Intercultural and Religious Studies, B.A.

Bachelor of Arts
  • professor in front of class, mid lecture

As an intercultural studies major at Fresno Pacific University, you’ll gain the tools needed to understand, live, work and serve within cultures different from your own. This major is designed for everyone who’s ever wanted to live and work amidst another culture. Taught by faculty with global work-experience in missions, community development and ministry, this program will help you develop perspectives and knowledge necessary to function and serve in our global community. Whether you’re exploring global economics or diving into ethnicities and cultures from all continents, you will develop a broader understanding of the world that will prepare you to make a positive and lasting impact in peoples’ lives in cross-cultural contexts. Shape your studies to match your interests by adding a second major, minor or area of emphasis.


  • Learn from a variety of disciplines, such as anthropology, sociology, biblical studies, religious studies and theology
  • Learn about and explore the diverse cultures of the local Central Valley area
  • Multiple study abroad and mission trip options to enhance your education
  • Develop skills and knowledge that facilitate community development and ministry in cross-cultural contexts

Career opportunities

As an intercultural studies graduate, you may go on to work in fields such as international missions, international business, non-profit and international community development, urban Christian community development, human resources, human services and social work, intercultural consulting, education, justice and reconciliation work, and refugee services. In addition, this major will prepare you for graduate study programs in intercultural studies, international development, peace and reconciliation, international policy and other fields.

Second Major/Minor Requirement

In order to fulfill the intercultural studies major, the student is required to complete one of the following:

  1. A second major. This is a popular option for students who intend to pursue a career in another field (such as business, social work, education, natural science, etc.) but desire to practice their career in a cross-cultural context and/or as a part of their ministry.
  2. A minor. This option allows the student who wants to focus on preparation for cross-cultural work and ministry to develop knowledge and skills in another area of interest. The TESOL minor and certificate is a popular option (if not taken as an emphasis).


BLIT 336Biblical Literature: Acts3
GEOG 220Cultural Geography3
SOC 205Introduction to Cultural Anthropology3

Intercultural Experience Requirement

Students will have two cross-cultural experiences, one international and one domestic, of the following lengths:

  1. One experience should be for the length of a semester (or six-week summer term). If done internationally, this can be satisfied by participating in an international study abroad program or 6-10 week service/mission trip. If done domestically, this can be satisfied through an urban ministry program (such as the Fresno Pink House, Hub or Fresno Urban Institute).
  2. One experience should be for one-three weeks. If done internationally this can be satisfied by participating in an international mission/learning trip. If done domestically this can be satisfied through a cross-cultural ministry opportunity such as Fresno Urban Ministry Project (FUMP), taking MIN- 475 Urban Los Angeles Immersion or another cross-cultural practicum.

Transferring to Fresno Pacific

Come and experience the FPU community and finish your degree with us! Visit our Transfer page to learn more about transferring or connect with a Transfer Specialist to ensure your transition to FPU is as smooth as possible.

Transfer to FPU

Course listing

In order to obtain a bachelor’s degree from Fresno Pacific University, students must complete at least 120 units. Along with completing all required courses in their selected area of study, general education requirements must be met by all graduates. See the general education summary  in the undergraduate academic catalog for more information.

Select programs may not provide enough units for a student to graduate and therefore an emphasis and/or elective courses must be completed alongside the major. Please see below for emphases related to this area of study.

General Education Prerequisites (9 Units)

BLIT 336Biblical Literature: Acts3
GEOG 220Cultural Geography3
SOC 205Culture and Society3

Required Major Core (21-22 Units)

COM 400Intercultural Communication3
ICS 499Senior Seminar in Intercultural Studies1
LANG 312Community Language Immersion1
LANG 340Introduction to Linguistics or 1 semester of foreign language in addition to general education requirements3
PS 420International Relations3
SOC 301Culture and Community Engagement3
REL 452
REL 460
World Christianity
or Religions of the World
or 3

Participate in one international and one domestic cross-cultural experience, totaling 180 hours of volunteer time. With the Program Director’s approval, register for a minimum of 4 units (45 hours/unit) from the following

ICS 382Intercultural Studies Practicum1 - 3
ICS 482Intercultural Studies Internship1 - 3
LANG 496Language Studies Internship
–if taking the TESOL emphasis and certificate
MIN 475Urban Los Angeles Immersion1


This program requires an emphasis

Program director

Photo of Darren Duerksen

Darren Duerksen, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Program Director, Intercultural and Religious Studies