the Global Ministry practicum site.

ICS212 Cultural Anthropology (3 credits)

The lack of an adequate understanding of the huge differences in the ways the many peoples of the world live, think and relate to each other in daily life has often been a major flashpoint of frustration for field missionaries. This course reviews what Cultural Anthropologists have learned about these differences. To understand the principles behind the differences is critical to discovering ways to overcome them. It is our desire to minimize the damage caused and the potential flashpoints of frustration posed by crossing cultural boundaries as missionaries of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This course will include a significant lab component consisting of case study analysis in small groups.

LNG211 Spanish in Context (3 credits)

Students identify strategies and methods for learning a foreign language suited for them.  Language learners will learn how to take control of their language learning, set goals and experiment with different strategies and methods.  They will employ Easy Spanish YouTube video series and LingQ to listen, learn and practice Spanish in context to help them accomplish their language learning goals.  In addition, they will hold themselves accountable to a language tutor who will assess their language abilities through an interview with a native speaker.

MAT211 Personal Finance (3 credits)

This course is designed to help the student understand and apply personal finance management at a basic level with specific attention to practical day-to-day applications. The course is structured as an online class and it utilizes Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance: College Edition. The student will learn how to establish a savings plan, how to develop a personal budget, calculate interest, evaluate bargains and sales, understand mortgage and interest calculations, understand insurance policies, and develop an investment plan.

MIS241 Ministry Practicum Re-Entry (1 credit)

Students returning from their cross-cultural internship go through the same experiences common to all missionaries. This tension facing the re-entering missionary is often not dealt with simply because the opportunity to express this—to tell the story—is not provided. This course is designed to provide students with the opportunities to tell their stories to one another, to communicate their experiences, to reflect on those experiences, feelings, and thoughts as well as to examine the conclusions that they have come to regarding ministry, culture, their own self and their relationship with God.

PRT212 Practical Training (0 credits)

SSC241 Ethnographic Observations (3 credits)

Learning to learn from the context is considered a key adaptation skill for cross-cultural missionaries. The ethnographic research that students do on a daily basis forms a foundation for understanding the culture they are living in and for their future role in understanding whatever culture they find themselves in. This course is built on recorded daily observations and interviews in a field journal and discussed in weekly collaborative meetings to share and understand the data they collect. The observations, interviews, and discussions for this term will focus on various aspects of culture and language practices.

Practical Training+

Practical Training

Bethany Global University (BGU) is an organization that has been built on the idea that enterprise can be used to help advance the gospel. Over the past 60 years, students at BGU have offset the cost of their education by serving in various roles through the organization, and you will have the opportunity to do the same. One way this has been done in the past is through the Practical Training (PT) Scholarship. Not only will the PT Scholarship save you money, but it will also serve as a valuable educational experience. Thus, it has become an important part of the educational program at BGU.

The Practical Training program will give you the chance to be a part of the inner workings of Bethany Global University. You will invest in most programs, roughly 15 hours a week serving in certain parts of the ministry, which helps all of us continue to advance the gospel.

Work College

Bethany Global University is an official work college and a member of the work college consortium.

  • Work College: A federally designated institution that has "comprehensive work-learning-service" programs as an essential and core component of their educational programs. All resident students are required to work including one-half of all students who are enrolled on a full-time basis regardless of their academic program or their financial need.
  • Work College Consortium: Bethany Global University is part of a group of eight distinctive student-centered liberal arts colleges promoting the purposeful integration of Work-Learning-Service while helping to reduce the cost of education.

From practical training you will gain:

  1. A practical training scholarship. Each semester you are awarded a  scholarship for your participation in the Practical Training program. This is part of how Bethany Global University is Tuition-Paid. This increases the potential for you to walk away from college debt free. Imagine what you can do with the extra money you save!
  2. Grow in professionalism. Your ability to influence people is based on how you’re able to interact with them in different social settings. We will teach you how to grow in professionalism whether you’re serving in an office setting, or working in other areas of the ministry.
  3. Develop a strong work ethic. At BGU we pray hard, play hard, and work hard. When you work hard you build trust with those around you. It also shows your supervisor that the best people to have on the team are Christians!
  4. Learn directly from the staff. Learning new skills is essential for effective cross-cultural work in the future. By serving in various areas of the ministry you will develop a new and diverse set of skills. The staff at BGU will work with you in training and developing you as a person.

Practical Training Assignments

Your practical training program work assignment is based on personal interviews, past experience, preference, and the needs of the organization. Departments  students have served in the past include:

  • I.T.
  • Media
  • Marketing
  • Admissions
  • Recruitment
  • Financial Aid
  • Montessori
  • Kitchen
  • Grounds Crew
  • Maintenance
  • Finance
  • Administration
  • Cleaning
  • Daycare
  • Coffee Shop

Online/Hybrid Option+

aa in Intercultural Ministry Studies
Online Hybrid Program

We have put 70+ years of effort into designing our programs to train missionaries to reach the unreached. And we want to take every opportunity to make our training accessible and flexible for you.

This is why we have introduced the Online Hybrid Program.

This program allows you to complete your freshman year online before moving to campus.

This approach offers extra flexibility for both time and location that will allow you to start your journey to becoming a missionary from anywhere.


Online Hybrid Path

Freshman Year Online: Complete your first 27 credits online. This year is designed to give you the essentials for biblical study and missions as a ministry.

Sophomore Year First Semester On Campus: Move to campus for your sophomore year as you continue biblical study and prepare for your 8-week overseas training practicum.

Sophomore Year Last Semester Practicum & On CampusComplete your overseas internship and finish your degree with an AA in Intercultural Ministry Studies.



Do I have to be a full-time student?

No, you can go at your own pace. Keep in mind if you are trying to complete the AA or BA program, you will need to complete 27 credits online before coming to campus for your sophomore year.

What is the cost of the program?

Tuition and fees for the Online Hybrid program are different from on-campus programs.

Click here to view costs for the Online Hybrid Program. »

Am I able to transfer in previous college credit?

Accepted students who have previous college experience are automatically reviewed for possible credit transfers by the Registrar’s Office, generally within 2 weeks of being accepted.

Applicants who have submitted at least an unofficial transcript to BGU may make a special request to have their transcript reviewed prior to acceptance by emailing registrar@bethanygu.edu.

Course content must fit within the scope of the BGU curriculum. Transferability is based on the following criteria:

  • Due to the nature of Global Internship (GI), we do not entertain transfer credit requests toward GI courses except Bible and Theology courses.
  • Dual-credit/PSEO coursework is eligible if a college transcript is produced reflecting the work done.
  • Students may receive an initial approval of pending credits with an unofficial college transcript, but must submit a final, official transcript prior to enrollment at BGU as an admissions requirement, as well as a transfer credit requirement.
  • A grade of C (2.0 on a 4.0 or higher scale) must be achieved.
  • AP Exam scores of 3 or higher are considered.
  • CLEP Exam scores of 50 or higher are considered.
  • DSST Exam scores of 400 or higher are considered.

Students receive an email response from the Registrar detailing which credits are accepted in transfer, up to 20% of the total number of credits for the student’s program.

All accepted credit transfers remain pending until the student has successfully completed 15 credits with Bethany.

Are there any additional eligibility requirements?

In addition to admission requirements for our fully on-campus programs, the Online Hybrid Program has a few other requirements.

  • Reliable internet access & a working computer
  • You must have some form of spiritual discipleship
    • This could be from a college group, small group, mentorship program, etc.
  • You must have a spiritual leader who is willing to meet with you at least once a month who can help you process your learnings

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