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  • M.A. in International Studies

    Study. Travel. Lead.

    Cross-cultural sensitivities and international diplomacy are necessary qualities for leaders in today’s global environment. Our values-driven, biblical approach to global engagement weds cultural awareness seminars with international field experience to equip successful leaders in an ever-globalizing world.

 

Course Descriptions

Core Curriculum (24 hours)

Analysis of cultural influences on human communication. Emphasis on cultural values, norms, perception, verbal, and nonverbal codes. Theory and research related to global intercultural communication provide the foundation for this study.

This course will explore the practice of leadership from a biblical servant leader point of view and the various styles of leadership. Students will be encouraged to develop a personal set of leadership principles reflecting those of a servant. Considerations will also be given to developing people skills, team building skills, and conflict management skills. Students must take this course during their first year in the program.

This course is designed to enhance awareness of global issues in a designated foreign country. The travel-study course covers a range of contemporary topics relevant to the region of travel: 1) ethnic and cultural factors that lead to conflict; 2) International social justice issues; 3) cross-border global issues; 4) the intersection of state and religion; 5) technology; and 6) other issues relating to globalization.

This course is an overview of the specific unique characteristics of regions of the world related to their culture, economy, topography, climate, politics, and environmental factors. The course examines the importance of geography in geopolitics with emphasis on current issues of regional and global development.

This course examines beliefs and practices of religious traditions and worldviews around the globe and their effect on culture, geopolitics, and business. Through careful examination and analysis, students compare and contrast major religions and worldviews from a Christian perspective, and how the practice of these global beliefs impacts today's world.

The study and application of theories and concepts related to the scope of comparative politics and methods of comparing various aspects of political systems. The principles, structure, and operation of selected contemporary federations will be compared to each other and the government of the United States. Special attention will be paid to the impact of contrasting cultures, geography, rule of law, and topography in the development of different governmental systems.

In this course, students will explore the nuances of leading in cross-cultural and global contexts. Students will develop an understanding of the opportunities and challenges that leading in diverse cultural environments brings, and will study the skills and factors necessary to lead effectively in such environments. The critical goal of the course is to prepare students to adapt their leadership styles to be able to lead in these types of complex contexts with people from various cultures.

Select one of the following courses:

A study of literature that has emerged outside the western tradition, allowing for an examination of the rich diversity that comes from literature from other cultures around the globe. The majority of texts will be from non-western regions. Students may repeat the course for credit when content changes.

Students will learn the principles and processes of first and second language acquisition in conjunction with language development and environment. In addition, the interrelatedness of L1 and L2 and the transfer/relation of the four communication skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) will be mastered. Literacy precepts and the foundations of ESL and program types will be applied in the Implementation of an effective multicultural learning environment.

The course provides orientation to people who will work in international or ethnically diverse settings where personal adaptation to a different language and culture is required. The course focuses on acquiring insights and skills for cultural adaptation, language acquisition, and contextualization of lifestyle, communication practices, and gospel witness. Students are involved in cross-cultural exercise to learn how to relate positively to those of other cultures and worldviews.

This course explores the political, economic, social, cultural, and environmental factors associated with transnational conflicts and assesses different approaches to conflict resolution. The course covers the role of religion in conflict and peace studies, theories of conflict resolution in international relations, and case studies of various conflicts.

This course examines the impact of cultural differences in today’s globalizing world in order to avoid misunderstandings, misalignment, and missed opportunities. By leveraging the value from cultural differences, students will be able to lead in breakthrough thinking and more effective collaboration in business ventures, diplomatic relations, and international ministry opportunities.

Concentrations:

East Asian Studies

European Studies

General International Studies

Global Business

International Immersion

International Ministry

International Relations

East Asian Studies

The MAIS in East Asian Studies concentration emphasizes East Asian civilizations, culture, history, literature, philosophy, religion, and business finance. The East Asian Studies concentration is designed for students who are interested in serving in a broad array of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean cultural contexts and who see knowledge of the culture of these East Asian countries as significant components for their effectiveness in an increasingly international community.

Learner Centered Outcomes-

Upon completion of this concentration, the successful student should be able to:

  1. Describe how East Asian civilizations, culture, history, language, literature, philosophy, religion, and traditions relate to the formation of East Asian societies such as China, Japan, and Korea in modern times
  2. Analyze the unique culture and people of the East Asian countries with an informed and Christ-centered perspective
  3. Predict potential methods of improvement and enrichment that could be culturally appropriate in the East Asian society
  4. Examine areas of the student’s own culture which might benefit from adapting some aspect of the East Asian cultural and business practices
  5. Develop cross-cultural competencies by gaining intercultural adaptation skills in order to serve in the East Asian context

Select any four of the following courses:

This course explores the historical background of China, Japan, and Korea; analyzing the East Asian culture and the current dynamics of social issues in these three countries.

