Build on your professional experience to better serve those to whom you are called.

Program at a Glance

  • Program Credits:

    39 semester credits
    (Students with B.A. in ICS from Cook can receive credit up to 9 credits)

  • Class Formats:

    • Traditional (On-Campus)

      On-campus classes will take place on Biola's La Mirada, Calif., campus over a 15-week term.

    • Online

      The MA ICS can be completed fully online.

    • Hybrid

      Cook offers the following hybrid class formats:

      1. Online coursework and La Mirada campus sessions, two consecutive weekends (Thursday-Saturday) offered various times in fall and spring term.

      2. Online coursework and La Mirada campus sessions, two consecutive weeks (Monday - Friday) offered in July.

      3. Online coursework and Chiang Mai, Thailand lecture site sessions, two consecutive weeks (Monday to Friday) in January.

      4. Online coursework and Saint-Légier-La Chiésaz, Switzerland, lecture site sessions, two consecutive weeks (Monday to Friday) — coming January 2017.

  • Standard Completion Time:

    Full-Time:   24 months
    Part-Time:   48 months 

  • Institutional Accreditation:

    WSCUC

Tuition & Financial Aid

Find information about tuition and financial aid opportunities.

Learn More

The location of Cook is invaluable. I can interact with other cultures on a daily basis, because they are all in our backyard. I shop at an Arab market, get my haircut in little Saigon, and eat in Koreatown. The nations are all right here!

Seth Westhoff, MA ICS Graduate

Work effectively within other cultures by learning to better understand and appreciate them from within.

The M.A. in Intercultural Studies is designed to equip students both for careers in cross-cultural or multicultural environments and for ministries associated with spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ in cultures other than one’s own. At the end of the program, graduates should be able to do the following:

  1. Convey an adequate understanding of how to live and work sensitively in contexts or cultures different than their own.

  2. Articulate a cross-cultural or international perspective with respect to their professional training (e.g., in teaching, medicine, business, or development)

  3. Produce written studies and reports manifesting their familiarity with the analytical and research tools available (particularly in the social sciences) and demonstrating their abilities to assess and adapt their objectives and activities to the cultural realities of their working environments

  4. Communicate a clear understanding of the dynamic nature of the gospel, the spiritual and cultural traits of a growing church, the deeply intertwined relationship between the gospel and culture in which God’s self-revelation was given in culture, how it is now communicated across cultures, and how it is being faithfully lived out in appropriate contextualized acts of allegiance to the God of creation

  5. Manifest godliness of character, personal standards of integrity and morality, concern for human rights and justice, and a passion for the reconciliation of humanity with their Creator

Possible careers for graduates with an MA in Intercultural Studies

  • Intercultural or Multicultural Business
  • Missionary, cross-cultural church leader
  • Mission Administrator
  • Community development worker
  • Missions pastor
  • English ministries pastor in multi-ethnic churches
  • Ministry among youth

A survey of over 450 graduates, with a response rate of 67 (15%) shows that about 35% of our graduates work for mission agencies, 20% work for universities, 5% work for churches, 5% are in international business, and since the degree appeals to such a diverse audience, with so much room for electives, 35% marked "other."

Work or stay in the field while completing your MA

There are multiple ways to complete the coursework. The entire MA ICS can be completed (full time) in 18 months on campus, or spread over several years so you don't have to leave your job and ministry. Click here for the curriculum plan. Classes can be taken in the following formats

  • Hybrid: The degree can be completed entirely through a hybrid format (2 consecutive weekends of lecture plus online discussions and assignments due at the end of the semester).
  • On campus at Biola
  • Online

Why study intercultural studies at the MA level?

  • Effectiveness: Sharpen your skills in cross-cultural work to be more effective in your career
  • Focus: Gain an International perspective on a specific area in cross-cultural work (TESOL, translation, church planting, community development, etc.)
  • Research: Hone your research and writing skills as you analyze specific cross-cultural issues.

Accelerated (12 month) BA to MA in Intercultural Studies

If you have a BA in Intercultural Studies, the program may be reduced from 39-30 credits. 

Faculty Spotlight

Richard L. Starcher

  • Professor of Intercultural Education & Missiology
  • Associate Dean
  • Chair, Doctor of Intercultural Studies

View full profile View more faculty members

Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639
1-562-903-6000