Major in Intercultural Studies

Become a global Christian • Study other cultures • Impact the world

Intercultural Studies gives you a global perspective.
JBU facilitates your growth.

In the intercultural studies major, you will learn the value of being a global Christian and appreciate various dimensions of culture. At JBU you will have the opportunity to experience a diverse community on-campus and in the surrounding Siloam Springs and Northwest Arkansas area. You can choose between three concentrations in which you will practice humility in preparation for your career.

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Discover how the Intercultural Studies Major prepares you to understand, communicate, and engage with other cultures as a citizens in a globalized world

Choose one of three emphases:

Community Development

The Community Development emphasis offers students both on-campus and off-campus tracks. In the on-campus track, students take classes in the Principles and Philosophies of Community Development, Poverty & Welfare in American History, and Family Law and Society. In the off-campus track, students have the opportunity to spend four weeks in May at the Institute for Biblical Community Development, learning about Appropriate Technology for community development in a very hands on, experiential way.

Intercultural Ministries

The Intercultural Ministries emphasis is for those who want to go into global missions or minister among those of different cultural backgrounds. In this emphasis students choose 3 of the following five classes: Discipleship & Evangelism, Intercultural Leadership Skills, Community Development, Human Formation and Ministry, and Preaching & Teaching.

International Studies

The International Studies emphasis is for those considering work in journalism, embassies, or other international environments. In this emphasis students choose 3 of the following five classes: Intercultural Leadership Skills, 20th Century World History, International Relations, The Modern Middle East, and African Civilization since 1850.

What to expect as an Intercultural Studies student at JBU

Engage the World

Experience other cultures first-hand through the cultural diversity in our own community, including Hmong, Hispanic, Somali, and refugees from numerous locations. In addition, internships, as well as semester, summer, and spring break trips to Jordan, Guatemala, Uganda, Lithuania, Costa Rica, South KoreaEcuador, Ireland, and many more places give opportunities for intercultural engagement.

Expand Your Worldview

Understand how your story connects with God's story for the nations. Learn to approach and engage other cultures with an inquisitive and humble attitude. Learn how to decenter your own worldview and see the world through the eyes of others.

Conduct Original Research

Conduct a senior qualitative research project of your own design. After learning about research methods and conducting a review of the relevant academic literature, collect data from research participants about their meanings, experiences, and perceptions relating to your topic. Finally, analyze your findings and tease out implications, before presenting your conclusions.

Experience Community

Be part of a cohort of classmates who are all passionate about the world's peoples and cultures. Participate in a variety of community events, such as the ICS Christmas Party, the Bible Division Retreat, the Intercultural Film Festival, and the graduation/towel ceremony.

Double Major

Combine the cultural knowledge and relational skills learned in Intercultural Studies with another major, such as Spanish, Family & Human Services, Photography, Biology, English, Psychology, History, or many others. ICS requires a minor, but we encourage (and enable) double majoring as a way to broaden your impact.

What could you do with an Intercultural Studies degree?

Community Development Worker

Community Development workers focus on how to help specific communities improve in certain areas. Workers may be involved in agricultural development and water purifying techniques for rural communities, and they may be a church staff member responsible for fostering local community.


ICS equips students to effectively engage in the world for Jesus Christ. Overseas ministry involves living and working with individuals from a culture different from one's own. ICS teaches you how to humbly engage with and learn from those of other cultures as you minister to them.

Cultural Anthropologist

Cultural Anthropologists study, research, and write about culture. Anthropologists are interested in how people create culture, the role culture plays in the human experience, and the specific aspects of various cultures. ICS lays the groundwork for further studied in cultural anthropology by introducing students to various aspects of cultural engagement, qualitative research, and anthropological theory.

Qualitative Researcher

Intercultural Studies encourages an investigative mindset through practicing qualitative research. Senior ICS majors conduct a qualitative research project of their own design, learning the aspects and practical implications of qualitative research. Qualitative research focuses on find the meaning and motivations of people through stories, interview, and archival research.

Workplace Ministry

ICS equips students to engage with other cultures and individuals no matter what field you work in. As Christians, it is important for us to learn to minister to others in a way that humbly engages them in an outward-focused manner. 

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