This course explores the history of East Asian philosophy, religious beliefs, and practices from the area's prehistory to the present.

An overview of the visual and performing arts of East Asia. Field trips to art museums and cultural events will be required.

This course explores selected masterpieces of China, Japan, and Korea from the earliest periods through the 19th century.

A comprehensive introduction to and survey of the principles of leadership in East Asian culture will be covered. This course examines the topic of leadership issues in East Asia and how the leadership style has been developed in the East Asian societies. Students will study the historical and cultural backgrounds of leadership in China, Japan, and Korea and examine how the cultural values influence the methods of leadership. Emphasis is placed on the comparative study of leadership philosophies and practices between East Asian culture and American culture. Students will become familiar with past and current leaders in East Asia, and study development of leadership skills in a cross-cultural environment to enable them to become effective business and organizational leaders in East Asian culture.

This course examines the topic of successful business in East Asian countries. Students will study the historical and cultural backgrounds of each country and examine how these backgrounds impact current business practices. Emphasis is placed on the analysis of financial issues in China, Japan, and South Korea. Students will survey the economic development of these countries focusing on the development of financial markets. The course also examines the current financial issues these countries are dealing with.

For students involved in cultural immersion, this course provides an exploration of basic components of local culture and the heritage of civilization of a designated host country in East Asia, including an appreciation for history, religion, festivals, customs, family life, business practices, institutions, arts, etc.

For students involved in East Asian language immersion, this course provides introductory knowledge of essential survival phrases, vocabulary and grammar to communicate at a basic level for living necessities, and simple conversations as cultural learners.

This course is designed as a minimum four-week immersion venture in a foreign country which allows the student to gain first-hand knowledge and experience of that country’s civilization and culture alongside exposure to foreign language acquisition, global business strategies, governmental practices, international ministry programs, or non-government organizations. This course allows students to gain valuable hands-on experience from an international organization through an internship supervised by a mentor in a leadership position.

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European Studies

The MAIS in European Studies concentration emphasizes European history, religion, literature, culture, leadership, and business finance. The European Studies concentration is designed for students who are interested in serving in a broad array of Western and Eastern European cultural contexts and who see knowledge of the culture of these European countries as significant components for their effectiveness in an increasingly global environment.

Learner Centered Outcomes-

Upon completion of this concentration, the successful student should be able to:

  1. Describe how European history, religion, literature, culture, leadership, and business relate to the formation of European societies in modern times
  2. Analyze the unique culture and people of the European countries with an informed and Christ-centered perspective
  3. Predict potential methods of improvement and enrichment that could be culturally appropriate in the European society
  4. Examine areas of the student’s own culture which might benefit from adapting some aspect of the European cultural and business practices
  5. Develop cross-cultural competencies by gaining intercultural adaptation skills in order to serve in the European context

Select any four of the following courses:

A study of literature that has emerged outside the western tradition, allowing for an examination of the rich diversity that comes from literature from other cultures around the globe. The majority of texts will be from non-western regions. Students may repeat the course for credit when content changes.

An overview of Western civilization and the influence of Christianity in economic, political, and social developments of Western civilization including the Ancient period, Greece, Rome, the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment, and the Modern periods.

A study of the history of the church from the New Testament era to the present giving special emphasis to developments in Europe and the West. This study includes Christian thought, philosophy, literature, institutions, expansion, and secular backgrounds. Special attention will be given to a study of the impact of Christianity on Western culture.

A comprehensive introduction to and survey of the principles of leadership in European culture will be covered. This course examines the topic of leadership issues in Europe and how the leadership style has been developed in the European societies. Students will study the historical and cultural backgrounds of leadership in Western and Eastern European countries and examine how the cultural values influence the methods of leadership. Emphasis is placed on the comparative study of leadership philosophies and practices between European culture and American culture. Students will become familiar with past and current leaders in Europe, and study development of leadership skills in a cross-cultural environment to enable them to become effective business and organizational leaders in European culture.

This course examines the topic of successful business in European countries. Students will study the historical and cultural backgrounds of various Western and Eastern European countries and examine how these backgrounds impact current business practices. Emphasis is placed on the analysis of financial issues in Western and Eastern Europe. Students will survey the economic development of these countries focusing on the development of financial markets. The course also examines the current financial issues these countries are facing in today’s economy.

