Multnomah University

Global Studies

Global studies at Multnomah University is an intercultural and interdisciplinary program that prepares students to become deeply committed to understanding and engaging in global issues affecting our world today. Just as we are called to understand God’s Word, we also need to understand God’s world. The focus of this major/minor is to prepare students for a variety of career and ministry paths both abroad and at home. In addition to classes on campus, global studies majors are encouraged to consider semester and short-term study abroad options.


The mission of the global studies department is to provide quality academic programs and experiential opportunities that develop critical thinking by incorporating best practices and strategies in global ministry and international career contexts.

Program Concentrations

The global studies major offers 5 program concentrations. Choose a concentration of your interest or one that is line with your vocational goals. The concentrations are:

  • Global Ministry

This is a helpful emphasis for those going into international mission work, including evangelism, discipleship, church planting, refugee resettlement and migrant services. It is also an excellent concentration for those desiring to pursue graduate studies in Christian leadership, intercultural studies, missiology and theology.

  • Children at Risk

This is a helpful emphasis for students wanting to work with children (street children, child soldiers, human/child trafficking, child labor, adoption, etc.), community development, international/global development, humanitarian relief and urban ministries. It is also helpful for students desiring to pursue graduate degrees in intercultural studies, childhood studies, social justice, international/global development, public affairs, humanitarian studies and non-profit management.

  • Culture and Diversity

This is a helpful emphasis for those working in urban and multi-ethnic centers, multi-ethnic church work, market place, community outreach (public and private), education, public policy and law enforcement. It is also an excellent concentration for those desiring to pursue graduate studies in cultural studies, international affairs, intercultural studies, criminal justice and social justice.

  • Applied Linguistics

This is a helpful emphasis for those going into Bible translation, literacy work, culture preservation, general translation, education and development contexts. It is also an excellent concentration for those desiring to pursue graduate studies in anthropology, linguistics, socio-linguistics or teaching English as a second language (TESOL).

  • International Regional Studies (through Study Abroad)

This is a helpful emphasis for those going into regional consulting work, research institutes, mission organizations, foundations, community development, government and policy development work. It is also an excellent concentration for those desiring to pursue graduate degrees in cultural studies, intercultural studies, international affairs, public policy and regional study.

Common Career Paths

  • Graduate program preparation
  • Global/international development
  • International affairs
  • Non-profit management
  • Intercultural ministries
  • Social justice
  • Linguistics
  • Missions
  • Bible translation

Job Outlook

The global studies major and minor prepares students for careers and vocational ministry in the following fields: Bible translation, intercultural and multi-ethnic ministry contexts, inter-governmental organizations, missions, non-profit work, refugee resettlement and urban outreach, as well as working with foundations and policy-making organizations. This degree can also aid those going into law enforcement.

Positions Global Studies Majors Have Held

  • Director of Worship and Arts at Imago Dei Community, Portland, OR
  • Case Manager with Immigrant Refugee Services, Portland, OR
  • English Teacher in Asia
  • Director of Church Relations with Africa New Life, Portland, OR
  • Community Center Director at Grace Ministries, Puerto Rico
  • Director of Anti-Human Trafficking center, India
  • Relief and Development worker, Kosovo

Study Abroad and Real-World Learning Opportunities

Numerous agencies and organizations annually provide opportunities for Multnomah students to join short-term summer mission trips or complete cross-cultural practicums/internships on every continent. Over the past five years, global studies students have worked in the following countries:

  • Romania
  • Kenya
  • Peru
  • Rwanda
  • Israel
  • Uganda
  • Papua New Guinea
  • England
  • Portugal
  • Nicaragua
  • India
  • Thailand
  • Indonesia
  • Vietnam
  • Japan
  • Lebanon

Global Studies majors and minors are encouraged to pursue short-term or semester study abroad programs. Please consult with your advisor on the best program for your course of study.

Points of Distinction

Upon the completion of this program students will be able to:

  • Understand theological and biblical principles for engaging in global career paths and issues (GS 1)
  • Analyze socio-cultural and socio-economic perspectives that have shaped our globalized world (GS 2)
  • Analyze both historical and contemporary factors that have led to the ebb and flow of growth within global Christianity (GS 3)
  • Reflect critically on the role of the Church in distinct socio-cultural contexts (GS 4)
  • Gain God’s heart and love for all of humanity and respond with compassion to a plethora of human conditions and situations that exist today (GS 5)
  • Develop communication techniques and cultural competency through specialized learning in intercultural communications and cultural sensitivity (GS 6)
  • Learn how to incorporate evangelism and church-based ministry in distinct socio-cultural settings and global career paths (GS 7)
  • Application of recognized best practices in responding to a variety of human conditions today (GS 8)


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