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Why Intercultural Studies?        

Globally, 3.1 billion people remain unreached with the life-saving gospel.  Through classroom instruction and partnerships with current practitioners in missions like Avant, Crossworld, Biblical Ministries Worldwide, and Ethnos360, the Burnham Center for Global Engagement provides students with the biblical and cultural knowledge and skills necessary for cross-cultural work and ministry.  The Burnham Center is designed to train students to effectively communicate the gospel in an ever changing world.

Locally, we live in a world with different worldviews/perspectives on life where the growing migration of people, current humanitarian crises, and refugee populations make it clear that our world will continue to grow even more diverse.  Soon the US will add many more cities to the already existing ones known as Majority-Minority cities.  This knowledge serves to underscore the necessity of understanding people from different cultures, worldviews, and backgrounds. What began as a discipline aimed at training missionaries now transitions to the training of future school teachers, businessmen & women, engineers, computer technicians, etc. who will need to understand how to effectively relate to and communicate with peoples of other cultures.

The Burnham Center exists to meet this growing need of individuals who can effectively work and minister in a rapidly changing world.

Gracia Burnham with Joshua Paxton (right)

A Legacy of Service and Sacrifice

The Burnham Center is named for Martin and Gracia Burnham, Calvary Alumni who served with New Tribes Mission (Ethnos360).

Martin was a missionary pilot who, along with Gracia, was held captive in the Philippines for over a year. Martin lost his life during a rescue attempt; Gracia was wounded but survived and has since gone on to tell their story and raise awareness for unreached people groups around the world.

More about the Burnhams can be found on Gracia’s website:

Programs of Study

The Intercultural Studies program is designed to prepare the student for a variety of cross-cultural service opportunities from church planting to business as missions. It is also ideal for those who seek to work in the local church as missions pastors or for a missions agency in a variety of capacities. Those who wish to work with other cultures will also find this program prepares them for the unique nature of refugee and immigrant ministry. New focus areas are currently under development, stay tuned for more information!

Requirements for the Intercultural Studies Major

Download (PDF, 35KB)

A minor in Intercultural Studies is also available. For detailed descriptions of all of these classes, please see Calvary’s catalog. Talk to an admissions counselor (click here)


Calvary Study Abroad

Greek Bible College

Through its partnership with Greek Bible College in Athens, Calvary students have the opportunity to study in Greece for up to a year and earn credit towards their degree at Calvary. Greek Bible College’s International Student Program allows students to study in English in one of the lands of the Bible.

Students can take courses in Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey, Corinthians, Hebrews, Inductive Bible Study, Genesis, Evangelism and more. Also offered are four courses in understanding Biblical Greek. What can be better than learning Greek in Greece!

Students will also have the opportunity to explore many of the areas that we read about in Scripture, from Athens to Corinth to Phillipi.

Click here to learn more about this unique opportunity or speak with Burnham Center Director, Joshua Paxton.

Greek Bible College – International Student Program

Calvary is continually seeking new opportunities for its students, check back often!

Upcoming Trips

Calvary enjoys relationships with many overseas partners that give us the opportunity to take students on cross-cultural study trips. Currently the COVID-19 pandemic has many countries closed to visitors and many of our partners have scaled back their offerings. Future trips are being planned and we look forward to offering these opportunities to students when the pandemic eases up.

Joshua Paxton

Joshua Paxton

Director of the Burnham Center for Global Engagement

Joshua Paxton has been with Calvary since 2012, first as Missionary in Residence and now as Director of the Burnham Center.  Josh and his wife Amber have served with Avant Ministries, a Kansas City based mission agency since 2009. Josh still serves with Avant part-time in a recruitment role. His experience includes time in Italy, Poland, and Greece. His favorite classes to teach are Cultural Anthropology, Cross Cultural Communication, and Evangelism and Church Planting. He is still heavily involved in the Kansas City community in ministries to immigrants and refugees.

Tim Hange

Tim Hange

TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Coordinator

Tim Hange completed eight years of service as an academic missionary in Moscow, Russia. He and his wife served at Hinkson Christian Academy, led English clubs and camps through the English Cafe ministry, and tutored children at state orphanages.

Tim’s hobbies include playing guitar, reading, playing strategic board games, and studying the Russian language. His primary passions, however, are working with international students and creating contexts for discipleship through education.

Talitha Jones

Talitha Jones

Director of International Student Services

Talitha has a heart for those of various cultures and loves getting to know each person and how they live. She never gets tired of seeing each culture display the beauty of God. Because Talitha spent time studying overseas, she better understands the adventure students take in coming across the world to study. She is here at Calvary to assist in community building, everyday support, visa processes, and weekly conversation groups. 
Talitha enjoys drinking a good cup of coffee, listening to music, and chatting with people about life.

Calvary University’s Burnham Center for Global Engagement is a member of Alliance for the Unreached.

Ready to Grow?

Apply today!