Learning for intercultural ministry


A globalized church in a globalized world finds itself present at the meeting of many different cultures—both at home and in mission around the world. Navigating and flourishing in intercultural contexts takes skill, knowledge, and sensitivity—so having a little extra help is always welcome.

The Canadian Churches’ Forum is ready to offer that help in the form of two programs: Deepening Understanding for Intercultural Ministry (DUIM) and Learning for International Faith Engagement (LIFE) seminars.

DUIM is a six-day seminar designed to introduce participants to intercultural theory and ministry practices, and to cultivate understanding of cultural identity and how culture shapes one’s relationships, forms of church, and theology. DUIM will be offered twice in the next six months: February 10 through 15 in Toronto, and June 23 through 28 in Winnipeg.

“Depending on the participants in the program—their stated learning goals, expectations, their ministry contexts—the DUIM program can be customized,” says Andrea Mann, Global Relations coordinator for General Synod.

“It is certainly one that hospital or military chaplains, and other people who work where there is an intense intercultural mix, would benefit from. It will be of interest to Anglicans, ordained or lay, who see themselves working in ministry in an intercultural context. A lot of Canada is like that.”

LIFE is a two-day weekend seminar to prepare leaders of short-term international church trips—raising important questions, broadening cultural awareness, and giving trip leaders and organizers a practical framework for trip planning and follow-through. One session is scheduled for April 2014 in Nova Scotia, with more to follow in other locations.

The Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) co-founded and continues to participate in the Canadian Churches’ Forum; two Anglicans sit on its board.

Mann, one of those board members—along with the Rev. Dr. Sonia Hinds of the Diocese of Toronto—is a strong believer in the value of the forum’s programs for Canadian Anglicans.

“The work that the ACC is looking to do with the forum,” says Mann, “is to provide resources [primarily] to parishes and dioceses who are interested in a more local-global relationship as part of their ministry and mission work.

“DUIM and LIFE are the two programs that we would very much like to tell Canadian Anglicans about, because they’re great resources for those who want to either start an international church partnership, or who are already in a partnership but are looking for some more formal leadership training.”

Registration for both DUIM and LIFE is now open. Those interested in registering can be considered for bursaries from General Synod to help offset both registration fees and some portion of travel costs.Continuing Education Program funding may also be used.

Email Andrea Mann, Global Relations coordinator, for more information on bursary support and the work of the ACC with the Canadian Churches’ Forum.

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