“The only people who see the whole picture are those who step outside the frame.” - Indo-British novelist Salman Rushdie

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary’s World Mission Initiative is organizing four intercultural trips in 2023 to help participants see their own ministry with new eyes by stepping outside their context. These trips are part of a required Intercultural/Experiential Learning course (MI 310) that is offered by the Seminary every January Term. This course will provide pre- and post-experience orientation and reflection in cultural proficiency and anti-racism, intercultural communication, a theology of short-term mission engagement, area studies for the specific context to be studied, and spiritual practices for mission. 

Since 2001, WMI has sent 961 individuals to 60 countries.

Read reflections from previous student participants.

The Seminary's required intercultural experiences for MDiv students puts PTS in a category of its own in U.S. theological education. No other seminary is investing the resources PTS is to get our students and faculty to the cutting edge of where God is engaging in mission today.

 

Hunter Farrell, WMI Director
Student Reflections
Seminarians reflect on their recent intercultural mission trips to Cuba and the Philippines.

J-Term Trips

Upcoming Trips 

Lebanon

Travel Dates: Jan. 6-16, 2023

Traveling to a region that has known different forms of trauma, this group will look at the concepts of trauma healing, moral injury, and the church's role in bringing wholeness and healing to perpetrators and victims alike. Colleagues from the Near East School of Theology, the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, and the Assembly of National Evangelical Churches in Iraq will help us reflect theologically on these concepts and explore practical strategies for engaging these challenges. PCUSA Mission Co-worker the Rev. Elmarie Parker and PTS alum the Rev. Matt Fricker will be the co-leaders. Cost - $4,100

Philippines

Travel Dates: Jan. 7-16, 2023

Deep learning occurs when we allow ourselves to see familiar issues through another’s eyes. The Philippines group will travel to Silliman University to hear our partners’ views on Christian responsibility for God’s Creation: “Climate change is not merely an environmental or political or economic problem. It is a moral and spiritual problem. It is the obligation of people of faith to speak and act to address this issue. We have seen the poor suffer most from the impact of climate change. There is an urgent call to hear the voices of those most affected by the climate crisis. They demand justice. It is a call for climate justice. And climate justice means global solidarity”. PTS professor Dr. Scott Hagley and PTS alumna the Rev. Brenda Henry will be the co-leadersCost - $3,100.

Guatemala

Travel Dates: Jan. 7-16, 2023

How do we love our neighbor in a time of increasing anti-immigrant discourse and legislation? An opportunity to understand the context and "push factors" of poverty and violence that accelerate Central American emigration to the U.S. with help from CEDEPCA, the Central American Center for Pastoral Studies. We will be particularly attentive to the ways that violence is experienced by women in Central America and the impacts on the migration of women and children. WMI Director the Rev. Dr. Hunter Farrell and Nancy Carrera of CEDEPCA will be the co-leaders. Cost - $3,200.

Israel/Palestine

Travel Dates: Jan. 6-16, 2023

How do Palestinian Christians understand their context of conflict and violence and their consequent engagement in God's mission? What does faithful witness look like in a context of exclusion and control? In the Middle East and in Pittsburgh, is it possible to engage in God’s mission without attending to God’s justice? PTS alum the Rev. Dr. De Neice Welch of Bidwell Presbyterian Church, fellow alum the Rev. Dr. John Welch of Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church, and Dr. Bob Ross of Point Park University will be the co-leaders. Cost - $3,900

REGISTRATION INFORMATION

Application Period 

Sept. 5-Oct. 6, 2022

Apply online.

Trip With Credit

Any PTS student planning to participate in an Intercultural Learning Trip for the first time is required to enroll in the Intercultural Experiential Learning (MI 310) course, which consists of 15 hours of pre-trip orientation (plus preparatory readings) and 15 hours of post-trip reflection and integration. Students will receive three credits or can audit the course. J-Term class registration is Oct. 24.

Trip Without Credit

Students who have traveled before and completed the course are required to attend pre-trip orientation and post-trip classes. 

Non-PTS students are required to register/audit for the course. The three credits are transferable to the Graduate Certificate in Missional Leadership. Non-registered applicants are required to complete five hours pre- and post-trip classroom time.