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Overview+

Associate Program Overview

Our Associate of Arts in Intercultural Ministry Degree curriculum follows the same basic format as the first year of the Intercultural Ministry BA. As an Associate degree student, you would focus on biblical and theological studies, personal spiritual development, and take courses in missions and ministry.

You would also participate in an 8-12 week intercultural practicum during the fall of your second year. This trip is designed to give you an introduction to the life and work in the mission field. You will then spend your 4th and final term back on campus in Bloomington.

Courses+

Associate of Arts Course Overview

All courses for the AA in Intercultural Ministry Studies and Bible & Theology are taken in a modular 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

BTH 11 1 Old Testament I (3 credits)

A study of the historical background and themes of the OT books giving an overall perspective on the message of the OT in the light of its contemporary setting. This course covers creation, the fall, the flood, the Abrahamic covenant, the Patriarchs, the exodus, the Mosaic covenant, the tabernacle and other topics within the Pentateuch. It also covers sacrifices, feasts, wanderings in the wilderness, conquest, judges, Kings, exile and return from exile.

BTH 121 Synoptic Gospels (3 credits)

This examines the themes, principles, parables, and teachings of Matthew, Mark, and Luke in a harmonic and chronological order. Attention will be placed principally on the Gospel of Matthew and its relevance and importance for our lives today.

ENG 111 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.

MIS 111 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.

MIS 112 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.

SPD 111 Power of the Cross I (1 credit)

This course explores practical/spiritual development from the perspective of the complete work of Christ on the cross and challenges the student to live an empowered lifestyle as men and women after God’s heart.

HUM 112 Critical Thinking and Logic (2 credits)

This course focuses on training heart, mind, soul, & strength to know, love, and serve God by developing foundational skills in spiritual formation, inductive Bible study, critical thinking, and logic. Students will use these foundational skills throughout all their subsequent courses during their BGU program.

SPD 131 Community, Character and the Cross I (0 credits)

Preparation for a lifetime of service in ministry to God and to his people requires an integrated approach, providing the student with an opportunity to live out and practice what they are learning. Many of the skills necessary to serve well both within one’s own culture and in another culture are skills related to behavior, character, and interpersonal relationships. While teaching of these is covered throughout the curriculum it is daily life and interaction with others that is the evidence of learning. This course combines assessments from multiple areas of community life, ministry and work as well as the “in the journey” training and mentoring that takes place in those contexts.

Semester 2

BTH 122 Acts and the Work of the Holy Spirit (3 credits)

This is a survey course, emphasizing the structure and sequence of the events in the book and their relevance to modern missions and missionary strategy. Acts is perceived, not only as a doctrinal dissertation, but as a series of inspired “sample cases” of the Church responding to the impulses of the Spirit in the promotion of world evangelism. The third week covers the work and ways of the Holy Spirit. There will be an emphasis on being filled with the Spirit, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit and a culture of revival.

BTH 131 Theology I (3 credits)

This studies of the existence, person, and attributes of God and the person and work of Jesus Christ.

CHM 111 Kingdom Impact Plan (1 credit)

This course is designed to assist students discover the role God intends for them to play in His plan for the world’s redemption. It is their “Kingdom Impact Plan.” This is accomplished through an examination of God’s interaction with the student through key passages from the Word, prophetic words given by reputable servants of Jesus, previous journal entries and values that God has worked into your life. These are all factors which give evidence of God’s direction in the past and allow for reflection and summary for future direction.

CHM 123 Global Internship Introduction (0 credits)

This course is to allow for students to be fully introduced to the structure, processes, and relationships which will prepare them for a successful Global Internship.

HUM 111 Worldviews (3 credits)

This course provides a broad overview of the nature and development of a worldview, a critical evaluation of dominant non-biblical worldviews, and an assessment of the biblical worldview in the Western world. Special attention will be given to applying the discovery of worldviews in a missionary context.

MAT 111 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.

SPD 112 Power of the Cross II (1 credit)

This course explores practical/spiritual development from the perspective of the complete work of Christ on the cross and challenges the student to live an empowered lifestyle as men and women after God’s heart.

SPD 132 Community, Character and the Cross II (0 credits)

This course is the continuation of SPD 131. Preparation for a lifetime of service in ministry to God and to his people requires an integrated approach, providing the student with an opportunity to live out and practice what they are learning. Many of the skills necessary to serve well both within one’s own culture and in another culture are skills related to behavior, character, and interpersonal relationships. While teaching of these is covered throughout the curriculum it is daily life and interaction with others that is the evidence of learning. This course combines assessments from multiple areas of community life, ministry and work as well as the “in the journey” training and mentoring that takes place in those contexts.

