We are called to go and make disciples. For some of you that means going to cultures different than your own. The series of courses in this area of study will help equip you to engage in this kind of gospel-centered, transformational ministry in an intercultural context. You will become acquainted with the basic ideas, skills, and attitudes needed for healthy relationships and culturally appropriate ministry.
These courses are best experienced together, in sequence. They are all taught by Dr. Mark Hedinger, the Executive Director of WorldView. Dr. Hedinger has been involved in missions, mission leadership, and intercultural training for many years.
Three core ideas to help one learn another culture: culture specific/culture general training, self-directed learning, and participant observation.
A LEARNER'S ATTITUDE
To learn a new culture, five key attitudes are discussed: respect, openness, curiosity, empathy, and flexibility.
This is the first of three sessions to consider in detail the “12 signal systems” that are key to intercultural communication. This session introduces the twelve signal systems and gives specific detail about verbal, written and numeric signals.
Continuation of the twelve signal systems, looking at two-dimensional pictures, three dimensional objects, audio, kinesic, and optical forms of communication.
The last of the three sessions presenting the “12 signal systems.” This last session considers touch, space, time, and olfactory forms of communication.
ASKING GOOD QUESTIONS
One of the best tools for learning a new culture is to learn how to ask the real experts – that is, the people themselves. This session introduces the idea of how to ask good questions as a way of learning about the culture.
LEARNING FROM LOCAL MEDIA/WRITING NOTES
The final session of this course introduces two important ways to learn: 1) by looking at the local media even in things as simple as restaurant menus or church bulletins and 2) by writing observations and conversations so that, as you read those notes over time, you begin to see patterns.
The author of this course is Dr. Mark Hedinger, Executive Director of CultureBound, a ministry that prepares people for life and work in an unfamiliar language and culture. The goal for this CLD course is to offer practical help for those whose ministry includes crossing culture and language boundaries. Whether you serve as a traditional missionary, part of a multicultural church, or in a professional marketplace role, these concepts will help you to better understand and disciple the people you have been sent to serve. Mark’s experiences and training include 12 years of traditional mission service followed by six years in mission leadership. In 2008 he moved into full time training work that over the years has prepared men and women from the US, Peru, Egypt, Argentina, Uganda, Mexico, Panama and many other nations for intercultural ministry. Mark ministers routinely in English and in Spanish. For more information, you can reach Dr. Hedinger at mark.hedinger@CultureBound.org, or visit the ministry website:CultureBound.org.