This course is designed as a minimum four-week immersion venture in a foreign country which allows the student to gain first-hand knowledge and experience of that country’s civilization and culture alongside exposure to foreign language acquisition, global business strategies, governmental practices, international ministry programs, or non-government organizations. This course allows students to gain valuable hands-on experience from an international organization through an internship supervised by a mentor in a leadership position.

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General International Studies

The MAIS in General International Studies concentration emphasizes the cumulative value of general knowledge in both regional studies and functional studies. The General International Studies concentration permits students to develop a tailor-made skill set to successfully engage cross-culturally and internationally in positions of leadership, whether by focusing on specific regions of the world or the general interplay between culture, religion, and commerce.

Learner Centered Outcomes-

Upon completion of this concentration, the successful student should be able to:

  1. Describe how cultures and cultural practices shape society
  2. Examine the strategies of ministry and business across various world regions
  3. Predict how the patterns of globalization will affect cross-cultural engagement
  4. Develop the soft skill sets to become internationally conversant

Select any four courses from the following concentrations:

    • East Asian Studies
    • European Studies
    • Global Business
    • International Ministry
    • International Relations
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Global Business

The MAIS in Global Business concentration emphasizes business in cross-cultural, international, and multiethnic contexts. The Global Business concentration encourages students to become international business leaders in their respective fields. The concentration equips students to conduct business from a global perspective with the soft skills necessary to be sensitive toward diverse cultural practices.

Learner Centered Outcomes-

Upon completion of this concentration, the successful student should be able to:

  1. Describe the international business practices of western and eastern civilizations highlighting their commonalities and differences
  2. Analyze modern, international business practices to see how they might be adapted to enhance business productivity
  3. Propose how changing cultural norms due to globalization will affect a country’s future economic development
  4. Develop the soft skills necessary to conduct successful business ventures between western and eastern societies in a culturally-sensitive way

Select any four of the following courses:

Theories of intercultural and organizational communication are related to communication practices for global organizations. Topics include: organizational culture, nonverbal communication, communicator credibility, approaches to conflict, impact on advertising, and presenting messages.

Discussed in this course will be the current macro and micro theories required to understand the world economy. Special emphasis is placed on the economic, cultural, legal, and political factors which influence the welfare of nations and the strategies of international businesses. Students will also explore the rules of international law that regulate transactions between parties and nations. Prerequisite: ECON 5311, MANA 51.522.

This course provides students with an understanding of the complexities faced by entrepreneurs doing business in a global environment. Once the domain of only large, experienced multinational corporations, international business is now of interest to new and young firms, guided by entrepreneurs with a global vision. The course lays a theoretical foundation on which the practical application of international entrepreneurship is then built.

This course examines the financial management of multinational corporations and the rapidly changing international financial markets. The survey of global financial markets includes the study of international monetary systems, foreign exchange rates, foreign exchange markets, currency futures, options and swaps, and Eurocurrency and Eurobond markets. The course also covers some of the international financial management issues such as multinational risk management. Prerequisite: FINA 6301.

Business as Mission looks at creative proposals for doing global business in ways that also advance a humanitarian and Christian kingdom agenda while promoting missionary strategy. This course examines the Business as Mission (BAM) movement from historical, biblical, philosophical, and practical perspectives. Students will learn to formulate strategic business plans that integrate with strategic ministry goals, even while maintaining performance standards in both domains.

This course is designed as a minimum four-week immersion venture in a foreign country which allows the student to gain first-hand knowledge and experience of that country’s civilization and culture alongside exposure to foreign language acquisition, global business strategies, governmental practices, international ministry programs, or non-government organizations. This course allows students to gain valuable hands-on experience from an international organization through an internship supervised by a mentor in a leadership position.

A comprehensive introduction to and survey of the principles of international business management will be covered. Topics include East-West trade, the international monetary system, and growth and trends in international trade and investment. The course examines strategic aspects of managing a global or multinational business firm: organization, staffing, labor relations, relations with host governments, financial management, cultural problems, legal and political consideration, and competitive market forces.

This course examines the marketing strategies related to the unique problems and opportunities firms face in the international environment. The effects of cultural differences, domestic and international regulations, as they affect marketing strategies and research methods, will be studied for the multinational firm. Prerequisite: MRKT 6301.

