Cross Cultural education


Known as "Cross-Cultural Mission Experience" pre-2014 and "Cross-Cultural Education" as of the 2014 - 2015 academic year, cross-cultural immersion experiences are a crucial element of the curriculum and mission of Luther Seminary.

Cross-Cultural Education places the student in an unfamiliar context not only through academic or theological study, but also through immersion in a cross-cultural site or sites. Scholarly or theological pursuit of cross-cultural competencies is a critical aspect of a Cross-Cultural Education experience, but so too is real-world encounter with diverse cultural locations and the people who live, work, and worship in them.

All Cross-Cultural Education experiences should encourage respectful silence, listening, learning, experiencing, and immersion. These experiences should discourage one-way talking, teaching, or doing. Students planning a Cross-Cultural Education experience should prepare to learn how to be better leaders of communities of faith in the future, not to complete ministry or mission work in a foreign environment.


  • Past: As a community crafted by Scandinavian and European immigrants and English-language learners, a rich legacy of cross-cultural migration and experience is at the center of Luther's heritage.
  • Present: As an institution seeking to educate Christian public leaders for the present realities of Christian ministry, we have a responsibility to recognize the diversity in our own community, learn about our multifaith and multicultural neighbors, and educate ourselves about our world.
  • Future: As a community of the faithful working hard to bring Christian traditions into a new era of public meaning, it is critical for us to face the challenges of the future with our eyes and arms open. It is our responsibility to lead future generations of faith communities toward a more just world and to stand in solidarity with the oppressed.
  • Called and sent by The Holy Spirit: What does it mean to be called and sent by The Holy Spirit? How does The Holy Spirit appear to the world’s many persons, faiths, practices, traditions, and cultures? How can we recognize The Holy Spirit in others? How can we listen when others speak to us about their vision?
  • To witness to salvation through Jesus Christ: How do marginalized communities within and outside of Luther Seminary speak about salvation? How do communities of color understand Jesus Christ? How do queer, trans, or disabled communities understand Jesus Christ? How do revolution, liberation, learning, and freedom fit into a narrative of salvation by Jesus?
  • To serve in God’s world: What does it mean to serve in God’s world? How can we best serve the liberation of others? How can we best serve our neighbors, friends, and families? How can we work toward a kingdom of God in our lifetimes? What does that kingdom look like to you?


  • Luther Seminary Coursework: A number of J-Term and semester courses have been tagged to fulfill the Cross-Cutural Education requirement (as listed below). You register for these courses through the Office of the Registrar, unless indicated differently above. The Office of the Registrar houses the official course listings. Please click here to go to the "Current Course List" on their website.
  • Reciprocal Seminary Coursework: A number of exciting options are available at other ELCA seminaries and institutions (as listed below). Please contact the Office of the Registrar for more details about registering for course offerings at other ELCA seminaries.
  • Alternative Independent Study: Meet with a faculty member of your choice to craft an independent study that matches the description of Cross-Cultural Education above. Past alternative independent studies have included a congregational companion synod trip, a semester-long immersion with new immigrants, guided trips to Israel and Palestine, and more!
  • Prior Experience (Petition for Waiver): In the distributive curriculum, the student may petition to waive the curriculum course requirement of Cross-Cultural Education through a prior experience. Unlike the other options (which aim to fulfill the requirement), the Petition for Waiver removes the requirement by means of previous learning experiences. To apply for a Petition for Waiver, click here: Your Petition will be reviewed by the staff of the Office of Contextual Learning and you will be contacted to discuss it promptly.

WHere Can I Go IN FALL 2013

RM 4510 - Exploring Small Town and Rural Ministry - New Challenges for Pastoral Ministry
Where: Shalom Hill Farm in southwest Minnesota
When: Three weekends over the semester; Friday noon-Sundays at 6pm; October 7-9 and 21-13 and November 18-20, in addition to orientation Friday, Sept 9, 3-5pm

SC H303 - Public Issues in Urban Ministry (SCUPE course)
Where: Chicago
When: Three weekends in November


CC 1636 - Shalom Hill Farm & Small Town and Rural (STaR) Ministries
Where: Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota
When: Two weeks in January
[Contact Dr. Alvin Luedke for more information.]

CY4540 - Children, Youth & Family Ministry in Urban Contexts

HC 6348 - Luther the Pastor
Where: Germany - an international travel course!
When: January 2014

SC M302 - Cross-Cultural Ministry & Interfaith Dialogue Intensive (SCUPE course)
Where: Chicago
When: Two weeks in January

New City Parish: Ministry in the City
Where: Los Angeles
When: January 9-13, 2014

New City Parish: Two Week Cross-Cultural & Spanish Language Immersion
Where: Los Angeles
When: January 13 - 26, 2014


EL 3530 - Religious Education in Relation to Creation

NT 4280 - Race, Ethnicity and the New Testament

SC B303-01 - Public Theology in the City (SCUPE course)
Where: Pittsburgh
When: Three weekends in February, March and May

SC B303-02 - Public Theology in the City (SCUPE course)
Where: Minneapolis

SC M304 - Christology and Culture (SCUPE course)
Where: Chicago
When: Three weekends in March

SC H305 - Restoring Urban Communities (SCUPE course)
Where: Chicago
When: Three weekends in May

Bethlehem Lutheran Church Travel to Israel and Palestine - Partnership with Dar Al-Kalima and Christmas Lutheran Church
Where: Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Beersheva, Masada, The Dead Sea, Qumran, Bethlehem, Hebron, Galilee, Jericho, Caesarea, Megiddo, Nazareth, Cana, Tabgha, Capernaum, Golan Heights
When: April 22 - May 4 2014
To apply, contact Pr. Beth Warpmaeker at immediately.


Concordia College and Lutheran World Relief: LWR Social Justice Journey to Nicaragua
Where: Nicaragua
When: May 2014

Hispanic Ministry Summer Term
Where: Luther Seminary Program in the Southwest, Austin, TX
When: May 25 2014 - July 2

SC M305 Dimensions and Dynamics of Urban Ministry (SCUPE course)
Where: Chicago
When: Two weeks in June