MA - Intercultural Studies

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  • Overview
    The Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies (MAIS) program focuses on the concept of a mutual learning exchange between cultures within and beyond North America. The program is multidisciplinary and strives to develop each co-learner’s heart an mind through the disciplines of anthropology, missiology, theology, Bible, church history, ethics, and spiritual formation. The program is holistic in scope, seeking to create opportunities for co-learners to gain both knowledge and experience appropriate for the 21st century.
    54 Credit Hours Earns you an MA

    You will study with some of the finest Indigenous practitioners and scholars in the Native North American context—men and women with earned experience to accompany the academics. To check out the faculty, visit

    Indigenous faculty
    An Indigenous designed curriculum
    Course delivery with Indigenous methods
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    Courses include:

    History of Native North American Mission
    Ethics in Intercultural Context
    Cultures and System Change
    Theology and Praxis of Pedagogy
    Theology and Ethic of the Land

    This degree is a non-resident degree. Face-to-face time is during three weeks at the annual NAIITS symposium, then summer and winter study cohorts, and one-to-one mentorship when possible.

    Preparation for Indigenous Leadership!

    Many people believe Native North Americans and other Indigenous peoples are a pivot point in the next expansion of ministry moving us closer to fulfilling Jesus’ Great Commission. So does NAIITS! Programs like the MA in Intercultural Studies offered in partnership with Sioux Falls Seminary (SFS) are intended to position us fully in this new time.

    The NAIITS/Sioux Falls Seminary MA in Intercultural Studies is uniquely designed to equip you for a contribution to your community — whether you're on the Rez, the urban core—or somewhere in between!

    YOUR GOAL...

    Developing your skills as one of a growing cadre of Indigenous women and men you will work and study with the expanding NAIITS community of upcoming leaders!

    Together with you NAIITS wants to construct a body of theology and biblical teaching—one that resonates with the culture and traditions of Native North American and other Indigenous peoples.

  • Details

    North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies (NAIITS), in conjunction with the Sioux Falls Seminary (SFS) faculty, is dedicated to equipping men and women for meaningful engagement within cultural diversity, including global and local cultural contexts. The majority of instructors for the MAIS are Indigenous North Americans. Our unique program provides teaching from alternative epistemologies and pedagogies (anthrogogies) that assist co-learners in the creation of informed paradigms beyond traditional western models.

    Program Objectives

    To enable students to:

    • Mature into God's fullness
    • Develop habits and authentic disciplines for thinking and living in Christ's presence
    • Gain a critical and constructive understanding of the anthropological, missiological, spiritual, biblical and theological foundations of the Faith.
    • Understand the mission of God in the world and their place in it
    • Understand themselves and relate more effectively to others created in God's image and called into diverse community and ministry
    • Function as leaders who are themselves being transformed, and are therefore healthy and effective instruments of transformation


    The degree is offered in an online cohort format or for certain courses, with permission from the Director of Intercultural Studies, in a local delivery format. The online cohort has hybrid courses that are a combination of face-to-face classroom experiences and online learning. Cohort students come to a Sioux Falls Seminary approved site (held each year in conjunction with the NAIITS Symposium) for two to three weeks of face-to-face intensives in the summer.

    The Curriculum Philosophy

    NAIITS and SFS have pursued a relationship with one another as a means of supporting the education of Indigenous peoples in the area of theological education and development. After years of work and planning by Native leaders experienced in theology and mission, NAIITS has produced an anthrogogical (adult-focused) methodology that allows NAIITS, together with Sioux Falls Seminary, to more effectively to serve Indigenous Americans and other Indigenous peoples admitted to the program.

    Six non-Indigenous students may be admitted to the MAIS in any academic year. So, if you desire an education filled with non-western constructs and pedagogies (anthrogogies), this program may be right for you. Entrance of students to the program is determined on a case-by case basis.

    Transfer Credit

    Transfer of up to 27 hours credit is allowed toward the MA in Intercultural Studies program from accredited graduate schools. Students must have earned a grade of B- or better for a course to be considered for transfer. In addition, only courses taken elsewhere within 10 years of the date of matriculation to the MA in Intercultural Studies program will be considered for transfer. Transferability of credits earned at this institution and transferred to another is at the discretion of the receiving institution. Consult the registrar's office for information on eligibility of transfer credit.

    Residence Requirements

    Formal campus residency is not required for this program. However, of the 54 hours required for the MA in Intercultural Studies program, a minimum of 27 hours must be taken while enrolled in the joint MAIS program. Reinstatement to the program after withdrawal requires Admissions Committee action and may subject the student to additional requirements for the degree.

    Course Requirements

    The MA in Intercultural Studies program is generally three years in length with 54 semester hours of course work required as the minimum for graduation. Courses are offered in a two to three week intensive at approved sites in the summer with other coursework undertaken in blended teaching/learning styles. This program is a flexible cohort group experience with a hybrid education format of online and face-to-face learning. Of the total hours required for the degree, 26 are in Intercultural Studies core courses, 24 in Biblical/Historical/Theological courses, and 4 in spiritual formation.

    Graduation Requirements

    In order to graduate with the MA in Intercultural Studies degree, students must:

    • Satisfactorily complete a minimum of 54 semester hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above.
    • Be admitted to candidacy for the degree
    • Be recommen