Ivan has always enjoyed interacting with people from different cultures. He loves getting to know them, their stories, and how they differ from him. Ivan has spent most of his time in ministry focusing on inner city missions across the nation; making an impact in cities such as Milwaukee, Queens, Chicago, and Houston before coming to Southern California.
“I had grown in different ministries in different contexts, different cities, different urban centers and discovered that most of my ministries will entail a lot of cross-cultural education and that’s why I chose Biola and the city of Los Angeles to be a great place to study intercultural education.”
Ivan chose the Cook School of Intercultural Studies to complete his Ph.D. in Intercultural Education to better equip himself for cross-cultural ministry. Ivan also served as Biola University’s Director of Intercultural Student Services for a time, a role in which he was able to apply what he is learning in the classroom every day as he interacts with students from around the world.
“I thought it would be a great way for me to combine academics as well as with my administrative work here. Ministry here that I do would really coincide with a lot of the coursework in education. I would love to do some more teaching and be more equipped as a teacher and mentor of global students.”
As a doctoral student, Ivan loves the challenge of learning from the expert professors in the Intercultural Studies program. The intimate community that the Cook School of Intercultural Studies provides enables students to interact on a personal, as well as academic, level.
“Most of the classes are very small, tutorial like. The professors really do foster an atmosphere of discussion, dialogue, and community learning, which I love. The professors are extremely wise and mature in their fields and most of them have spent a great deal of time in a foreign country and they have been practitioners and teachers in global areas. So, I learn a great deal from them, as well as from other students who are from different countries as well.”
As Ivan continues in his intercultural education and ministry, he hopes to inspire the students around him to also open themselves up to different cultures. Biola’s diverse community encourages growth and communication for Christians to be able to encourage one another to impact the world while being united in Christ. Ivan is able to multiply this passion on campus with each student he encounters.
“Whenever I see two people from different cultures interact deeply it gives me great joy. You can experience that through the classroom and through the teachers and mentors that you receive. I think that everyone must be equipped to do the Great Commission, to make disciples of all nations and I expect that Cook will help me do more of that.”