MA/ICS Concentration Purpose

The Master of Arts concentration in Intercultural Studies (MA/ICS) provides specialized study in the discipline of intercultural studies and Christian mission.  The MA/ICS seeks to develop students in knowledge and practice of cross-cultural ministry, as well as work integrating theological, historical, and social scientific disciplines. The program is suitable for persons seeking academic preparation for service as missionaries, cross-cultural workers, teachers, strategists, or researchers. The program may also serve as an intermediate step toward doctoral study in a related area.  In addition, there are many forms of pastoral, church-planting, parachurch, and urban ministry in the U.S., Canada, and other western contexts in which a deep understanding of contextualization and cross-cultural ministry is necessary. For this reason, several courses are offered with a focus in missional ministry.

MA/ICS Concentration Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will gain a foundational understanding of the biblical basis of mission and learn to biblically assess various aspects of intercultural ministry.
  2. Students will have deeper insight into the nature of human cultures and the implications of cultural differences for intercultural ministry.
  3. Students will be able to articulate historical background of various mission related issues and their implications for mission practice today.
  4. Students will develop skills related to the practice, analysis and strategies of intercultural ministry.
  5. Students will grow in their appreciation for human diversity and in their passion to participate in God’s mission in the world today. 

Flexible Program

The MA/ICS is flexible, allowing students who live and serve in various parts of the world to complete it. Required courses are scheduled regularly online. Live courses are offered at the Deerfield campus on weekends, and in one- or two-week modular formats, both throughout the academic year and during summers. Courses are offered also at Trinity extension sites. The department requires that students complete at least two face-to-face ME courses at the Deerfield campus in order to meet and interact personally with regular ME faculty and students.

MA/ICS Prerequisites

  1. 6 semester hours of Bible including Old and New Testament surveys; or TEDS OT 5000 and NT 5000
  2. an undergraduate major in intercultural studies or its equivalent that includes a minimum of 8 hours in intercultural studies/missions and social sciences, or extensive intercultural experience

Dual Degree MA/ICS Concentration for Trinity College Undergraduate Students

Trinity College (TC) students may apply to the dual degree MA/ICS program upon completion of 70 hours of undergraduate work. The following are also required:

  • A minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • A recommendation from the undergraduate academic advisor and the TC program chair
  • A completed TEDS application
  • A personal interview with an MA/ICS faculty member who approves the applicant’s admission to the program concentration
  • Completion of 8 hours of undergraduate missions and social science courses with a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Completion of a minimum of 9 hours of undergraduate Bible and theology through BI 101, BI 111, and BI 210 with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • Completion of an intercultural experience of at least two weeks consisting of mission-type activities

Further details regarding BA studies may be ascertained by consulting the Trinity College catalog.

Bible and Theology Core
ID 5000Biblical Theology and Interpretation3
ST 5201
ST 5202
Theology I: The God of the Gospel
and Theology II: The Gospel of God
Concentration Core
ME 6760Theology of Mission & Evangelism3
ME 6610Anthropology for Ministry3
or ME 8210 Intercultural Communications
ME 6410History of Missions in the Modern World3
or CH 7450 Christianity in the Non-Western World Since 1700
Electives in Intercultural Studies6
Elective Courses6
Elective course work is dependent upon academic and professional goals, and is determined in consultation with the faculty advisor.
Field Education and Formation Group
Select one option from the following:0
Option 1:
Field Education (2 semesters)
Option 2:
Field Education (1 semester)
Formation Group (2 semesters)
MA/ICS Capstone
MA/ICS Major Comprehensive Exam
Participants work with the Department in completing one of the following:2
MA Capstone Integrative Paper
Internship I
and Internship II 1
MA Thesis 2
Total Hours32

Required for students with limited cross-cultural experience as determined by the ME Department.


The thesis option requires a research methods course as an elective.