New center prepares students for intercultural service


With a mission to prepare students to serve the church, community, and world, Malone prioritizes student opportunities to serve locally and internationally. The Center for Intercultural Studies is a new initiative dedicated to equipping students for these experiences. The Center houses cross-cultural service learning trips and off-campus study programs along with academic programs that are intercultural and interdisciplinary in nature, including Global and International Studies, Spanish for Service and the Professions, and the new Urban Studies program.

Elizabeth Patterson Roe, professor of social work, is the director of the Center for Intercultural Studies.

“I am really excited to work with students across the disciplines as they learn to engage in intercultural relationships and learning,” she said. “When I was a student, I embraced study abroad and service learning opportunities that were life-changing. These early experiences inspired me to be engaged in intercultural service as a lifelong calling.  I am excited to utilize my past and current knowledge and connections to equip students for the intercultural experiences they are called to.”

Each of the academic programs housed in the Center for Intercultural Studies has a strong field practicum or internship requirement, and the goals of the Center align closely with the Pendle Hill Pledge-- a campus-wide initiative to give students vocational-focused educational experiences. 

To help incoming students receive Pendle Hill credit while learning about the diversity within local communities, the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) awarded the new Center an Innovation and Inclusion Grant. This grant increases opportunities for students to learn and interact with the local international community inside and outside of the classroom. 

“This gives us recognition within the CCCU for innovative collaboration with immigrants in our community and the chance to be a part of a learning cohort with other CCCU project recipients,” said Roe. “This program will assist us in engaging more students with building local intercultural relationships that are mutually beneficial.”

Overall, the Center for Intercultural Studies aims to positively impact students and programs campus-wide. 

“I hope that the new Center for Intercultural Studies will give the opportunity for all departments to benefit from the preparation that these programs offer their students,” said Roe. “It is our goal that students will leave Malone better prepared to not just serve, but serve with the cultural humility needed to be effective in anti-oppressive intercultural learning that further expands Christ’s Kingdom in our diverse world.”