Cook School of Intercultural Studies


The Cook School of Intercultural Studies exists to equip students to communicate, live, and work effectively in culturally diverse contexts to make disciples of all peoples and impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ. From missions to marketplace, Intercultural Studies (ICS) gives students knowledge and skills to work effectively wherever cultures intersect.


The Cook School of Intercultural Studies consists of two departments:

  1. Department of Intercultural Studies – undergraduate programs
  2. Department of Intercultural Studies – graduate programs

The Undergraduate Department of Intercultural Studies prepares students to understand and navigate cultural differences so they may become change-makers equipped to address global issues in multicultural societies and multinational workforces. The program is innovative and flexible; students choose from several concentrations, five of which are listed below, and they may also complete a 6-credit emphasis in a secondary area of competence.
Students in the Cultural and Linguistic Anthropology Concentration will be equipped with anthropological frameworks that provide holistic understandings of the diversity of human behavior across time, geography, and culture from a distinctly Christian perspective.
A personalized Interdisciplinary Concentration may be designed by the student and the student’s advisor. Popular fields include: Business and Entrepreneurship, Family Studies, Intercultural Journalism, and Psychology, among others.
The International and Community Development Concentration provides students with the background, knowledge, and understanding to effectively interact with Christian development practitioners to meet the physical (health, education, housing, etc.) and spiritual needs of individuals. In addition, students will be equipped to work with a diversity of development organizations and other non-governmental and governmental organizations to address contemporary development issues.
Students in the Missiology Concentration will be equipped to reflect on the historical, theological, cultural, and strategic realities that impact effective cross-cultural witness and service. As agents to effect the completion of the Great Commission these students will be prepared to exegete text (the Word of God), and context (culture), avoiding the mistakes of the past (history) while using the most effective means possible to advance the gospel (strategy).
The Peace and Justice Concentration provides students with the biblical foundation, academic knowledge, and practical skills to address various forms of conflict on a communal, national, and international level. 
The Department of Undergraduate Intercultural Studies issues a digital badge in recognition of the achievements of students from outside the INCS major and minors who complete coursework equivalent to an emphasis with a C+ or higher in both specified courses. Please contact the department for details.

The Graduate Department of Intercultural Studies offers programs leading to three master's degrees and three doctoral degrees. These programs emphasize the social sciences and their relation to intercultural understanding, world mission, education, and a number of technical specialties related to these topics.

Graduate Information

Admission Requirements

All M.A. (except for M.A. Missions), D.I.S. and Ph.D. students must meet the following requirements:

  1. Applicants must have completed all bachelor's requirements prior to the start of the program and must have a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) grade point average conferred from a regionally accredited institution prior to the start of the second term. Graduates from approved, unaccredited colleges, if accepted, will be granted provisional acceptance, if GPA is 3.4 or higher. Graduates from approved, unaccredited colleges may be required to take additional liberal arts course work (not applicable toward the graduate degree), if their undergraduate program did not include these courses.
  2. Those without intercultural/missions, Bible/theology, or anthropology may have additional coursework added to their program.
  3. Applicants must submit a written statement outlining their vocational objectives and how the degree will relate to those objectives. Applicants should attach a one-page letter to the application.
  4. Three letters of references on forms supplied by the school are required.
  5. Official transcripts for all previous schools attended are required.
  6. Application deadlines. M.A.: Fall is July 1, Spring is November 1; Ph.D. and D.I.S. programs: Fall is January 31, Spring is August 31.

    Applications may be submitted after deadlines (late fees apply) but will only be considered if space and time allow. Late applications may be postponed to later terms.

Official documents presented for admission or evaluation become part of the student's academic file and normally cannot be returned or copied for distribution.

Doctor of Intercultural Studies

Completion of at least three years of continuous ministry experience in a cross-cultural, multicultural, or cross-sub-cultural setting.

An appropriate accredited master's degree of which at least 9 credits will be in biblical and theological studies. A 3.0 GPA in their previous graduate studies is required for admission.

Doctor of Philosophy

An accredited master's degree or its equivalent appropriate to the Ph.D. is required for admission. Students must have a GPA of 3.30 in their previous graduate studies. Three years of cross-cultural experience is required. Proficiency in a second language is preferred for students pursuing the Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies and the Ph.D. in Intercultural Education. Three years of teaching experience in a cross-cultural or multicultural setting or its equivalent is expected of students pursuing the Ph.D. in Intercultural Education.

Admission of International Students

Admittance to the Ph.D. programs requires the following scores on the TOEFL: 100 iBT/600 PBT/250 CBT. The admissions committee may require an oral interview. CSICS reserves the right to waive a retake of the TOEFL test for Ph.D. international student applicants who enter CSICS with Talbot School of Theology degrees who have met Talbot's requirements for International students and CSICS. Requests to waive this requirement must be made to the CSICS doctoral committee.

Numbering of CSICS Courses

In CSICS, courses numbered in the 500-600 level are normally considered to be master's level courses. Courses numbered in the 700 level can be taken by both MA level and doctoral level students. Courses numbered in the 800 level are normally considered to be doctoral level courses only. Master's students wishing to take 800 level courses must receive permission from their advisor and the instructor.

Global Learning Sites

Both the Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies and the Doctor of Intercultural Studies are offered in a Hybrid Intensive format in our global learning sites. Currently, our Chiang Mai, Thailand and European sites have full accreditation through WASC and both degrees can be completed there without any time in residency on our La Mirada Campus. Students wishing to pursue either of our Ph.D. degrees through our global learning sites must complete at least one half of their coursework on campus (24 credits). Students in other on-campus programs may participate in the global learning site courses with the approval of their academic advisor.

Acting Dean

Leanne Dzubinski, Ph.D.

Undergraduate Intercultural Studies Chair

Kevin Pittle, Ph.D.

Graduate Intercultural Studies Chair

Jamie Sanchez, Ph.D.


McMahan, Yeh

Associate Professors

Dzubinski, Greene, Huang, Pittle, Sanchez, Sappington

Assistant Professors