Sophomore Year

Semester 1

CHM 321 Ministry Practicum I (1 credit)

The student will participate regularly in assigned local ministry opportunities designed to give them a broad view of ministry in context as well as specific opportunities available for future consideration.

HIS 211 History in Context (2 credits)

During the intercultural 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 intercultural practicum site.

LNG 211 Language Competency (2 credits)

During your intercultural practicum, you will mainly be listening and observing the language. Your focus will be on acquiring the basic building blocks of the target language to be able to function in real life communication situations. You will work on learning simple vocabulary and simple sentences while mainly depending on using newly memorized survival phrases. You will discover your own language learning characteristics and style along with learning more about the language in general.

BTH 241 Hermeneutics and Exegetical Skills (3 credits)

Students study 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.

MIS 241 Re-Entry (1 credits)

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.

HUM 211 Survey of World Religions (3 credits)

This course will provide both an academic understanding of the different major world religions as well as practical insights as to the working of those systems through people who have lived in these religious contexts.

SPD 241 Missionary Life Practicum I (1 credits)

As students enter a new culture, many things challenge faith and spirituality. This course encompasses the daily life lessons of the individual and the team during their Internship program. 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.

SSC 241 Intro to Ethnographic Research: Exploring Material Culture (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 daily observations recorded in a field journal and discussed in a biweekly collaborative meeting to share and understand those observations. The observations and discussions for this term will focus on material culture and language practices.

Semester 2

BTH 221 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.

BTH 232 Theology II (3 credits)

The course deals with a biblical evaluation of mankind, his fallen nature, his inability to save himself and the nature of the gracious salvation afforded by Christ’s finished work on the cross.

LDR 211 Leadership (2 credits)

This course offers an overview of the biblical basis and dynamic principles of effective leadership with a view toward personal application of these principles in life and work. Students will examine their own leadership experiences and make application to future leadership opportunities.

COM 212 Communications (3 credits)

Missionaries and ministers of the gospel must be skilled communicators with individuals as well as to small and large groups of people. This course explores communication theory as well as introduces the dynamics of cross cultural communication. Much further study of cross cultural communication will occur during Global Internship course work for those who choose the B.A. program.

ICS 212 Cultural Anthropology I (2 credits)

This course is designed as an introduction to Cultural Anthropology, especially those concepts which have practical application for cross-cultural field missionaries as they seek to both live and proclaim the gospel. Throughout the course following each lecture a real-life case study will be examined in small group discussions for the purpose of gaining sensitivity into how traditions, personalities, personal ambition and Satan could neutralize the effectiveness of your message or destroy your missionary career.

SPD 212 Power of the Cross III (1 credit)

This course explores practical/spiritual development from the perspective of the complete work of Christ on the cross and challenges the student to live an empowered lifestyle as men and women after God’s heart.

SPD 232 Community, Character and the Cross III (0 credits)

This course is the continuation of SPD 132. Preparation for a lifetime of service in ministry to God and to his people requires an integrated approach, providing the student with an opportunity to live out and practice what they are learning. Many of the skills necessary to serve well both within one’s own culture and in another culture are skills related to behavior, character, and interpersonal relationships. While teaching of these is covered throughout the curriculum it is daily life and interaction with others that is the evidence of learning. This course combines assessments from multiple areas of community life, ministry and work as well as the “in the journey” training and mentoring that takes place in those contexts.

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 International, of which the university is a part. You will invest roughly 15 hours a week serving in certain parts of the ministry, which helps all of us continue to advance the gospel.

From practical training you will gain:

  1. A $6,360 scholarship. Each semester you are awarded a $3,180 scholarship for your participation in the practical Training Program. 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.

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

  • I.T.
  • Media
  • Marketing
  • Admissions Office
  • Recruitment Office
  • Kitchen
  • Services
  • Finance
  • Administration
  • Publish4All

Global Internship+

Global Internship

Learn how to comfortably move between two different cultures quickly through a combination of formal training, experience, interaction, and practical ministry application. Through the Global Internship, you will observe and engage in missionary life firsthand to apply the knowledge you gained in the classroom.

What do the Interns do?

During Global Internship, students will:

  • Live overseas as a team for 16 months at one of our Global Internship sites
  • Learn a foreign language
  • Partner with missionaries and local ministries to bring the Gospel to a people group
  • Study social structures, religion, and worldview
  • Become interculturally minded Christians

The Global Internship is split into four terms (Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall) and each term has a distinct focus to help you get the most out of your experience overseas. While each location operates a little differently you can get a general idea about each term by looking through the list below.

