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 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 also offered 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.

Master of Arts / Intercultural Studies

Where can this degree take me?

This program provides specialized study in the discipline of intercultural studies and Christian mission. The MA/ICS seeks to develop students in the 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, and researchers. The program may serve also as an intermediate step toward doctoral study in a related area.

What will I study?

A foundation of theology courses is coupled with core courses in mission and intercultural studies along with a generous number of electives and a choice of capstone projects (integrative paper, internship, or thesis) depending on your interests and future plans. Courses you will take include the following:

  • Bible and Theology Core - 9 hours

    ID 5000 Biblical Theology and Interpretation 3 hours
    ST 5201 Theology I: The God of the Gospel 3 hours
    ST 5202 Theology II: The Gospel of God 3 hours


  • Intercultural Studies Core - 15 hours

    ME 6760 Theology of Mission & Evangelism 3 hours
    ME 6610 (or) ME 8210 Anthropology for Ministry (or) Intercultural Communications 3 hours
    ME 6410 (or) ME 7450 History of Missions in the Modern World (or) Christianity in the Non-Western World since 1700 3 hours

     Recommended Electives (6 hours required)

    ME 7215 Teaching the Bible in Intercultural Settings 3 hours
    ME 7300 World Religions 3 hours
    ME 7710 Contextualization 3 hours
    ME 8230 Global Church Planting and Development 3 hours
    ME 8315 Christian Encounter with Islam 3 hours
    ME 8815 Ethnicity: Modes of Analysis and Inquiry 3 hours


  • Electives, Field Education & Capstone - 12 hours

    Electives (9 hours)

    Elective course work is dependent upon academic and professional goals, and is determined in consultation with the faculty advisor. If writing a thesis, a research methods course is required.

    Field Education and Formation Group (0 hours)

    PT 5090 Field Ed (two semesters)
    PT 5090 Field Ed (one semester) and ID 5080 Formation Group (two semesters)

    Comprehensive Exam and Capstone

    Field Education and Formation Group: Choose One 0 hours
    PT 5090 Field Education (2 semesters)

    PT 5090

    and ID 5080

    Field Education (1 semester) and Formation Group (2 semesters)
    MA/ICS Major Comprehensive Exam 1 hour
    MA/ICS Capstone Participants work with the department in completing one of the following
    ID 7480 MA Integrative Paper 2 hours
    PT 746X Intercultural Ministries Internship (Required for students with limited cross-cultural experience as determined by the ME department) 2 hours
    ME 7485 MA Thesis (The thesis option requires a research methods course as an elective) 2 hours


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

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 our offered with a focus in missional ministry. Learn more about this focus area.

What are the prerequisites for admission to this program?

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

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