Culture Shock is a one-week Grow2Serve online course designed to help you understand some fundamentals of culture and cultural adaptation and personally raise your ability to integrate into your new culture in a healthy way. The course asks you to make an investment of 4-6 hours of learning time over the 8-day period.
We all know it is true. Experiencing and immersing ourselves in new cultures can be both fun and frustrating. For years, the Christian community has been talking about culture shock, and the experience can indeed be shocking. For the believer seeking to minister effectively within a culture not her own, the challenge is even bigger. Effective, loving ministry happens when we submit ourselves to the perspectives and norms of a new place and follow Jesus’ example, taking on flesh of the new culture. But that’s not easy!
As a result of participating actively in the course, by the end you should…
- understand the basics of cultural differences and our stress responses to those differences.
- be able to map your current emotional responses to culture on a scale of fun-flight-fight-fit.
- be able to engage purposefully in a constructive process of personal growth in cultural competence.
- know how to use your own stress responses as indicators of opportunity for active culture learning.
- be able to employ healthy coping mechanisms which will allow stress to dissipate over time.
- embrace the spiritual growth potential that God is presenting to you through the cultural adaptation situations you are experiencing.
Content, Community, Consultation, Connections
Cultural Shock will afford you not just the opportunity to explore some interesting information regarding cultural adaptation, but, more importantly, it will connect you with fellow learners who are in a similar stage of culture adjustment themselves. You’ll be able to help each other and learn from one another. Your course facilitator will also be a great resource for clarifying what you are learning and for providing you with input on assignments that you will complete and discussions in which you will participate.
Is this Course for Me?
Culture Shock is designed for those desiring to live and minister well in their new cultural environment. If you’ve been settled into your place of ongoing ministry for at least 2 months and have a commitment to grow in your cultural abilities, this would be a good course for you.
Learning about Cultural Adjustment – learn by doing!
Course creators and facilitators are Mark & Julie Morgenstern. Mark is the former training director for ReachGlobal and is currently the director for continuing learning through the CIT Next ministry of Center for Intercultural Training. Julie is the operations director for Grow2Serve. She formerly served as a church-planter and pre-field training leader with ReachGlobal as well as in several senior leadership roles at South Suburban Evangelical Free Church.
Please note that ideally, for maximum learning impact, a learner in this course will spend 30-90 minutes daily (Monday – Friday) working on the material. Some of the coursework will involve reading, writing, listening and viewing videos on the computer. Other pieces will involve interacting with other learners and engaging in your local community while practicing the skills you are learning.