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International Immersion

The MAIS in International Immersion concentration emphasizes the benefits of a long-term cross-cultural, international experience. The International Immersion concentration permits students to work with a lead professor to design a two-semester immersion practicum in a foreign country, which will include language acquisition, an international internship, and civilization and culture experience.

Learner Centered Outcomes-

Upon completion of this concentration, the successful student should be able to:

  1. Describe how the country’s history, religion, literature, culture, and leadership relate to leadership strategies and their influence on the formation of its society in modern times
  2. Analyze the unique civilization and culture of the country with an informed and Christ-centered perspective
  3. Develop cross-cultural competencies by gaining intercultural adaptational skills

Students will work with a lead professor to design a two-semester immersion experience in a foreign country:

For students involved in cultural immersion, this course provides an exploration of basic components of local culture and the heritage of civilization of a designated host country, including an appreciation for history, religion, festivals, customs, family life, business practices, institutions, arts, and others.

For students involved in language immersion, this course provides introductory knowledge of essential survival phrases, vocabulary, and grammar to communicate at a basic level for living necessities and simple conversations as cultural learners in a foreign country.

The course is a six-month, supervised practical internship related to student vocational goals while in a foreign country. Students receive apprenticeship guidance for their hands-on service and mentorship from an accomplished leader in their field. Students improve their functional and leadership skills through international field experience that tests their abilities in cross-cultural settings.

The course is a continuation of the international internship experience begun in MAIS 5311. Prerequisite: MAIS 5311

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International Ministry

The MAIS concentration in International Ministry emphasizes ministry in cross-cultural, international, and multiethnic contexts. The International Ministry concentration is designed for missionally-minded leaders who aspire to exert a Christian influence on persons of other cultures and societies around the globe.

Learner Centered Outcomes-

Upon completion of this concentration, the successful student should be able to:

  1. Describe the similarities and differences of the major world religions and belief systems in comparison to Christianity
  2. Analyze the roles different faiths play in culture and society
  3. Predict potential trends of religious advancement and their influence on society
  4. Examine current missional strategies which might benefit from proposed, culturally-appropriate adaptations
  5. Develop strategic initiatives for ministerial and missional activity among various cultures, regions, and religious groups

Select any four of the following courses:

An introductory study of the theory and practice of Christian missions, analyzing how the gospel is best communicated in specific cross-cultural situations. The course challenges students to consider how they can share Christian faith with those who have no prior access to the gospel. The course content includes biblical foundations for missions, theology of missions, history of missions, dynamics of cross-cultural adaptation and communication, encountering world religions, discovering more effective missions strategies and contemporary issues in missions practice.

The course provides orientation to people who will work in international or ethnically diverse settings where personal adaptation to a different language and culture is required. The course focuses on acquiring insights and skills for cultural adaptation, language acquisition, and contextualization of lifestyle, communication practices, and gospel witness. Students are involved in cross-cultural exercise to learn how to relate positively to those of other cultures and worldviews.

An in depth study of strategies and tactics for missionary work; reviews the history of strategic approaches in missions, culminating with current strategies for reaching unreached people groups (UPGs); includes overview of the development and nature of the UPG paradigm. Students use current case studies, existing strategy plans, and contacts with field-based missions teams to develop a thorough understanding of the UPG approach to missions.

The course considers important contemporary developments in global Christian missions. A review of approaches, strategies, methods, and problems will lead to suggestions about best practice and relevant applications in concrete settings.

The purpose of the course is to analyze how Christian faith intersects with cultures—whether one’s own or other cultures. Biblical, missiological, and cross-cultural principles are applied to provide perspectives, guidelines, and methods for ministry in the global marketplace. The course seeks to combine global professional expertise with strategies for inter-cultural communication of the Christian message.

The course reviews recent and best thinking on the advance of world evangelization by reviewing the biblical basis for missions, the history of worldwide expansion of Christianity, cultural adaptation and competencies required for work among remote peoples, and missionary strategies. Students read from an anthology of top missiological thinking by evangelicals prepared by the US Center for World Mission. Students learn where missions have taken Christianity today and where global evangelization efforts should be going.

The course introduces students to applied ethnography, where they will learn the essentials of how to conduct interviews with persons from a different cultural identity to ascertain customs, values, and worldview understandings. Students learn to "read" a culture and to understand its way of viewing reality. Principles from social sciences such as sociology, anthropology, and demographics enrich the methodology used to analyze how people from a different cultural background think, feel, act, and relate to one another.

