Cross-Cultural Ministry

Ministry must embrace the complexities and challenges of a multicultural world. Effective ministers must balance communicating with people who have different backgrounds, values and cultural mores, while representing their faith tradition with integrity. Transformation, love and justice are what we can offer a pluralistic world, and are values that motivate this major gift proposal.

This endowment will accomplish these important objectives:

  • Establish an ESR Cross-Cultural Ministry office with a part- or full-time employee.
  • Allow ESR students to study abroad in order to integrate their studies with cross-cultural immersion and ministry experiences. We wish to do this without inflating tuition.
  • Identify and secure sites for students' travel experiences.
  • Create student stipends for the duration of students' cross-cultural field education

Cross-Cultural Ministry and ESR

The relationship between minister and those for whom they care is often colored by each person's differing background, values, sense of community and culture. These aren't differences to be dismissed, as the call to ministry is a call to a life-long engagement with the world as an empathizer

ESR's Cross-Cultural program seeks to nurture the ability to discern these differences, arrive at an accurate understanding of beliefs that motivate others, and communicate clearly and respectfully so that personal connections and empathy occur, rather than misunderstandings

The Association of Theological Schools, ESR's accrediting agency, includes the issue of globalization among its standards for theological education. Globalization refers to giving curricular attention to cross-cultural issues, providing opportunities for cross-cultural experience, as well as composition of faculty and student body. ESR gives substantial attention to this issue in the classroom in the selection of diverse readings and viewpoints utilized in its courses.

The endowment for Cross-Cultural Ministry will:

  • Provide opportunities for service, and learning through service as students offer acts of ministry in this cross-cultural setting.
  • Enhance students' aptitude for ministry by acquainting them with issues that arise in multi-cultural situations and better equipping them with skills for ministry in such settings.
  • Promote cultural immersion that nurtures self-awareness, learning adaptability, and making cross-cultural connections.


These queries are provided to help you prayerfully consider whether this major gift proposal is a priority for you as you act as a steward of your resources.

What qualities do we desire today among our emerging leaders?

What is involved in ministering in and to a multi-cultural community?

Can you envision the value of cross-cultural ministry among Friends Meetings and Churches as an aid in the unification of The Society of Friends without muting distinctions those branches have worked to articulate?

Do you have the means to help Earlham School of Religion build an endowment to support the pastoral ministry program at ESR?

What level of gift are you able to make to manifest this vision for ESR's Cross-Cultural Ministry Program?

We offer multiple options for funding this endowment. A donor who chooses to fully fund the endowment will have the option of naming the program.

For more information or to discuss your interest in supporting Cross Cultural Ministry at ESR contact Tom Decker at 800-432-1377.