Preparation for Indigenous Leadership!
Many people believe 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.
Developing your skills within the expanding NAIITS community of upcoming leaders!
Contributing to a body of theology and biblical teaching that resonates with Indigenous culture and traditions.
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 scholars and practitioners. Our unique program provides teaching from alternative epistemologies and pedagogies (androgogies) that assist co-learners in the creation of informed paradigms beyond traditional western models.
To enable students to:
The degree is offered in an online cohort format and 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.
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 Indigenous leaders experienced in theology and mission, NAIITS has produced an androgogical (adult-focused) methodology that allows NAIITS, together with Sioux Falls Seminary, to more effectively to serve Indigenous persons 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 (androgogies), this program may be right for you. Entrance of students to the program is determined on a case-by case basis.
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.
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.
In order to graduate with the MA in Intercultural Studies degree, students must:
Hebrew Scripture Foundations
A general introduction to the historical, sociological, and theological context in which the Hebrew Scriptures came into existence, this course will provide the student with an understanding of the major emphases of the texts. In addition, the student will be introduced to themes of community life and praxis in the Hebrew Scriptures that find parallels in historical Indigenous worldviews of creation and Creator. The course will use community understandings, models and paradigms as a basis for comparison.
New Testament Foundations
A general introduction to the historical, sociological, and theological context in which the New Testament Scriptures came into existence, this course will familiarize students with the content and structure, distinctive theology, and introductory matters of the New Testament. in addition, the student will be introduced to the nature of the early Christian community, its transitions and changes from a strictly Hebraic construct as found within the Jewish community, and projections made for its future development.
History of Christianity I
The history of Christianity up until close to the present time will be examined. This course will look at traditional historical accounts critically in order to look beyond a perspective that marries the church and its outreach with colonial expansion. The place, treatment and mistreatment of peoples – including Indigenous peoples – will be examined in detail.
History of Christianity II: Indigenous History and Mission
Continuing on from History of Christianity I, this course will examine ways in which the Indigenous church has been planted and has grown within Indigenous contexts. Special emphasis will be given to its growth and development through the various attempts in its history to contextualize or indigenize Christianity.
Christian History in Context
This course covers the development of Christianity up through the present giving special attention to the underserved and under-represented in most dominant cultural historical accounts in order to give a more balanced approach to the subject. The co