The international development concentration will equip you with the critical-analytical skills and contextual knowledge needed to understand and address practical problems of sustainable development anywhere in the world.

A major in intercultural studies with an international development concentration gives you the intellectual, spiritual and practical foundation to engage the many forms of development in strategic and sustainable ways at home and abroad. 

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 while seeking to correct the injustices associated with poverty, oppression and inequality.

Why Major in Intercultural Studies – International Development Concentration?

  • Prepare for today’s multicultural world through both rigorous theoretical study and hands-on, experiential learning opportunities.
  • Practice what you’ve learned in the classroom through our required intercultural experience.
  • Travel the world through Houghton’s many off-campus study opportunities or internships.
  • Integrate global engagement into every aspect of your education.
  • Study with faculty who have extensive experience living, working and serving in cross-cultural settings around the world, and integrate these experiences into the classroom.

Course Requirements

Intercultural Studies major with a concentration in International Development (BA)


Intercultural Experience

For many, the highlight of the intercultural studies major is the required intercultural experience. This experience is designed to be a flexible and practical cross-cultural experience, allowing you to put into practice the training you received in cross-cultural ministry - and you can travel almost anywhere to meet the requirement.

You will work under the supervision of members of the Houghton faculty who have had extensive experience and training in intercultural studies, missions, linguistics and development work. They will work with you to provide the best location and right type of training for the work and service you desire most. You can do a formal overseas study program, an internship or a variety of other types of specially arranged programs.

With so many off-campus study opportunities, you might find it hard to choose just one. Many students study abroad several times during their four years at Houghton. Some programs and destinations include

Global Engagement

As an intercultural studies major, global engagement will be a part of your total education. Students are involved in various activities and learning opportunities including

  • Annual Faith and Justice Symposium sponsored by Houghton’s Center for Faith, Justice and Global Engagement
  • Journey’s End Tutoring (JET), a Saturday ministry to immigrants and refugees in Buffalo, primarily helping with teaching English
  • Faith and International Development Conference, Calvin College
  • Cornell Institute for African Development Conference, Cornell University