Contextualization and Culture Study (Exploring Culture pt. 2)

Online Course - Group
  • Approximate Time Commitment: 6 hours
  • Length: 8 days

Over the last few decades, as mission practitioners have investigated and refined the idea of contextualization, a renewed interest in exploring culture has also become apparent. Understanding culture is undoubtedly the gateway to effectual Gospel contextualization and sowing. Successful cross-cultural workers have a thoughtful and growing knowledge of the culture which they seek to influence in the name of Christ. Contextualization and Culture Study is the second module of Grow2Serve’s “Exploring Culture” series. It addresses foundational concepts of contextualization and its importance for effective ministry and underlines contextualization’s inseparable link to purposeful culture study.

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Partner: Grow2Serve


Resource Description

Contextualization and Culture Study is an 8-day Grow2Serve online course that introduces foundational concepts of contextualization and its importance for effective ministry and underlines contextualization’s inseparable link to purposeful culture study. In order to effectively minister in a culturally distant context, the practitioner needs to address the cultural separation. Failing to do so will often lead to a failure to communicate the good news significantly in the new culture. This course asks you to make an investment of 5-7 hours of learning time over the 8-day period.

This course will help you…

  • Define Contextualization and explore its components
  • Identify biblical examples of contextualization
  • Explain why contextualization is an important concept in today’s cross-cultural ministry work.
  • Value cultural understanding as a strategic component of the missionary task.
  • Define Indigenization.
  • Describe the commonly employed translation contextualization model and realize its dangers.
  • Understand the big picture of ethnography as being qualitative open-ended inquiry.
  • Summarize the basic ethnographic progression from identifying something of interest in the host culture to the final ethnographic report.
  • Be aware of and understand key terms and concepts useful for culture study (ethnography.)
  • Create within yourself incentive and processing opportunity around significant cultural interaction and learning in your host culture

Content, Community, Consultation, Connections

Contextualization can be ignored altogether. It can be implemented poorly. Or contextualization can be done well and serve as a foundation for a strong and growing, indigenously functioning Christian community. Contextualization and Culture Study will provide you with some solid concepts that can move you towards implementing good contextualization.

Even more importantly, the course will connect you with fellow learners who are in a similar ministry stage and facing similar ministry questions and decisions. 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?

Contextualization and Culture Study is designed for those who desire to truly understand culture and contextualize ministry to the local situation where they minister. If you’ve been settled into your place of ongoing ministry for at least 2 months and have a commitment to grow in your contextualization abilities, this would be a good course for you.

Learn with those who have been there!

This course was created by a team led by Dr. Jeff Hogue. Jeff is a veteran church planter in Southeast Asia and college professor. He holds a Masters Degree in Biblical Studies and a Doctorate in Intercultural Studies. He is passionate about ethnographic research and contextualization. His most recent academic work is entitled: Incorporating a Religious Logic into a Discipleship Program: A Strategy for Khmer House Churches. The design team also includes Dr. Donald Grigorenko, Rev. Ted Szymczak, Dr. Karry Kelly and Mark Morgenstern, all of whom also have extensive cross cultural experience.

Please note that ideally, for maximum learning impact, a learner in this course will spend 45-75 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.

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