Prepare to make a difference in today’s multicultural world through both rigorous study and hands-on learning opportunities!
Mount Vernon Nazarene University’s intercultural studies co-major* enhances a co-degree and prepares you to make a global impact as you pursue your vocational calling. The intercultural studies major draws from diverse fields such as anthropology, missiology, international development and cross-cultural communication to equip you with the knowledge, skills and experience you need to do meaningful cross-cultural work.
The degree is specifically designed for students and professionals who wish to combine an area of specialization with a solid background in the new and changing global landscape. MVNU’s intercultural studies co-major gives you the tools and training you’ll need to thrive in cross-cultural settings — whether you’re called to missions, social work, health care, business, criminal justice or any number of other careers.
* The term "co-major" indicates that students would complete the intercultural studies major in conjunction with a primary major while studying at MVNU. This co-major complements the primary major, which provides significant depth and breadth in an academic discipline.
- Study with faculty and practitioners who have extensive experience living, working and serving in cross-cultural settings around the world, and integrate these experiences into the classroom.
- Practice what you are learning in the classroom through our required cross-cultural practicum designed to help students solidify their integrated knowledge and skills and further develop their disposition for life and work in a cross-cultural context.
- Practicum sites include locations such as the Philippines, Uganda, China, England, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and the United States.
- Rev. Jennifer Ballenger, Assistant Professor of Youth and Family Ministries
- Dr. Brenita Nicholas-Edwards, Professor of Intercultural Studies
- Prof. Timothy Radcliffe**, Director of the Library, Assistant Professor of Theology
- Dr. C. Jeanne Serrão, Professor of Biblical Literature
- Dr. Henry Spaulding, III**, Assistant Professor of Theology, Associate Campus Pastor
- Dr. Eric Vail, Associate Professor of Theology
- Dr. Doug VanNest, Professor of Pastoral Practices and School Dean
- Dr. Michael VanZant, Professor of Biblical Literature and Coordinator of the Master of Ministry Program
The career possibilities that come with a co-major of Intercultural Studies include:
- Christian Ministries: short-term to long-term missions in any cross-cultural setting anywhere in the world; chaplaincy in hospital, school, military, workplace
- Social Work: entry-level positions in humanitarian/non-governmental organizations, community development, child welfare
- Health Sciences: public health, healthcare management, humanitarian organizations, health educator, or other creative-access platform
- Business: entry-level positions in humanitarian/non-governmental organizations or transnational businesses, cross-cultural entrepreneurship, business as mission or other creative-access platform
- Criminal Justice: homeland security, corrections, counterterrorism, law enforcement
MVNU has many endowed scholarships available for students of a wide variety of backgrounds and majors. Additionally, the Nazarene Ministerial Scholarship Program exists for those Nazarene students intending to serve in the Church of the Nazarene.
The School of Christian Ministry offers annual opportunities to travel to countries significant to the Christian faith. Our most recent trips included:
- 2015, 2020 — Turkey and Greece, where students walk in the footsteps of Paul and visit the locations where many of the New Testament and early church events took place.
- 2016, 2019 — Israel and Jordan, where students walk in the footsteps of Jesus and the prophets. They see for themselves the lands where their favorite Bible stories took place and experience the culture and history that has shaped our traidtion.
- 2017 — Germany and Switzerland, where you can walk in the footsteps of the Reformers and see the places where Western tradition was deeply shaped.
For other service learning and academic travel possibilities, visit mvnu.edu/travel.
By the end of the program, students will be able to:
- Articulate the biblical, theological, and historical foundations for Christian mission from a Wesleyan perspective;
- Describe basic missiological principles and apply them to ministries within a variety of contexts;
- Identify and articulate their vocational calling in light of the mission of God.
- Demonstrate ability to work across cultures and sub-cultures, applying the principles of cross-cultural communications;
- Discern sociological dynamics, including the power dynamics of gender, age, ethnicity, and economic disparity, and apply that understanding effectively within a variety of ministry and vocational settings;
- Demonstrate evidence of growing self-awareness and cultural humility through ongoing reflection on experience, practice, and context.
- Evaluate a community’s assets and needs, contextualized in light of its local history and within the larger schemes of national and world history;
- Design programs and ministries responsive to community needs that are sensitive to local, social, and political variables and conditions.
- Work cross-culturally to implement programs and ministries that meet identified needs, drawing from and building on local capacity;