Optional Concentrations for the Intercultural Studies Major
Linguistics courses are useful to anyone expecting to learn or work with languages. The linguistics concentration seeks to train students to become global scholar-servants, offering opportunities for global scholarship and service in language development, documentation of “endangered” languages, literacy and service in Bible translation. The program along with the INCL Core prepares the student to work in the multicultural settings where these opportunities abound. Students become familiar with both the sound systems and grammatical structures of language to prepare them for comprehensive language analysis and documentation
The International Development concentration equips students with the critical-analytical skills and contextual knowledge needed to understand and address practical problems of sustainable development anywhere in the world. The concentration is grounded in a Christian worldview and therefore pursues ideas and approaches to development that hold the promise of holistic transformation within communities and institutions, and seeks to correct the injustices associated with poverty, oppression, and inequality.
Join the long Houghton mission’s tradition and partner with the expanding global church in serving Christ in today’s world. Preparation for missions at Houghton matches the diversity of 21st century missions practice. The breadth of liberal arts opens knowledge and skills appropriate for today’s world. From the Intercultural Studies base of Global Issues, Cultural Anthropology, Intercultural Competencies and other core courses the Missions Concentration embraces historical, biblical, theological and practical studies along with field experience. Students have enriched their missions’ preparation with courses and programs including Bible, music, psychology, education, and pre-med as well as courses from the other INCL concentrations. Everything about Houghton – the faculty, the missions’ representatives, the students, the programs and general campus and community ethos point to excellent preparation for missions.
Since 2004, Houghton College has moved into the front-line position among Christian colleges in training students in an Islamic concentration. In addition to introductory Arabic, students can take up to 7-courses, spanning Islam’s sacred texts, engaging the Muslim world, global Islamisation, ME war & terrorism, Folk Islam, Islam in North America and, the history of Islam. Courses are offered by Missionary scholars in residence or similar courses can be taken through study abroad options.
The coursework exposes students to diverse theoretical perspectives, engages them in analyzing real-world problems, blends reading and discussion with experience, including both service-learning and field research. In these ways, the concentration aims to prepare students to work and serve as Christians in urban contexts, whether vocationally or as engaged citizens. The program is holistic and community-focused, works at multiple levels—family, neighborhood, city, metropolitan-area, considers carefully the role of the church, and is interdisciplinary, including theological, sociological, and political dimensions.
Without a doubt, the role of the English language has been transformed in recent years. Its use in international politics and business, in science and technology, and in the media and higher education has earned it special status in over 70 countries worldwide. Nearly a quarter of the world’s population speaks this language, and it is the most widely taught foreign language in the world. Consequently, there is a great demand for competent English teachers in almost every nation in the world, including the United States. A TESOL concentration trains students to serve the international population around the world and within the United States, offering opportunities for cross-cultural service, even in countries that are closed to receiving missionaries. This is a practical key for opening the doors to our 21st century world.
These concentrations allow the student to progress in their fluency of either of these languages. The Intercultural Studies Department recognizes that the work we prepare students for must be done in the language of the people we serve. Learning one of these World languages vital to opening the door to many people in the World as their native language or as a trade language. French is particularly pertinent to development work in Francophone Africa. Spanish is vital for service within all of the Americas.