College of International Studies (IS)

It is the mission of the CIS Department to develop competent professionals for international service through training and service learning opportunities in cross-cultural studies, world arts, linguistics, and any other international service specializations developed by or assigned to the department for implementation.

The degree program minors for the GIAL degree program reflect the desire of students for some specialized education as part of their undergraduate experience.

  • ​The minor in Linguistics consists of courses designed to provide students with the foundational education necessary to learn minority languages and to develop written material in and about those languages. The program deals with principles basic to all languages and cultures around the world preparing the graduate to learn and work in any language even though it may be unwritten and undescribed.  This minor will also satisfy all undergraduate prerequisites for all majors of GIAL’s Master of Arts degree.
  • ​The minor in World Arts provides a practical and theoretical foundation for students to work alongside practitioners of local artistic genres. Students will learn to explore expressive culture and spark creations with local artists to respond to community needs.This minor satisfies all undergraduate prerequisites for GIAL’s Master of Arts with a major in World Arts.
  • ​The minor in Cross-cultural service will equip students to effectively serve across language and culture barriers. This minor supports the basic education provided by the major by providing the graduate with more in-depth studies for cross-cultural and/or international service regardless of the area of interest or assignment – applied linguistics, cultural studies or the development of languages. Completion of this minor will satisfy all undergraduate prerequisites for some of GIAL’s Master of Arts majors including World Arts and several Language and Culture Studies concentrations.

Programs   |   Courses   |   Faculty 

Degree Program

BA in International Service

GIAL offers junior and senior level undergraduate courses for a BA in International Service. Students major in International Service and choose at least one minor.
Minors: Cross-cultural Service, Linguistics, World Arts


The College of International Studies offers a variety of courses for degree requirements and electives.  Courses offered are all at the Junior and Senior level as students are expected to have already completed 54 credits of undergraduate study prior to attending GIAL.  Featured Courses:

IS3311 Research Writing

A course designed to teach students to gather and evaluate information from a variety of sources and to incorporate ideas from these sources into the writing of a research paper. Learning the basics of the LSA format will be included.

IS3350 Dynamics of Religious Experience

An introductory study into conceptions of spiritual formation and the various ways people deepen their understanding and relationship with the supernatural. Emphasis is given to approaches to a covenantal life, the nature and consequence of religious practices and rituals, and the motivations for a worldview integrating religious faith.

IS3351 Dynamics of Cross-Cultural Service

This course explores the theory, purpose, and dynamics of cross-cultural service, multi-cultural team building as well as issues of personal living in a cross-cultural setting.

IS3352 Globalization

This course will examine the role of linguistics in globalization with particular attention to the role of the West in cultural, economic, and political harmonization around the world.

IS4320 Cross-Cultural Experience

This multi-week experience combines learning and service, allowing the student to explore the reality of cross-cultural service through student chosen programs.

IS4361 Cross-Cultural Communication

Students will learn factors relevant to cross-cultural communication. They will be able to identify concepts from intercultural communication that can facilitate or impede communication in a cross-cultural context.

College of International Studies Faculty

Shelley_Ashdown 2

Shelley G. Ashdown, Assistant Professor

College of International Studies, Department Head
D.Miss., Biola University, 2001; M.A., Assemblies of God Graduate School, 1980; B.A., Southern California College, 1978.
Field work: Kenya

CJ Searsy, Instructor

College of International Studies
M.A., University of Texas at Arlington, 1998; B.A., Dallas Baptist University, 1992.
Field work: East Asia


Jack Shoemaker, Assistant Professor

College of International Studies, Applied Anthropology
Ph.D., Southern Methodist University, 2012; M.A., Southern Methodist University, 2008; B.A., Azusa Pacific University, 1980.
Field work: Uganda

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