Course

Small Group Curriculum - Aspects of Cultural Self-Discovery

Talbot School of Theology

About this Course

Many church members interact with people from another culture or ethnicity on a daily basis - at work, at school, at the grocery store, etc. They may have encountered a number of differences that they do not understand. They also have not had the time to reflect on why others may do things in a different way. However, understanding why people behave differently can improve their understanding of why they do things differently as well as improve the quality of their relationships. This knowledge can also provide a bridge for sharing the Gospel message.

How multicultural is your everyday world? Digital technology, trade, and immigration have made multicultural interactions a daily reality for many. As you interact with people from other cultures, you may encounter differences that surprise, frustrate, shock, or even anger you. These are normal human responses and are often based on a sense of “how things should be done” — which is culturally informed.

This course, which is the first in Bridging Cultural Differences through Cultural Self-Discovery series, presents a theory of culture to understand cultural differences and why a learner responds in the way they do to cultural differences. It will also clarify how the learners’ own culture often prevents their understanding of others. This process occurs by taking the learners back to their childhood homes to revisit how they learned how to do things culturally. As learners recognize the cultures that influence their behavior, they will at the same time be able to understand how their behavior may reflect more cultural values than biblical values. By understanding their culture, learners will be more open to considering how to better apply biblical principles in their relationships with others.