Collaborative Enculturation: The Role of Community in Becoming Intercultural

Paul Hartford, Bethany Global University  

Conventional wisdom in the missions community has often insisted that the legitimate path to intercultural competency demands a voluntary separation from the expatriate community in order to adequately “bond” with the local community. At the same time, the member care community champions “peer care” and “team care” for missionaries calling for higher touch between missionaries for support and success. In this session we will explore how the sending church and the sending agency can encourage an intentional community between missionaries which can provide collaborative support in building understanding that leads to becoming intercultural.

Paul Hartford serves as VP for Academic Affairs at Bethany Global University – a school focused uniquely on training cross-cultural missionaries. In his role he oversees the school’s Global Internship component where students live and learn for 16 months – 4 consecutive semesters – in assignments around the world. Paul holds a PhD in Adult Education, an MA in Intercultural Studies and a BA in Missions and Theology. He previously served as a church-planting missionary with Bethany in Isabela, Philippines.