Cultures are beautiful expressions of customs, traditions, and ways of doing life. You may have experienced a variety of cultures in your own life or you may have only been exposed to a few and always wanted to learn more. Whatever your experience, culture is something we all express, come across on a regular basis, and worth exploring.
The Cultural Encounter Elective offers teachings that will expand your understanding of different cultures and religions. It will also give you opportunities to interact with them. Here are five reasons we think you should join:
1. Discover new perspectives about cultures different from your own
Often times we don’t realize that the things we do are cultural preferences and not necessarily “right” or “wrong”. This elective sheds light on some cultural differences and the reason behind why people do what they do.
2. Be given tools in how to navigate different cultures
Although we can run into trouble when we take generalities and apply them to cultures, there are a few that can be helpful to gain perspective. Learn practical ways to honor other cultures and how to understand them.
3. Learn from guest speakers’ personal experiences
We have a number of connections to people who have lived overseas or grew up in different countries and cultures that love to welcome others into what they’ve experienced. You can learn from people who have firsthand experience.
4. Gain greater respect for other cultures and God’s heart for them
Cultural Encounter allows the space to have conversations and ask questions about cultural differences. These kinds of conversations and growing in understanding can help build bridges and a greater appreciation for people with different backgrounds.
5. Be better equipped for ministry and in relating to others
As you learn about other cultures and religions, you will be better equipped to know how to effectively minister to others. Learning different customs and cultural taboos can remove unintentional offenses and be very helpful in building friendships and sharing the Gospel.
Here are some other things our students say about this elective:
“I liked it a lot. It 100% helped me to understand cultures outside of the States. When going on outreach it allowed me to be more sensitive in ministry and better prepared in general because I went with the mindset of respecting the culture.” -Micah
“It humbles you to realize that western culture isn’t necessarily everywhere else. It helped me get a better perspective on the way other people do things.” -Kathryn
“I learned that certain things in our culture can be rude and disrespectful in others. I realized that learning other’s languages helps to connect and build relationship. Also, it was a lot of fun and the best elective in my opinion. Definitively do it!” -Nathan
“I now have a greater respect for people in cultures that are different than mine. This elective helped me broaden my perspective on different people groups and to understand them better. Plus, I loved trying food from different places!” -Tyler
To find out more about the Cultural Encounter Elective, go here.