  • Gain foundational language learning
  • Build relationships within the community
  • Be established in process of culture learning
  • Online courses: Philippians, Language Competency, History in Context, and Intro to Ethnographic Research
  • Build ministry skills through participation
  • Informal language learning
  • Gain foundation understanding of predominant religions in your region
  • Online courses: James, Local Area Religions

Mid Internship Break (2 weeks towards the end of April)

  • The only scheduled vacation during the 16 months
  • Travel regionally in small groups
  • Family may visit
  • May return to the US

Global Internship Retreat

To give the interns a one week break and "checkup" in the middle of their Global Internship to focus on identity, community and team, interpersonal skills, conflict resolution skills, and academic learning.

  • Gain understanding of Evangelism, Discipleship and Church Planting as it occurs in context.
  • Gain ethnographic understanding of social, political and community structures
  • Deepen interview and ministry skills.
  • Online courses: Galatians, Social and Political Structures, EDC in Context.
  • Gain understanding of theological and practical contextualization
  • Integrate ethnographic observations with ministry realities
  • Learn how to leave well
  • Online courses: Ephesians, Contextualization

Where are the Global Internship sites?

Global Interns are sent in teams. Student teams live together in one of several different locations around the world. The Global Internship sites each provide their own unique environments, languages, cultural and religious contexts and ministry challenges, and opportunities. Global Interns over the past several years have lived on sites in: Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Thailand, France, and Kenya.

New sites are continually being identified and developed to receive Global Internship teams.


Global Internship Locations

Some Global Internship sites are in restricted countries and CAN NOT be listed on our website. If you would like to learn more about these locations as well as more sensitive details about the locations above, please request more information »

See What Others Have Experienced

Local Outreach+

BOLD Outreach

Bethany Outreach and Leadership Development (BOLD) develops you as a leader while you engage in a local ministry weekly. In addition to academic excellence, you develop a missional lifestyle before ever stepping onto the foreign field. BOLD allows you to participate in a wide variety of ministries, including service to international communities, inner-city programs, street evangelism, and youth discipleship. The following are some of our outreach opportunities.

Discover Center

Discover enter is an after school mentorship program for adults and children.It empowers families by transforming their daily life through spiritual discipleship, educational empowerment, and leadership development.

Bread of Life

Bread of Life begins with worship and prayer. The teams then disperse to distribute fresh bread and share Jesus Christ. They either go to the Mall of America or the Minneapolis jail. The jail ministry focuses on ministering to the men who have been incarcerated.

Marie Sandvik Center

The Marie Sandvik Center provides for the material and spiritual needs of the poor in the inner city of Minneapolis. This is done through serving a meal, providing groceries, and holding a gospel-centered service for the community.

ICCM Life Center

ICCM Life Center is an urban ministry center located on the south side of Minneapolis, committed to transforming impoverished people through the power of Jesus Christ.

Chi Alpha

Chi Alpha seeks to evangelize and disciple through relationship based simple church planting. Students are trained to listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and find people who are open to looking into the Word of God to learn more about who Jesus is.

Presbyterian Homes

Presbyterian Homes seeks to honor God by enriching the lives and touching the hearts of older adults, and to provide more choices and opportunities for these older adults to live well. Bethany students who word with this outreach will have the opportunity to engage with the residents through visits, music, evangelism, and leading devotions.

JLS Learning Center

JLS Learning Center meets in the ICCM Life Center building, and is also focused on inner city ministry. JLS provides the opportunity to minister to elementary and middle school aged students through tutoring in school work and building relationships. A consisted, stable friend and mentor is an invaluable asset to these youth.

Street Level

Street Level is an evangelistic outreach that goes to different areas of Minneapolis to witness to people. These areas include downtown, uptown, University of Minnesota, dinky town, and a local mall.

Global Harvest Church

Global Harvest is a local church whose mission is to reach people of every nation, culture, language, and ethnicity with the gospel, starting right in the Twin Cities. You will be able to disciple and have fellowship with many international church members at this outreach.

Potter's Wheel

Potter's Wheel is a ministry that engages in the life of special needs students from Beyond Limits college.  They provide the love of Christ through mentorship, discipleship, and tutoring.

Jubilee Youth Center

The Jubilee Youth Center is a biblically-based, church-operated mentorship program that takes place in engaging Bible lessons, memory verses, praise songs, and a time for homework help. The main core of this outreach is mentorship, getting on each kid's "turf." Youth receive one on one attention from mentors who care about them and who are committed to seeing them follow Jesus.

Messenger Bootcamp

Messenger Bootcamp is a comprehensive evangelistic training program that develops believers in cultivating intimacy with God and fruitful lifestyle gospel proclamation. The commitments of this outreach are more arduous than a typical outreach option.

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