The course is an introductory examination of Islamic faith and practice, designed for those with little previous understanding of Islamic culture and its doctrinal beliefs. Students will learn to describe the principle features of Islamic religious beliefs, and to identify differences between sects and groups within Islam. They will analyze Islamic influence upon Middle Eastern culture and consider how this fast growing religion will influence the shape of global geo-politics in the future.

The course provides tools to engage the urban setting around the globe as metropolis, inner city, and suburban area. Students learn skills for civic and personal transformation that grow out of Christian ministry and witness. Biblical models for addressing the needs of urban dwellers and sociological analysis of the changing urban panorama provide the background for examining creative strategies and consideration of effective models where churches make a difference in the city.

Business as Mission looks at creative proposals for doing global business in ways that also advance a humanitarian and Christian kingdom agenda while promoting missionary strategy. This course examines the Business as Mission (BAM) movement from historical, biblical, philosophical, and practical perspectives. Students will learn to formulate strategic business plans that integrate with strategic ministry goals, even while maintaining performance standards in both domains.

This course is designed as a minimum four-week immersion venture in a foreign country which allows the student to gain first-hand knowledge and experience of that country’s civilization and culture alongside exposure to foreign language acquisition, global business strategies, governmental practices, international ministry programs, or non-government organizations. This course allows students to gain valuable hands-on experience from an international organization through an internship supervised by a mentor in a leadership position.

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International Relations

The MAIS in International Relations concentration helps students develop an understanding of the current dominant modes of international interactions and the global nature and consequences of those interactions. The International Relations concentration offers a rigorous international and comparative perspective on the contemporary global system. By fostering creative thinking about complex global problems, the concentration equips students with the analytic tools and cross-cultural understanding to guide them in that process. The concentration provides intensive training to students preparing for careers addressing international and global challenges and governance.

Learner Centered Outcomes-

Upon completion of this concentration, the successful student should be able to:

  1. Articulate the conceptual framework through which international relations is analyzed
  2. Evaluate the geopolitical implications of current issues and historic trends in international relations
  3. Apply NGO and civil project proposals to the development of rapidly urbanizing regions and estimate their impact on intergovernmental relations
  4. Design innovative solutions to complex international challenges that outline how these issues might be resolved
  5. Nurture the soft skills necessary to implement said proposals within diplomatic relations

Select any four of the following courses:

Discussed in this course will be the current macro and micro theories required to understand the world economy. Special emphasis is placed on the economic, cultural, legal, and political factors which influence the welfare of nations and the strategies of international businesses. Students will also explore the rules of international law that regulate transactions between parties and nations. Prerequisite: ECON 5311, MANA 51.522.

This course explores the political, economic, social, cultural, and environmental factors associated with transnational conflicts and assesses different approaches to conflict resolution. The course covers the role of religion in conflict and peace studies, theories of conflict resolution in international relations, and case studies of various conflicts.

This course surveys the causes and effects of rapid urbanization in developing countries. It explores how public governance and planning shape urban regions. The course studies why countries urbanize and examines the development of systems in cities as a result of urbanization. Civil and social challenges arising from the emergence of rapidly growing cities of the developing world are highlighted.

This course provides a wide-ranging survey of international political, social, economic, and cultural human rights. Attention will be paid to key human rights documents and declarations as well as contemporary debates and issues of human rights negligence and enforcement. As such, the strategies and mechanisms in place for holding governments accountable for violating human rights will also be explored.

This course addresses the ethical dimension of international relations. It examines the morality of political actions which cause either international conflict or cooperation. The course analyzes the values and ethical concerns which undergird international relations. Attention is given to ethical presuppositions of international relations.

This course examines the determining factors of global health and the processes by which that health is measured. Emphasis is placed on the health issues affecting developing countries and the key issues which present challenges to improved individual and global health. The course explores how urgent health issues worldwide bring nations together to address general healthcare and to assess their global governance.

This course is designed as a minimum four-week immersion venture in a foreign country which allows the student to gain first-hand knowledge and experience of that country’s civilization and culture alongside exposure to foreign language acquisition, global business strategies, governmental practices, international ministry programs, or non-government organizations. This course allows students to gain valuable hands-on experience from an international organization through an internship supervised by a mentor in a leadership position.

An overview of the power structures that govern international relations including international organizations and politics.

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Contact the Director

Brent A.Thomason, Ph.D.
Program Director
214.333.5236
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Brent Thomason

“Our goal is to equip servant leaders to model Christ-like leadership in international and cross-cultural contexts.”

— Dr. Brent A.Thomason, MAIS Program Director