Overview of Cross-Cultural Studies Degree Programs

In cross-cultural studies programs, students learn about the dynamics, communications and issues between world races and cultures through traditional coursework and internships.

Essential Information

Some cross-cultural studies programs can be found in secular schools, but a large number are available in bible colleges and seminaries as preparation for evangelistic or missionary work. 2-year associate's curriculum covers world religions, church planting, interpersonal relationships between cultures, U.S. minorities and personal leadership dynamics. Only a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) equivalent is necessary for admission. Bachelor's students receive help developing a personal at-home or abroad ministry that is mindful of cultural differences. That considered, many courses discuss various elements of mission-work, including the methods, practices, principles and history of missions and it's relation to anthropology. Pupils can also choose a concentration in a supplementary area, like linguistics, foreign language and education. Applicants must have a high school diploma and suitable Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or American College Testing (ACT) scores. Master's programs tend to be more secular and centralized on providing students with the skills needed to bridge cultural gaps. Class topics include intellectual and cultural property rights, the contributions and roles of indigenous insight, diversity and cross-cultural families. Direct experience is gained through internships and/or mission trips. Prospective enrollees must have a bachelor's degree, 2 years of related experience and acceptable Graduate Records Exam (GRE) scores.

  • Program Levels: Associate's, bachelor's and master's
  • Prerequisites: A high school diploma or equivalent and standardized test scores for the undergraduate level, a bachelor's degree, 2 years of relevant experience and acceptable proficiency exam scores for a master's
  • Program Specializations: Options include education and linguistics
  • Program Length: 2 years for an associate's
  • Other Requirements: Completion of an internship or mission trip for master's graduation

Associate's in Cross-Cultural Studies

Depending on the institution and program focus, associate's-level studies can have 2-8 required core courses that address the following:

  • Cross-cultural ministry
  • Cultural anthropology
  • Hispanic and Latino American culture
  • Discipleship and evangelism

Bachelor's in Cross-Cultural Studies

Although much of associate's and bachelor's cross-cultural studies curricula intersect, some subjects specific to a bachelor's program are:

  • Biblical basis for cross-cultural ministries
  • Cross-cultural literature
  • Culture and language
  • Dimensions of missions
  • International missions practicum

Master's in Cross-Cultural Studies

The content of master's classes depend on whether a program is more secular or religious. Possible topics include:

  • Awareness and culture
  • Cross-cultural organization
  • Documenting knowledge of indigenous peoples
  • Ecological systems and traditional knowledge
  • Impact of cultural processes on education

Popular Career Options

Graduates are eligible for employment as church counselors, youth pastors and missionaries, among other roles. Some individuals work in the fields of remedial education and adult literacy, language translating and postsecondary teaching. Master's degree holders have access to positions such as:

  • Social service worker
  • Human resources specialist
  • Cross-cultural consultant
  • Education counselor

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for human resources specialists and postsecondary teachers is predicted to grow at a rate 7% and 19% over 2012-2022 with mean salaries of $62,590 and $78,120 (area, ethnic and cultural studies) as of May 2014, respectively. Community and social service occupation workers earned a mean salary of $45,310 also as of May 2014.

Continuing Education

Graduates may further their education with advanced degrees in cultural anthropology, linguistics or in the study of a specific culture.

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