Master of Arts (Cross Cultural Studies)

Degree Overview

Vocational Calling

To serve in any field missions position while simultaneously developing more perfect knowledge and skill in performing cross cultural mission tasks with excellence. The degree combines field experience with theological education by pairing agency supervisors and trainers with faculty and the student/mission worker into a developmental team. This program is designed to create a unique relationship whereby the missionary receives theological training while at the same time is immersed in a field based missionary endeavor. This will provide a learning context which will enhance the impact of theological education in the laboratory of missions service. While the program of study is designed with the International Mission Board, other appropriate mission agencies can provide the high quality mentors and supervisors needed in this partnership.

This degree is only available to IMB Macedonia Project candidates.

Program Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the biblical, theological, and historical foundations of Christian ministry, especially as expressed in cross-cultural settings.

  2. Students will develop a broad range of biblical and theological understanding, enhanced by missionary mentors and cross-cultural experiences.

  3. Students will value theological and biblical heritage, applying insights to their cross- cultural ministry context.

  4. Students will model Christian character and leadership, specifically within cross-cultural communities of ministry.

For further information, please contact:

  • Dr. Adam Hughes (Program Supervisor)

  • Dr. Ken Taylor (Program Coordinator/Advisor)

Program Requirements

Basic Ministerial Competency Component (28 hours)

Biblical Studies Component (15 hours)



Exploring the Old Testament 


Old Testament Exegesis (English)** 


Exploring the New Testament 


New Testament Exegesis (English)** 


Introduction to Hermeneutics*** 


Theological and Historical Studies Component (13 hours)



Systematic Theology 1 


Systematic Theology 2 


History of Christianity: Early-Medieval*** 


Baptist Heritage*** 


Anthropology for Missions OR Urban Missions***


NOBTS, SBC, and Cooperative Program


Cross-Cultural Field Component (15 hours)



Theology and Philosophy of Missions* 


Basic Evangelism 


Cross Cultural Church Planting 


Introduction to Orality and Oral Cultures 


World Religions 


Elective Component (3 hours)

Free Elective*** (3 hours)

Total Required: 46 hours

*This course should be taken during orientation, prior to the first term of service.

**Students with an undergraduate degree in biblical languages would have the option of taking biblical language exegesis courses.

***These courses must be taken on stateside assignment, after completing the first term of service on the field.

+Students must take this course during their stateside assignment: however, students will not receive a credit hour or be charged for the course.

PhD Eligibility

Students who complete the degree requirements of the MA (Cross-Cultural Studies) must also meet all of the application requirements for a PhD at NOBTS with a major in missions. Prior to admission, applicants must have completed a minimum of 6 semester hours of graduate-level biblical languages (Hebrew and/ or Greek), 6 semester hours of a non-biblical language (French, German, Latin, or Spanish), or 6 semester hours of research statistics. Statistics courses considered would be those similar in nature to NOBTS graduate courses CEST6300 Introduction to Educational Research and Statistics and CEST9300 Educational Research and Statistics.

Admission Requirements

  • This degree plan is for cross-cultural missionary candidates and is designed for completion in partnership with qualified field mentors under faculty supervision. The simultaneous involvement in academic courses and cross-cultural experiences guides and informs the professional development of the candidate/student. Only students who have been approved for cross-cultural mission work may apply for this degree.

  • Candidates for the degree will make application for the seminary degree program at the time of their approval for missionary service. Final approval will be contingent on being accepted to both the IMB Macedonia Project ISC program or other cross-cultural mission program and the Master of Arts (Cross-Cultural Studies) of the seminary.

  • Applicants must fulfill all the normal admission requirements for NOBTS, including the admission form, transcript, and TOEFL for international students. The mission sending organization will certify the candidate in the areas of church endorsement, statement of call, medical clearance, etc.

  • Applicants must have earned a baccalaureate degree, normally with at least a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale, from an institution accredited by a regional accreditation agency recognized by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation or holding membership in the Association of Universities and Colleges in Canada, or the education equivalent.

Academic Requirements

Students in the degree program will have 4-5 years to complete the 46-hour degree. The steps to completing the degree are as follows:

  • Students will begin the degree when they arrive for Orientation following their appointment into the service. The first class they will take will be Theology and Philosophy of Missions while at Orientation training.

  • During the first year of service on the field and/or while at Orientation, students will take 12 hours consisting of the courses in the Training Component. These courses may include language study, evangelism, church planting, or other applicable training courses.

  • During the second, third, and/or fourth year of the student’s field service, he/she will take Internet courses composed of the biblical studies and theological and historical studies components.

  • Following the student’s field service, he/she will complete their term on stateside assignment taking the remaining 9 hours of courses to complete the degree.

Inactive Status

Missionaries serving with a mission-sending agency such as the IMB of the SBC may apply for an inactive status for the degree plan by notifying the Registrar’s Office in writing if they do not want to take courses for the degree plan while on the mission field.