Master of Arts [Intercultural Studies]

Multi-site and Hybrid Options

Asbury Seminary’s 48-hour Master of Arts [Intercultural Studies] develops global leadership skills to navigate relationships without borders, as you gain a new appreciation for authentic diversity. Throughout your study, you’ll integrate theology with anthropology, sociology and ethics.

What to expect from the degree

As you complete your degree, you’ll be able to

  1. Understand contributors to contemporary socio-cultural diversity and complexity using theological and social science resources.
  2. Demonstrate intercultural competencies by integrating theories learned in class with experiential learning.
  3. Appreciate the diversity and authenticity of Christian witness around the world through new-found self-awareness.

*Refer to the Academic Catalog for the exact wording of Program Learning Outcomes.

Admissions Requirements

Application Deadlines Spring Summer Fall
January 15 May 15 September 7
  • Application (online at
  • $50 non-refundable Application Fee
  • Accredited baccalaureate degree
  • The M.A. [IS] program requires a cumulative GPA of 2.75/4.0
  • Official transcripts from all schools where classes were taken for more than one semester
  • Personal history essay (1050-1500 words) 350-500 words per question.
    • Share your testimony starting with how you met Jesus Christ. Talk about your growth since that time and what brings you to apply to seminary at this season in your life. Include your thoughts on how you would like to see your faith grow during your time in seminary.
    • What draws you to your desired major/area of study? What is your intended outcome upon degree completion? Why is that career or ministry choice meaningful to you?
    • Discuss a local, national, and/or international issue and why you are passionate about it.
    • Optional: If your GPA is not a good indication of your academic ability, please explain.
  • Four required references (references cannot be related to applicant)
    • Four references completed on the Admissions Office form at, including a pastoral reference (required) and a professor or academic administrator reference (recommended). Laity or personal acquaintances are accepted.
  • For applicants whose primary language is not English, a TOEFL score of 550 (79 internet-based) or an IELTS score of 7.
  • Background Check
  • A personal interview may be required upon request by the Admissions Committee

Church Planting Specialization

Be equipped to plant churches in whatever culture God calls you through your study of theological, theoretical and practical literatures.

The Church Planting Specialization prioritizes

  • Contextual learning–An integrated, holistic treatment of church planting draws upon fields of theology, history, sociology, ethics, anthropology, leadership and missiology. Assignments are specially crafted for the student’s present ministry context.
  • Quality instruction–Classes are taught by world-class scholars who have years of experience in missions and global church planting.
  • Lasting relationships–All classes are taken on-campus or online within a cohort of church planters, introducing you to a variety of peers.
  • Predictable sequencing. The entire sequence of online and on-campus courses is mapped out, allowing you to plan for three short (1-2 week) trips to campus over three years.
  • Scholarships. All in-ministry participants receive a $3,200 scholarship annually as funds are available. To qualify for as many financial assistance opportunities as possible, we highly recommend submitting a financial aid application during the admissions process.

Asbury Seminary's Church Planting Initiative

The mission of the Church Planting Initiative is to connect, train, and mobilize God's people to plant and ReMission reproducing churches in every context.Learn more about Asbury's Church Planting Initiative.

Complete your degree on campus or online.

Study online. Complete your Master of Arts [Intercultural Studies] Church Planting Specialization degree in as few as three years without leaving home. Take three-fourths of your classes online and complete the remaining fourth through 1-2 week on-campus intensives.

Study on campus. Complete your degree in Kentucky or online. 

Stay on mission. However you choose to pursue your degree, you’ll develop the biblical and theological understanding essential for a vibrant, contemporary ministry rooted in the Wesleyan tradition.

Degree Map

Hrs Course ID Course Name
3 BT501 Biblical Narrative
3 CS601 Christian Ethics
3 MS501 Missional Formation
3 MS700 History of Christian Movements
3 MS798 Practicum in Christian Mission
3 NT(IBS)510 or NT(IBS)511 Inductive Bible Study
3 TH501 Basic Christian Doctrine
3 TH601 Theology of John Wesley
Intercultural Studies Required Courses (15 credits)
3 MS644 Mission of Church in the World
3 MS655 Holistic Mission
3 MS671 Anthrop for Mission Practic
3 MS702 Mission & Biblical Theology
3 MS708 World Religions & Mission
Church Planting Concentration (9 credits)
3 MS634 21 Century Church Planting
3 MS705 Urban Church Planting
3 MS717 Leading Change
 International Development Concentration (9 credit hours)
3 MS505 Foundations of Development
3 MS627 Public Theology for Global Development
3 MS730 Congregations and Social Change
No Concentration (9 elective hours)

Asbury Seminary is committed to providing you with a quality theological education and practical skills for a lifetime. We offer more than 400 scholarships annually and our Ministry Partners Program helps you graduate with minimal debt.

Cost of Attendance

Degree Total Credits Cost
Master of Arts 48 credits $692/credit hour
Total $33,216
Academic Year 2022-2023 All Campuses Fall/Spring All Campuses Summer
Technology Fee $210 per semester $105 per semester
Graduation Fee $200 one-time fee $200 one-time fee
Student Services Fee $150 per semester $75 per semester


Institutional scholarships are available through Asbury Theological Seminary. Scholarships are highly competitive and priority consideration is given to those who have completed their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the Asbury Financial Aid Application, and who have been admitted by the Admissions Office by March 1.

Recipients of scholarships must represent strong promise for Christian ministry and demonstrate a financial need.

Some of the scholarships include:

  • Mary Whetstone and Walter J. Knabe Scholarship – average award $10,700
  • Windgate Scholarship – average award $10,000
  • J.C. McPheeters Scholarship – average award $7,000
  • Timothy C. Tennent Church Planting and Cross-Cultural Missionary Service Scholarship – average award $4,500
  • Leo H. Naughton Scholarship – average award $3,200
  • Asbury Deans Scholarship – average award $1,500

Save Time! Save Money!

 Combine your Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Biblical Studies or Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies with a Master of Theology degree, you’ll save up to 15 credit hours! This option is designed for those planning to pursue a Ph.D. or for those seeking a deeper educational background to serve in the church or marketplace.

This dual track option allows you to:

  • Share up to 15 hours between degrees, reducing your overall time and cost to complete the degrees.
  • Prepare for the rigor of the Ph.D. program and strengthen your CV. Classes are taught at a Ph.D. level.
  • Gain a more extensive knowledge-base for marketplace or church ministry.
  • Work one-on-one with a faculty mentor.
  • Shorten the admissions process if you’re already a current student.