Intercultural Studies Courses (AGSIM)
CS501 People As Social and Cultural Beings
This course seeks to give students a cross-cultural perspective of ministry. It identifies aspects of culture and worldview that shape people’s perception of experience with a view for how this impacts Christian ministry. It considers worldview change dynamics, cross-cultural communication and the theological implications of a cross-cultural perspective. Students will also reflect on their own worldview and how it shapes their understanding of the gospel and the way they prefer to do ministry.
CS502 The Church as a Social and Cultural Institution
This course studies the social factors that influence the life of the Church as an institution. Social science tools of analysis are used to enable students to become aware of and evaluate the factors that shape the social life of the local church. Issues such as institutionalization, renewal, social differentiation, postmodernism, globalization, and the mass media are discussed. The course is intended to help students begin to consider strategies for addressing the social context of the Church with the gospel.
IC602 Cultural Immersion and Social Analysis
The goal of this Intercultural Seminar is to establish a learning community among ATS students majoring in missions and urban ministry that is developmental, and which offers field opportunities to practice methods of analyzing the cultural and social structure of a selected people group in New York City. Students spend a significant part of the class in New York City studying the worldview of a social group in order to create a strategy for reaching that group with the gospel.
MI705: Seminar - Global Expansion of the Church
This course considers the expansion of the Church around the world in history through the lens of nine key dynamics identified by Church Historian and Missiologist Paul Pierson. A biographical approach is used allowing students to become familiar with great missionaries in history. Their successes and failures are analyzed in light of Pierson’s nine principles. Students are involved in a “living room” style discussion based on selected readings or a guest lecturer’s presentation. This course seeks the formation of a “learning community” of those intending cross-cultural and / or urban ministry. A portion of the class time will be spent in peer-driven faculty resourced mentoring clusters focusing on personal development.
IC603: Doing Theology in Context
This course is designed to help students understand and begin to use methods for doing theology in context. It wrestles with the tension between the authority of the gospel as revealed in scripture and the necessity of understanding the gospel in historical-cultural contexts. The focus of this class is on method. It is concerned with methods of theologizing in context in order to communicate the gospel and disciple new believers rather than on written contextual theologies themselves. Alongside this academic purpose is a complementary goal of assisting students in their personal development spiritually, emotionally, and professionally through mentoring groups.
IC 604: Christian Encounter with World Religions
This course follows a study of the major religious traditions of the world from four vantage points: ◦the historical origins and sociological cradles of the major non-Christian religions; the philosophical assumptions and their resultant theological systems; the existential manifestations of these religions in their pursuit for meaning; their encounter with Christian faith and the uniqueness of Jesus Christ.
IC606: Field Project in Christian Witness
This course is designed to provide students with an experience in a missional situation that will require them to draw on their academic studies at ATS in the M.A. in Intercultural Studies degree program and / or the M.Div. degree with a Missions track. The course will guide students in the use of their personal, social-cultural, biblical and theological skills as they engage non-Christian individuals and groups in the world. Students will spend at least five hours a week serving individuals who are not followers of Jesus Christ with the intention of providing a witness to them of the gospel that is appropriate, sensitive and effective.
IC610: International Christian Community Development
This course considers the theories and methods for doing international community development programs in urban and rural areas. It discusses case studies from both the global context. It emphasizes a participatory approach that seeks to empower, equip and enable local residents to seek to build healthy communities through small scale programs and micro-enterprises. Finally, the course seeks to understand international community development and Christian witness from a biblical perspective of justice and peace.
MI799: Urban Community and Worldview Analysis
The goal of this Mission Seminar is to establish a learning community among ATS students majoring in missions and urban ministry that is developmental, and which offers field opportunities to practice methods of analyzing urban communities for ministry. Students spend a significant part of the class in New York City studying a the worldview of a social group in order to create a strategy for reaching that group with the gospel.
MI840: Tent-making As Mission Strategy
This course surveys the current challenges in mission that call for a strategy of doing mission in a professional occupation (tent-making) in a foreign country. It looks at some historical models of tent-making, considers ethical issues related to this strategy, critiques tentmaker strategies, provides guidelines for doing missions as a tentmaker, and surveys the opportunities open to tent-making missions around the world.