• Intercultural Studies

    Intercultural studies (ICS) will give you a broad understanding of the cultures, beliefs, value systems and worldviews of people throughout the world—equipping you to effectively communicate with and relate to others while living and working in an increasingly diversified world.

     Intercultural Studies at Kuyper

     Kuyper’s ICS program will provide you with professional knowledge and skills within the framework of a biblical world and life view. Through the study of anthropology, world religions, intercultural communications, and other related courses together with field experiences, you will become an effective ambassador of hope, truth and reconciliation in a variety of settings around the world. At Kuyper, you will not only receive a degree in intercultural studies, you will also earn a Bible and theology major. Your intercultural studies degree will also serve as a strong foundation for further graduate work in fields such as business, Islamics, missiology, TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), applied linguistics, social work, intercultural communications, and law.

    Where ICS Graduates Work?

     Intercultural studies graduates from Kuyper College are serving as educators, administrators, missionaries, human resource specialists, diversity trainers, immigration counselors, pastors and youth pastors in settings such as:
    • Higher Education
    • Community Organizations
    • Churches
    • Health Care
    • Mission Organizations
    • Para-Church Organizations
    • U.S. & International Schools
    • Human Service Agencies
    • International Agencies
    • Communications

    Comprehensive Curriculum!

     Kuyper’s intercultural studies curriculum is made up of twelve dynamic and challenging courses that will educate, equip and train you with real life experiences for a successful career. Below is a sample of what some of these courses cover.
    • In Intercultural Communication You will develop skills in communication behavior necessary for building and maintaining relationships and communication across cultures. You will examine the influence of perceptions, verbal and nonverbal styles, thinking modes, symbols, and values on
    communication between individuals of different cultures and backgrounds.
    • In Ministering Interculturally you will find an emphasis on incarnational ministry, this course will prepare you to live and minister in cross-cultural situations through an immersion experience in Guatemala. The course includes lectures, discussions and visits with people living and working cross-culturally who combine word and deed in their ministries. You will see, feel, experience and learn cross-cultural behavior, beliefs and values as well as the influence of history and politics on Guatemalan society and the church—all within the context of ministry.
    • In Introduction to Cultural Anthropology you will be introduced to a study of how human societies create and sustain cultural patterns and systems, including religion, economics, societal groupings, law, communications, and leadership—all with direct application to mission contexts.

    Internships

    Experiential learning is a key component of every student’s experience. Your 400 hour senior level internship will provide you hands-on experience applying the principles, skills and techniques from the classroom.
    Internship sites are available in a variety of locations and with a focus that relates to your particular area of interest. Potential internship locations include:
    • African Inland Mission
    • GR Literacy Council
    • Veritas: Mission to the World
    • New City Ministries
    • Bethany Services Refugee Program
    • Roosevelt Park Ministries
    • Partners Worldwide
    • Living and Learning in Ecuador
    • Grand Rapids International Fellowship
    • Christian Reformed World Missions

    When students complete the Intercultural Studies program, they will be equipped to find employment in the intercultural field or go to graduate school. They wil have had both a solid theoretical foundation in missiology and a vareity of practical experiences that have allowed students to test theory in real life. This preparation provides a solid foundation to successfully move to graduate study in missiology anywhere in the country or to apply to any mission agency.

    Upon completion of the Intercultural Studies program, students will be able to:

    • Articulate a biblical understanding of humanity.
    • Explain the biblical foundations of the mission of God and his church.
    • Understand how community engagement, develpment, and education are used to address issues of poverty, racism, injustice, and other social or economic realities in the world.
    • Explain the tenets or worldview of at least one non-Christian world religion.
    • View other cultures and their practices with respect and discernment.
    • Effectively communicate professionally as appropriate for the culture or setting.
    • Contextualize the whole message of the gospel through words and deeds to foster individual and social transormation.
    • Apply best practices of ministry to intercultural situations.

       

    Professor Lisa Hoogeboom joined the faculty of Kuyper College in the fall of 2006 to teach introductory Greek as well as advanced Greek, which focuses on reading portions of the New Testament. Since then, Professor Hoogeboom has also taught various biblical studies classes. In 2010, she added the role of Program Director of the Intercultural Studies program to her role at Kuyper. With that change, she also began teaching classes in the area of Intercultural Studies. Previously, Professor Hoogeboom was a teaching assistant for the introductory Greek program at Calvin Theological Seminary. Lisa and her husband, Rev. Mike Hoogeboom, spent 6 years in the middle-east in cross-cultural missions to Muslims.

     
    Professor Teresa Renkema teaches the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages certificate program as well as a variety of writing and Intercultural courses. She especially enjoys introducing students to an appreciation of language through classes in linguistics, grammar and methods of teaching English as a second language. Professor Renkema brings to the classroom more than 15 years of experience living and working in Argentina, Costa Rica, Honduras and Puerto Rico. As an ESL educator, she has worked in a variety of English language teaching settings, including private language school, middle school, high school and university. Currently she volunteers in her own church's ESL outreach program. She often consults with churches and agencies in the area of teaching English as a second language.
     

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