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SBU students pose for photo with group of kids in Dominican Republic

Missions Major

Complete SBU's innovative degree in missions

Are you interested in serving in cross-cultural ministry abroad or in the U.S.? SBU's unique missions degree will equip you with both academic training and practical experience needed for long-term service in a cross-cultural setting.

SBU was a pioneer in offering a missions program with a six-month semester abroad experience as a degree requirement component. You will work under the direction of an expert in cross-cultural ministry, gaining experience in ministry, language acquisition, and cultural acclimation.

You will also complete a minor (or second major) in a subject area of your choice as part of your degree to equip you with a marketable skill needed when entering a restricted country or when pursuing bivocational ministry. Options include: business management, computer science, education, English as a second language, health care, sports management, social work or another subject of your choice.

The Intercultural Studies degree is offered through SBU's College of Arts and Sciences


Degree plan

of this kind

(SBU's Missions program is the first program of its kind in the United States.)

SBU students

The SBU Advantage

  • Benefit from a distinctive combination of theological and cultural training, training in a market skill, and experience in cross-cultural service
  • Complete a minor (or second major) of your choice to gain valuable career training in an area of your interest and talents.
  • Study under ICS faculty that bring real world experience in cross-cultural ministry into the classroom. Based on practical experience, they are able to share what it is like to serve and share the Gospel among Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Shintoists, as well as other religions.
  • Learn to live as a global follower of Jesus Christ with the understanding needed to share your faith among people of various religions and cultures.

Faith Integration

Making disciples and serving others among the nations is an expression of faith in Jesus Christ. The Intercultural Studies program equips you to fulfill the Great Commission - Jesus's command to make disciples among the nations.

Coursework requirements ensure you receive in-depth Biblical studies training with classes such as Methods of Biblical Interpretation, Christian Doctrine and Christianity Heritage.

Through SBU's Center for Global Connections (CGC), you are encouraged to participate in the Great Commission even before entering the long-term mission field. The CGC offers more than 25 projects each year in our local community, the United States and around the world.


Our graduates have gone on to serve in long-term ministry with organizations such as:

  • Greater Europe Mission
  • International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention
  • New Tribes Mission
  • North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention
  • U.S. Center for World Mission
  • Various churches around the country

Other career opportunities include:

  • Placement with sending agencies as cross-cultural evangelists, disciplers and translators
  • Community development advocates
  • Teaching English as a second language

Graduate Schools

With SBU's Master of Arts in Christian Ministry 4+1 program, you can complete both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in just 5 years!

Other graduate schools and seminaries or Biblical Studies students later attend include:

  • Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • University of Aberdeen (Scotland)

"The ICS degree requires students to spend six months living overseas, studying language and culture. That overseas experience, along with the preparatory cultural coursework and assignments, prepared me for real-world scenarios in cross-cultural ministry and laid the foundation for where I am today."
Jesse M.
Serving with GEM in Berlin, Germany


As an intercultural studies student, you will be eligible for the Church Related Vocation (CRV) scholarship which is currently valued at $2,000 per year. To maintain this scholarship, you must be enrolled in a ministry-related degree program, submit the necessary application and references, participate in SBU's in-service training program and complete any other requirements.

Several privately funded scholarships are also available by application to students preparing for service in missions and evangelism.