Trinity Evangelical Divinity School



Master of Arts / Intercultural Studies

As our world becomes increasingly globalized, the task of relating cross-culturally – and seeking to communicate the Gospel cross-culturally – is more and more pressing.

The MA / ICS is a flexible program designed to offer growth in ministries that require cross-cultural sensitivity and preparation for further academic work. Such ministries are located in the U.S. (such as missions pastors) and abroad, and include but are not limited to traditional “overseas missions”. Graduates will be equipped to interpret Scripture well, able to wrestle with contextualization, and strengthened in their knowledge of missiology and cultural sensitivity.

Master of Arts / Intercultural Studies

Where can this degree take me?

This program serves as great preparation for a variety of vocations. There are many forms of pastoral and parachurch ministry in the U.S. in which a deep understanding of contextualization and cross-cultural relationships is crucial. For this reason explore our Missional Ministry Focus in the MA ICS program. This selection of courses equips students to live as missionaries in their contexts and to lead others in the Western church in missional ministry. This program is also great preparation for vocational missions work of many kinds nationally and overseas. Additionally, our community has benefited greatly from the wisdom and insight of career missionaries who, having already been on the field, take educational sabbaticals to complete this program; they in turn have been challenged with fresh insights to put into practice when they return.

This program also serves as preparation for further graduate or doctoral work in intercultural studies, missiology, or a related field.

What will I study?

A foundation of theology courses is coupled with core courses in mission and intercultural studies, including some options in pastoral theology, along with a generous number of electives and a choice of capstone projects (integrative paper, internship, or thesis) depending on where you’d like to go with this degree. Courses you’ll take include the following:

  • Bible and Theology Core - 7-9 hours

    A minimum of one course (2 hours) each in Old Testament, New Testament, and Theology. The following are recommended:

    OT 5100 English Bible (Old Testament) 2 hours
    NT 5100 English Bible (New Testament) 2 hours

    Select one:

    ID 5000 Biblical Theology and Interpretation 3 hours
    ST 5101, 5102, Theology I, II, or III 3 hours
    or 5103
    ST 7395 Hermeneutics 3 hours
  • Intercultural Studies Core - 12-15 hours


    ME 6760 Theology of Mission and Evangelism 3 hours
    Elective in Intercultural Studies 4-6 hours

    Select one:

    ME 6250 The Intercultural Missionary 2 hours
    ME 6610 Anthropology for Ministry 2 hours
    ME 8210 Intercultural Communication 3 hours

    Select one:

    ME 6410 History of Missions in the Modern World 3 hours
    ME 7450 Christianity in the Non-Western World Since 1700 3 hours

    The following courses in other departments may be completed in the Concentration Core.

    PT 5150 Introduction to Church Planting in North America
    PT 5155 Church Planting Bootcamp
    PT 6155 Advanced Church Planting
    PT 7260 Evangelistic Preaching
  • Electives, Field Education & Capstone - 8-13 hours

    Electives (6-11 hours)

    Elective course work is dependent upon academic and professional goals, and is determined in consultation with the faculty advisor.

    Field Education (0 hours)

    PT 5090 Field Ed (two semesters) –or–
    PT 5090 Field Ed (one semester) and ID 5080 Formation Group (two semesters) 0 hours

    MA/ICS Capstone (2 hours)

    MA/ICS Major Comprehensive Exam
    Participants work with the Department in completing one of the following:
    ID 7480 MA Integrative Paper 2 hours
    PT 7465/7466 ME Internship† 2 hours
    ME 7485 MA Thesis‡ 2 hours
    †Internship option required for students with limited cross-cultural experience as determined under ME faculty advisement.
    ‡Also requires a research methods course as an elective.

Nontraditional Student Options

This program is structured so as to enable nontraditional students to complete it. Required courses are scheduled regularly in evenings, weekends, and in one- or two-week modular formates; others are offered in the summer, at extension sites, online through distance education, or as guided research study. Please talk to an admissions counselor to find out what options might be best for your situation.

Missional Ministry Focus

The missional ministry focus equips students to live as missionaries in their contexts and to lead others in the Western church in missional ministry. Learn more about this special focus area.

What are the prerequisites for admission to this program?

In addition to the requirements for general admission, you’ll need the following:

  • Eight semester hours of undergraduate missions and social sciences courses, or extensive intercultural experience.
  • A minimum of one semester-length survey class each in Old Testament, New Testament, and Christian theology or doctrine (generally totaling 9-10 semester hours). You can be admitted without this, but you must make up these courses early in your program to move forward.
  • An undergrad GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is preferred; we’ll need scores from either the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) if your GPA is below 3.0.