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Department of Christian Ministries

Intercultural Studies

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Department of Christian Ministries

Intercultural Studies

  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Undergraduate

125 credits

required for program

Minor Available

PSEO/Early college online classes

125 credits

125 credits

required for program

Minor Available

PSEO/Early college online classes

Understand different cultural, ethnic, and religious groups for work and ministry. Learn from seasoned Christian faculty who have served overseas. The intercultural studies major was designed to promote the interest and concern of all students for intercultural ministry both in North America and overseas. This degree lays the foundations for you to live and work all around the globe.

This might be the right degree for you if you

  • are mission-oriented
  • are interested in humanitarian outreach
  • have an international mindset
  • are interested in a career working overseas or with domestic immigrants

Why do intercultural studies at Northwestern?

Your vision of what God is doing in the world will expand as you learn from intercultural leaders who have spent much of their lives living and working in other countries. You will gain valuable hands-on experience doing cross-cultural work right here in the diverse communities of Minnesota and abroad.

One of the distinguishing requirements of the program is participating in the Intercultural Studies Internship (ICS). This degree also includes a variety of concentrations including: Chinese Language, Cross-cultural Ministry, English Language Teaching, Global Education, Nonprofit Leadership, Social Justice, and Spanish Language. The concentration track is also designed for students hoping to double major.

What degree concentrations are offered at Northwestern?

Students in this major are allowed to choose from the following concentrations or work with their advisor to design their own concentration.

    Accelerated MA in Ministry Leadership

    Students may apply through the Ministry department to combine an undergraduate degree in Intercultural Studies with an accelerated Master of Arts in Ministry Leadership. Intercultural Studies majors complete up to 14 credits of the MA degree during their undergraduate program and the remaining 22 credits during a fifth year of study. The fifth year can be completed on site or through online learning. This pathway saves students time and tuition expense as they add a graduate degree to their portfolio.

    What will I learn?

    You will develop an international ministry mindset and establish strong written and verbal communication skills.


    of Northwestern’s Christian Ministries graduates felt professionally prepared by their education


    hours cross-cultural internship


    of seniors believe the faculty are genuinely interested in their welfare

    Careers in intercultural studies

    There are a variety of career and academic pathways that begin with a degree in intercultural studies.

    What types of work are related to this degree?

    • Missions
    • Humanitarian aid
    • Foreign Service official
    • Diplomacy
    • Policy analysis
    • International development
    • Church staff member
    • Community organization director (cross cultural)
    • Evangelism and church planting
    • Government work
    • Hospitality ministries
    • House parent
    • Inner city ministry
    • Overseas business
    • Refugee resettlement
    • Teaching English to speakers of other languages (with TESOL minor track)

    Who employs people with this degree?

    • Missions agencies
    • Cross-cultural ministries, domestic or foreign
    • Federal government (CIA, FBI, Military, USAID, Peace Corps, etc.)
    • Government contractors (especially defense contractors)
    • Embassies and consulates
    • Non-governmental organizations (such as International Red Cross)
    • Major corporations
    • Travel industry
    • Universities/study abroad programs
    • Foreign policy research institutes
    • Teach abroad programs
    View Career Guide

    Preparing for a Career

    College graduation rates continue to increase each year making competition for jobs even greater. Set yourself apart from the crowd with the following strategies for getting started, networking, and gaining experience.

    Strategies for success:

    • Minor or take courses in business to increase employability options.
    • Intercultural studies majors have an understanding of global issues and trends. Understanding of other cultures is valued by employers in many industries including education, government, and business.
    • Learn at least one additional language. Consider the Intercultural Studies and Spanish Major.
    • Spend a semester or year studying abroad.
    • Seek an international internship, even if unpaid.
    • Obtain related experience with organizations in the U.S.
    • Plan to participate in the Department’s international internship—start saving money now!
    • Research certification options for teaching English (TESOL, CELTA, CELTC, TEFL) including the Intercultural Studies and English Teaching major.
    • Gain experience in communications with people from other countries. Get involved with the international student community on campus.
    • Subscribe to online or print publications with a global, intercultural, or missions focus.

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