Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies (ICS)


Program Description

The M.A. in Intercultural Studies prepares you for life, work, and ministry in an ever-changing, culturally diverse world. The program provides you with a focused knowledge of the tools and techniques needed to study cultures other than your own. Students will engage in research and analysis that is informed by those disciplines and contributes to the ministry of those engaged in work among ethnic and cultural groups. This degree is offered in two different formats: Program 1 for college graduates with no previous studies in Bible or theology, and Program 2 for college graduates who have at least 15 semester hours of Bible, theology, or Church history.


The M.A. in Intercultural Studies will equip you to:

  • Demonstrate skill in identifying and analyzing cultural issues.
  • Evaluate current strategies regarding the global mission of God.
  • Demonstrate effectiveness in a cross-cultural analysis, research, and writing about the global mission of God.


Potential employment and service opportunities for graduates include:

  • Governmental Service: various diplomatic positions in various U.S. embassies overseas.
  • Military Service: chaplaincy in the various branches.
  • Church Service: mission pastors; ethnic outreach coordinators.
  • Mission Service: short-term to long-term missionaries in any cross-cultural service anywhere in the world; mission agency office support person; mission mobilizer.
  • Business Service: entry-level positions in non-governmental organizations or transnational corporations; tentmakers/business as mission or any other creative access type of platform overseas; marketing specialists to specific groups.
  • Academic Careers: The thesis option track of the M.A. in Intercultural Studies is designed to prepare students for further graduate work, especially a Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies or a related discipline. With a Ph.D., students have the potential to teach at the college, seminary, and university level in North America and abroad.


For entrance into online studies, a bachelor's degree with a 2.5 GPA (with exceptions) is required. The Application Process consists of:

  • Online application
  • Application essay (800-1,000 words)
  • Reference from church leader who has known applicant for at least two years
  • Official transcripts for bachelor's degree and any master's degree work
  • $45 application fee

International Student Requirements

International citizens must complete application items noted above as well as the following items:

  • Academic Transcripts: Must be validated through World Education Services (WES). The student must request the WES ICAP credential package. If not in English, the transcript must be accompanied by an official English translation.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): A minimum score of 79 is required on the TOEFL iBT exam. The computer and paper exams will also be accepted, with a minimum score of 213 on the computer and a minimum score of 550 on the paper exam. The TOEFL is available through the American Consular Office. Our TOEFL code is 5116. The TOEFL is waived if you have completed a degree in which English was the medium of instruction.
  • Educational Background: Fully complete the International Educational Background form. Directions are on the back of the form.
Last updated Feb 2018

About the School

Columbia International University is known worldwide for preparing leaders in ministry, missions and the marketplace.

Columbia International University is known worldwide for preparing leaders in ministry, missions and the marketplace. Read less