MA in ICS Purpose

The Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies (MA in ICS) provides specialized study in the discipline of intercultural studies and Christian mission.  The MA in 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 in ICS 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. 

MA in ICS Admission Requirements

  1. Possess and earned bachelor's degree or its equivalent from and accredited college or university (generally at least 120 hours), which normally includes a minimum of 60 hours of liberal arts coursework with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  2. The bachelor's degree must include a minimum of 8 hours in intercultural studies/missions and social sciences, or the applicant must have had extensive intercultural experience.
  3. The applicant must have completed 6 semester hours of undergraduate study in the Bible including Old and New Testament surveys, or enroll at TEDS in OT 5000 and NT 5000 to meet this prerequisite. Outstanding prerequisites must be completed early in the program.
  4. The applicant must complete the entire TEDS application process via the TEDS Admissions Office.
  5. A personal interview may be required.

MA in ICS Program Flexibility and Duration

The MA in ICS is flexible, allowing students who live and serve in various parts of the world to complete the program entirely from a distance. Required core courses are scheduled regularly online. Courses at the Bannockburn campus are offered during the academic year and summers, including one- or two-week modular formats, as well as synchronously through online video-conferencing. Courses are also offered at Trinity Extension sites. The ME department requires that students complete at least two ME courses in face-to-face or remote synchronous formats. Through a combination of online and synchronous courses, the MA in ICS program may be completed fully remotely.

  • 24 hours must be completed through Trinity coursework, with the final 8 program hours completed through Trinity.
  • Duration: Generally, two to three semester of full-time coursework are followed by one to two semesters of Capstone work and the comprehensive exam.
  • All MA program requirements must be completed within five years of matriculation into the program (statute of limitations)

MA in ICS Graduation Requirements

In addition to the General Graduation Requirements for all master's programs, the following requirements must be met:

  • All outstanding prerequisites and entrance deficiencies and conditions are removed.
  • Completion of all program requirements with a minimum cumulative grade point average for program coursework of 2.5, and with no coursework graded below a "C-" applicable to the degree.
  • Successfully complete a Capstone and pass the Major Comprehensive Exam.

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 101BI 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
Intercultural Studies Core
ME 6760Theology of Mission & Evangelism3
ME 6610Anthropology for Ministry3
or ME 8210 Intercultural Communications
ME 6410History of the Expansion of Christianity3
or CH 7450 Christianity in the Non-Western World Since 1500
Electives in Intercultural Studies9
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 in ICS Major Comprehensive Exam
ME 7477MA Major Comprehensive Exam1
MA in ICS Capstone
Participants work with the Department in completing one of the following:2
MA Capstone Integrative Paper
Intercultural Ministries Internship
MA Thesis 2
Total Hours36