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Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies

The Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies (MAIS) is a 48-credit degree serving those preparing for multi-cultural ministry in a domestic or foreign context. Students take an intercultural practicum under the guidance of an experienced mentor. The MAIS allows for up to nine credits of approved courses to be taken by prior approval from a foreign school and integrated into the program at AGTS. Concentration options include:

  • Intercultural Studies
  • Global Missions
  • Member Care
  • Islamic Studies 

Degree Program Overview

The Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies (MAIS) is a 48-credit degree designed to form leaders with a thorough understanding of God’s mission for the Church and the interpersonal and intercultural communication skills essential for productive ministry in cross-cultural settings. The program helps students integrate anthropology, psychology, sociology and theology to inform the task of world evangelization and the planting and nurturing of the Church. It also trains missionaries and other cross-cultural workers for roles in theological education and the development of leaders.

Courses

Mission of God in World Christianity (9 credits)
BTY/MHT 501The Mission of God in Biblical and Contemporary Contexts3
HIS/MHT 556World Christianity 13
HIS/MHT 557World Christianity 23
Bible and Theology (15 credits)
BIB 532Hermeneutics3
BNT 530New Testament Introduction* or BNT Book Study or BTH 532 N.T. Theology3
BOT 530Old Testament Introduction* or BOT Book Study or BTH 530 O.T. Theology3
THE 511Christian Theology* or THE Elective3
RES 531Theological Research & Writing3
Missions (12 credits)
MHT 635Pentecostal Theology of Leadership Development3
MCC/MHT 642Contextualized Theology3
MCC/MHT 643Anthropology and Communication Theological Perspective3
One of the following:3
MSS 641Practicum in Intercultural Ministry 13
MCC 556Field Education Research Project
Electives (12 credits)
Electives in Global Missions12
*Required course unless appropriate substitution approved by adviser
See Global Missions Department Field Education Research Manual
Concentrations (optional)
Concentrations are not required. Students may pursue electives of their choice instead. If students desire a concentration, they will assume responsibility for taking the needed courses through their requirements and electives. These concentrations will not appear on the student degree audit since students often change them during the course of their studies. If the needed courses have been taken and brought to the registrar’s attention, at graduation the concentration will appear on a student’s transcript.
Students may choose from four concentrations in missions studies: Intercultural Studies, Global Missions, Member Care, and Islamic Studies:
Intercultural Studies Concentration
This track consists of twelve credits of electives chosen from courses numbered with the prefixes MCC, MHT and MSS. It provides a solid academic basis for ministry in a missions context or for further missions studies at the doctoral level. A student in the MAIS who wishes to apply for AG credentials may take HIS 532 History and Polity of the Assemblies of God as a missions elective.
Global Missions Concentration (GM)
The GM concentration permits students to pursue a significant portion of their degree outside the context of normal, on-campus studies, allowing them to live, learn and develop ministry skills in a cross-cultural setting (whether in a foreign country or the United States). The experience is designed to guide the student in developing the cultural fluency necessary for effective ministry in today’s globalized and multicultural world.

Students must complete twelve credits of graduate-level studies in an AGTS-approved institution which can be transferred back to fulfill the degree requirements at AGTS. The courses taken under the GM Special Studies Program may be in fields of study other than Intercultural Studies, but require the prior approval of the assigned AGTS mentor in consultation with the Dean of the Seminary.

In addition to classroom curriculum, the student is expected to be involved in the fullest possible range of campus, student life and student ministry activities. The host culture(s) is to be experienced and learned through participation. The student will be encouraged to risk moving away from his or her cultural comfort zone to explore the adventure of getting into the “skin” of another culture. The GM student journal student journal should reflect an intentional involvement in and engagement of the cross-cultural experience.
Member Care Concentration
PTH/MCS 561Foundations for Family Ministries and Soul Care 3
PTH/MCS 565Interpersonal Helping Techniques with Diverse Populations3
Choose two from the following:6
PTH 610Psychological Disorders and Addictive Behaviors
PTH 615Human Sexuality and Marriage Counseling
PTH 618Ministry in Trauma, Crisis and Grief Contexts
PTH/MCS 654Pentecostal Perspective on Justice, the Church and Society
Islamic Studies Concentration
Islam is one of the world’s fastest growing religions, with over 1.4 billion adherents— over one-fifth of the world’s population. While Islam advances at an alarming rate, it remains resistant to the gospel. The Church must address this challenge. The Islamic Studies Concentration provides the opportunity to develop competencies essential for effective ministry to Muslims. Islamic Studies courses are taught in a modular format—usually one or two weeks—on the AGTS campus and at selected extension sites. Professors will be members of the AGTS faculty, Global Initiative and visiting professors of Islamics. Required courses are:
MCC 545Engaging Islam3
MHT 649Christian-Muslim Theological Issues3
MSS 643Church Planting in the Muslim Context3
One of the following:3
MCC 552Women in Islam
MCC 553Islam in the United States
MCC 554Folk Islam and Power Encounter
MSS 641Practicum in intercultural Ministry 1*
*Practicum must be completed in a Muslim context
Practicum (6 credits)
This is a cross-cultural practicum. Students who choose the Islamic Studies concentration must complete their practicum in a Muslim context. This practicum requires a pre-session orientation, a post-session assessment and an approved, supervised cross-cultural involvement. The practicum will usually be completed in a two- to four-week time frame and should normally be scheduled during the summer recess. An exception may be granted to allow the practicum to be scheduled during the course of a regular semester.
In addition to appointing an on-field supervisor, AGTS will assign an in-house mentor to prepare the student for the practicum, and facilitate the understanding and synthesizing of the experience. The student is required to keep a daily journal of experiences. This journal will be utilized in the writing of a reflection paper which the student will present in a final debriefing session at AGTS.
The length of time required for securing AGWM approvals, communicating with a mentor, getting immunizations and visas and raising funds for Global Missions participants affects the application deadlines for intercultural practicums (see Resident Academic Calendar). Late applications will be approved or denied at the discretion of the GM Committee.
Prior to registering for the cross-cultural practicum, the student must have completed the following four courses: BTH/MHT 501, MHT 635, MCC/MHT 642 and MCC/MHT 643. For an exception, the student must petition the GM Department

MAIS Advanced Standing

Students who have earned a significant number of credits in religious studies from approved colleges and universities may request exemption from certain required courses in the MAIS degree program, thus granting them Advanced Standing. Life experience does not qualify for advanced standing. (See registrar for further details.)

Program outcomes:

 The specific learning outcomes for the MAIS Degree include that the student will be able to:

  1. make decisions, live and serve according to revealed truth and the will of God
  2. develop biblical theology of missions which addresses the contemporary missional context
  3. utilize the tools of the social sciences to develop a plan to communicate the gospel in word and deed to persons of another culture
  4. facilitate the ongoing process of contextualization as missional leaders and communities of faith in specific settings
  5. articulate a Spirit driven missiology and praxis
  6. identify, exemplify and foment biblical leadership

These competencies and skills serve any ministry that engages people from multiple cultures or socio-economic levels including missionaries, church planters, pastors, church executives, chaplains, educators and evangelists.

Additional Course Offering Sites

AGTS has two additional course offering sites for Latin American/European missionaries and church leaders to earn credits toward the MAIS program: Continental Theological Seminary, Brussels, Belgium, and Cincel, San Jose, Costa Rica. Both sites are approved for offering 4-6 courses toward the MAIS degree. Participants can build upon these seated experiences with online, modular, and other delivery modes to complete the program. For further information, contact the Office of Seminary Registration and Degree Audit.