Learning Culture through Purposeful Observation is a one-week Grow2Serve online course designed to help you as a new missionary or cross-cultural worker to begin to put into practice your culture-learning skills. The asynchronous course asks you to make an investment of 4-6 hours of learning time. First, you’ll review some basic concepts of culture and participant observation. Next, you’ll get to practice observation and assessment through a fiction-based activity. And the final task is a guided observation project on-site at a venue of your choice — a Christian gathering, a social event, a public place, etc.
Content, Community, Consultation, Connections
Learning Culture will afford you not just the opportunity to explore some interesting information regarding culture and observation methods, but, more importantly, it will connect you with fellow learners who are in a similar stage of culture learning themselves. You’ll be able to help each other and learn from one another as you interact online in written form. Also, your course facilitator will be a great resource for clarifying what you are learning and providing you with input on course assignments and discussions.
Is this Course for Me?
Learning Culture through Purposeful Observation 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 2-12 months and have a commitment to grow in your contextualization abilities, this would be a good course for you.
Learning Culture – learn by doing!
Course creators and facilitators are Mark Morgenstern, former training director for ReachGlobal and current director for continuing learning through the CIT Next ministry of Center for Intercultural Training and Bob Mackey, member of the training team of World Team and former missionary to Russia with UWM.
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 course work will involve reading, writing, listening and viewing cultural videos on the computer. Other pieces will involve interacting with other learners and engaging in your local community to practice the skills you are learning.