Are you sensing God’s leading to share the Gospel message with people who think and live differently than you? Whether you are preparing for traditional or non-traditional missions, BJU’s Cross-Cultural Service program is designed to deepen your understanding of the Bible, sharpen your skills in cultural integration and relationship building, and prepare you for the challenges of cross-cultural service in the 21st century.
The Cross-Cultural Service program encompasses Bible, counseling, missions, language and linguistics, anthropology and more, ensuring that you will graduate with the solid foundation you need for effective service.
Equally as important as the classes themselves are the professors who teach them. Our full-time faculty members come from diverse ministry backgrounds, including urban church planting in the United States and mission board administration. Guest lecturers, serving on mission fields such as India, Cambodia, Lebanon, and Micronesia, contribute their unique perspectives and wisdom from years of experience.
The capstone of the program is the summer internship after your junior year, when you serve with a veteran missionary on a foreign mission field for a minimum of eight weeks.
In addition to your Cross-Cultural courses, you will take the BJU Core, a comprehensive range of liberal arts and Bible courses, including economics, history, philosophy, science and speech. These courses will broaden your horizons, equip you with critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills, and prepare you to be an innovative and adaptable witness for the Gospel wherever God leads you.
Many of our students find that business and science courses partner well with their Cross-Cultural Service degree. Business courses help equip you for non-traditional missions, while science courses lay a strong foundation for future medical training, which is highly in-demand in many places around the world.
Esther Kwan, ’04
Educator at a special needs school
Thinking back, while I appreciated all the classes that formed the major, the Missions Internship impacted my life the most. It was a culmination of the ‘theory’ in a very practical way.
I’m an educator in a school for special needs here in my home country of Singapore and serve in various ministries of my church (Youth and Music ministry).
Thinking back, while I appreciated all the classes that formed the major, the Missions Internship impacted my life the most. It was a culmination of the ‘theory’ in a very practical way. I did my internship in Cairns, Australia, with the Steve Gibb family (they have since moved to Vanuatu). What I learned during my months there was the reality of missions. Perhaps to a certain extent, youthful idealism led to a degree of the glamorizing of the work of missions. What I learnt in Cairns was that missions is life. The necessities of life, like laundry and family issues, are as real as the need to seek and to use opportunities for ministry. I realized the need to be equipped so that I will be able to serve the Lord most effectively wherever He calls me to go. Hence, subsequently I went on to obtain a Masters in Teaching at BJU.
I really appreciated the godly counsel of the lecturers and personnel at BJU as well as the Biblical viewpoint from which we were taught. I recently completed another degree at a local [Singaporean] university and was reminded again of how grateful I am that I had the opportunity to learn from teachers who saw their work as a ministry and who taught through the lens of Scripture.
Dan Wokaty, ’96
Academic dean at Ebenezer Bible College in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
The training I received in my major was part of what the Lord used in my life to increase my burden for the ministry.
I am the academic dean at Ebenezer Bible College in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. The college was founded in 1969 with the purpose of training men and women for full-time vocational ministry, and the training I received in my major was part of what the Lord used in my life to increase my burden for the ministry where I currently serve. The language requirements of the major allowed me to minor in Spanish. That language choice ended up being the primary language I use in ministry.
Being able to take a major that focused on preparing me for the mission field exposed me to different mission agencies, missionaries and ministry opportunities. Many who were studying the same major not only became my friends but are now friends that I have throughout the world, since many are on the foreign field. The linguistics classes were especially helpful in language acquisition, which is almost always necessary when serving in a different country.
Buddy Fitzgerald, ’04
Missionary in Peru
I appreciate now more than ever the quality Biblical preparation that I received through the program. The doctrinal classes were foundational for life and ministry, and the practical classes have daily application.
My wife and I knew that we wanted to be missionaries to Peru, thanks in part to good counsel from teachers and missionary guest lecturers as well as the months spent in Peru during my missions internship. The men who came in from the field to teach and counsel us during the block classes were a highlight of my time at BJU. Also because of the missions program, we had already been able to think through and compare different mission boards and make a critical decision about who we could best work with.
God used the program at BJU to prepare me in many ways for the mission field, not the least of which is a dependent confidence on the authority of God's Word. I serve along with my family in the jungle of Peru where we have been for over 6 years, with the long-term goal of reaching the unreached people groups of Peru. The linguistic courses which the program offers should be of great benefit as we learn an unwritten dialect.
I appreciate now more than ever the quality Biblical preparation that I received through the BJU missions program. The doctrinal classes were foundational for life and ministry, and the practical classes have daily application. I will always be thankful for the godly and experienced men and women who gave of their lives to prepare me for God's work.
Our Cross-Cultural Service graduates currently serve around the world, including:
- South Korea
- Southeast Asia
At BJU you will have extensive access to missionaries from all over the world. Whether it is Missions Emphasis Week or one of the frequent missionaries who speak in chapel, you will be able to meet and connect with missionaries from all around the globe. The Office of Missions can assist you in finding positions for Christian service.
In addition, our Career Services Office can help you connect with mission organizations and mission boards.
The capstone of the Cross-Cultural Service program is the summer internship, when you serve with a veteran missionary on a foreign mission field for a minimum of eight weeks. This internship is designed to give you a preview of both the challenges and the blessings of presenting your ministry, raising support and living on the field. More then 80 students have interned in 37 countries, including Hong Kong, Cambodia, Cameroon, Ecuador, England, Israel, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and more. Whether or not God leads you to return to your place of internship for full-time service, the cultural and spiritual lessons you learn will be invaluable.
Missions Block Classes
Five missions classes are offered in block format, covering a wide variety of topics: Practice of Cross-Cultural Ministry, World Religions, Women in Missions, Cross-Cultural Discipleship, and Current Issues in Missions. These block classes are taught by Mr. Mark Vowels as well as by veteran missionaries who serve around the world from India to the Marshall Islands, and from Albania to New York City’s Jewish community.
Missions Advance is a student-led group whose purpose is to stimulate missionary zeal and vision on campus. Their goal is to cultivate the student body’s passion for God’s glory, resulting in greater participation in world missions through learning, praying and mobilizing.
- Learning: by inviting speakers, giving presentations, and providing missionary letters to better inform students’ prayers
- Praying: by spending a majority of the meetings interceding for God’s work around the world and for God to send laborers into His harvest
- Mobilizing: by offering avenues through which the student body can be involved in mission work while in school
Missions Advance meets every Monday and Thursday night.
Missions Emphasis Week
Throughout Missions Emphasis Week, veteran missionaries are invited to speak in chapel. Around 60 mission boards and outreach organizations attend, providing students the opportunity to ask questions, discover ministry possibilities and make contacts for the future.
Division of Practical Studies
Faculty members come from diverse ministry backgrounds, including urban church planting in the U.S. and mission board administration.
Guest lecturers, serving on mission fields such as India, Cambodia, Lebanon, and Micronesia, contribute their unique perspectives and wisdom from years of experience.
Each fall, faculty/staff-led mission teams are formed and students begin to raise financial support. The teams prepare throughout the school year and then begin their summer outreach using trade skills, music, teaching and preaching to spread the Word. Recent teams have gone to Southeast Asia, Australia, Europe (Musical), the Western U.S. (Trade), Alaska, Korea, Brazil (Soccer), Mexico and Africa.
Courses & Objectives
Sample Course Outline
First Year +
Second Year +
Third Year +
Fourth Year +
Each student will:
- Cultivate meaningful relationships with people of different cultural backgrounds.
- Evaluate methodologies and trends in missions.
- Analyze the role of religion and culture in the formation of worldviews in relation to missionary methodology.