|Beginning next fall Northwestern College will offer a new minor in Christian mission. The program will replace the career concentration in mission service.
The minor includes a required 24 credit hours of courses in such areas as theology, intercultural communication, missiology and world religions. It also includes a cross-cultural immersion requirement that can be fulfilled by participating in Northwestern’s Summer of Service program, a mission internship, or an approved study abroad program.
“Mission is about both knowledge and the application of that knowledge,” says Dr. Rod Spidahl, associate professor of religion and missiology at Northwestern. “You’ve got to be able to apply it—to learn how to engage people where they live. The experiential component of this program complements the academic one, enabling students to be able to translate what God has done through Jesus Christ into whatever culture they’re in.”
Spidahl, a former missionary in Cameroon who has worked with the Ethnic America Network to host national summits for training church leaders to reach out to first- and second-generation immigrants, says the minor is pertinent for students no matter what their major. “The phenomenal rise of short-term mission participants and the increasing interaction of congregations with other religions and cultures make the program very relevant in helping to prepare students who will bring clarity, depth and informed passion to the mission of Christ’s church.”