International Cross-Cultural Seminar
The International Cross-Cultural Requirement is to engage in the appreciation of others and to embrace God’s love for all peoples. It is imperative that leaders for the church remain open and sensitive to other people’s and peoples’ realities, and become self-critically aware of their own heritage to theological, cultural, ethnic, racial, gender, and socioeconomic biases and other historical conditioning. It is also imperative that church leaders be cognizant and appreciative of the church elsewhere on earth, in the diversity of its expression.
Educational Goals of the Cross-Cultural Seminar:
- Social and economic otherness (e.g., poverty, wealth);
- National and cultural otherness (e.g., another country with a primary language different from one’s own);
- Racial and ethnic otherness (e.g., situations where Euro-American culture is not dominant);
- Ideological otherness (e.g., different theological and political convictions);
- Ecclesiastical otherness (e.g., different pieties, liturgies, polities, mission emphases).
Such experience and reflection are to include what such otherness means for oneself personally and vocationally, and also for the church, its nature, vocation and ministry.
The International Cross-Cultural Seminar is a two-week encounter in a Latin American, Middle Eastern, African, Asian, or Eastern European setting, intended to generate an appreciation of social, political, economic, and ecclesial otherness within MDiv students.
The Cross-Cultural Seminar begins the semester before the trip with preparatory meetings. After the trip there is a retreat for reflection, a debriefing, and a presentation to the Seminary community. The Seminary Dean selects the destinations.
Students are required to expose themselves to and reflect upon social and economic otherness; national and cultural otherness; racial and ethnic otherness; ideological otherness; ecclesiastical otherness. Such experience and reflection include what otherness means personally and vocationally, and also for the church, its nature, vocation, and ministry.
- Israel/Palestine – 2019, 2014, 2010
- Mexico – 2018, 2015
- Kenya – 2017
- Haiti/Dominican Republic - 2016
- Egypt – 2013, 2009
- Caribbean - 2012
- India – 2011, 2008, 2004
- Thailand - 2011
- South Africa -2008, 2002
- Central America - 2007
- Turkey & Lebanon - 2006
- Ghana - 2005
- Cuba - 2003, 2020 (postponed until 2021)
The International Cross-Cultural Seminar is open to students at the 200-level of the MDiv program (after the 2nd year for those in the weekday program and after 3 years for weekend students). Travel expenses (hotel, meals, and transportation) are included in the MDiv tuition.
Exceptions and alternatives to the International Cross-Cultural Seminar can be found in the Student Handbook.