Master of Arts Intercultural Studies
The Master of Arts Intercultural Studies (MAIS) is a 60 credit hour program designed for students preparing for missionary service. Students who enter the MAIS program typically have completed an undergraduate degree with few or no courses in Bible or Theology. MAIS students complete a Core Requirement (33 hrs.) of Bible, New Testament Greek, Systematic Theology, Practical Theology and Research courses, an Intercultural Studies Concentration (18 hrs.), additional Electives (7 hrs.) and a Capstone Project ( 2 hrs.) The emphasis in the MAIS program is for students to achieve a robust understanding of Bible and Christian theology and to integrate that understanding with cultural awareness and practical skills that are critical in a cross-cultural ministry setting.
Why should I choose the MAIS program over another missions or intercultural studies program?
The MAIS has features that make it stand out. First is its balance of solid biblical-theological studies, fitting cultural studies and helpful practical studies. Many programs emphasize "how-to" issues at the expense of the "what" and "why" questions.
Does the MAIS degree meet the requirements of missions agencies?
The degree fulfills the educational requirements of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International. Although most MAIS graduates serve with the BBFI, several have been approved by other agencies. Potential candidates should check with the mission agencies for the respective requirements.
I am a Bible college missions graduate. Is the MAIS profitable for me?
Yes. While most MAIS students come from a secular undergraduate background, even those who enter with an undergraduate missions degree comment on the balance and depth of the MAIS program. Also, if you decide to continue graduate study, the MAIS at BBGS flows right into the Master of Divinity program.
In what order should I take Missions/Intercultural Studies courses?
As a general organizing principle, there are two good approaches:
- Take required courses first, then optional courses
- Take courses in a purposeful order: first, Theological; second, Cultural; third, Practical; fourth, Electives
- Missions Theology courses (Apologetics, Theology and History of Missions, Issues in Missions Theology
- Cultural and Linguistic Studies courses (Cross-cultural Communications, Cultural Anthropology, Linguistics for Missionaries
- Practical Studies courses (Church Planting and National Leadership Training, Missionary Ethics and Relationships, Missions Strategy)
- Electives (Students have varied interests such as Biblical Counseling, teaching English in TESOL programs, or additional training in biblical languages. The elective component provides flexibility and allows students to pursue strong interest in a particular area.)