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.

IC601: Global Expansion of the Church

Focuses on key periods of church expansion, from apostolic to medieval to modern missionary eras. This course considers mission strategy for the growth of the church from the perspective of history with a view to strategizing for the future. This class cultivates a living room dialogical method of reflection and demands a high level of class participation.

IC602 Cultural Immersion and Social Analysis

Focuses on methods of analyzing the worldviews of various social groups in the city in order to construct communication strategies for Christian witness. The class spends a week living together in New York City collecting ethnographic information through observation and interviewing.

IC603: Doing Theology in Context

Focuses on the methods for understanding and communicating the Christian gospel within contingencies of history and culture. Students read theology from the Two Thirds World, survey theories of contextualization and consider emerging models for the practical communication of Christ and His Kingdom in a variety of contexts. This class cultivates a living room dialogical method of reflection and demands a high level of class participation.

IC 604: Christian Encounter with World Religions

Focuses on world religions from three vantage points: first, the historical origins and sociological cradles of the major non-Christian religions; second, their philosophical/theological assumptions; third, the existential manifestations of these religions in their pursuit for meaning. Students and faculty spend significant time visiting non-Christian worship centers and interviewing the leaders of some of the major non-Christian religious communities in the New York City area.

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.