CIS Courses

IS1311 Greco-Roman Religious World (Spring) (3 undergraduate credits)

The New Testament is full of ancient documents by ancient authors, but their context is still largely accessible to us today. In order to better read, interpret, and apply the New Testament, students will learn about the historical, religious, and cultural environment in which Christianity arose.

IS1312 (SL) History of Christianity (Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course is an overview of the entire sweep of Christian history. Pivotal events will be discussed in detail, and we will attempt to discern how those events are relevant to present-day world Christianity, both in terms of their effect on the present, and how they can inform a Christian interpretation of our times. Some turning points in the history of cross-cultural missions will be included.

IS1321 (SL) Introduction to Ethnopsychology (Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

At our core, do all individuals think, feel, and behave in the same ways? How do psychology and culture interact? In this course, we will look at several major concepts in traditional psychology and consider the extent to which they may apply across cultures.

IS1341 (SL) Introduction to Writing (Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course introduces students to the mechanics of writing clear and coherent essays and presenting them orally. Special attention is given to the process of planning, writing, and revising. Students read a variety of texts from different genres in order to expose them to the rich possibilities of English prose.

IS1361 (SL) Introduction to Statistics (Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course is designed to introduce undergraduate students to statistics.  Mathematical concepts basic to an understanding of statistics will be reviewed. Descriptive and inferential statistics and their application to social sciences research will be introduced.

IS1363 Introduction to Health & First Aid Practices (TBA) (3 undergraduate credits)

Every person needs basic knowledge on factors affecting their personal health. This course teaches students to evaluate significant topics in their own health paradigm. Students are introduced to key principles of First Aid, the sequence of steps to respond to emergencies, and the steps for patient assessment. Key aspects of CPR are learned along with wound care, musculoskeletal injuries, and first aid for poisoning, bites, and stings. Attention is given to first aid for injuries in remote locations.

IS2312 (SL) Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations (Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

Students will explore linguistic, historical, socio-cultural, political, and religious contexts of Ancient Near Eastern civilizations. Specific focus is given to epic, social, and religious texts from civilizations of the Ancient Near Eastern world, particularly those of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel.

IS2322 (SL) Psychology of Suffering and Resilience (Spring) (3 undergraduate credits)

Grief and trauma are part of the human condition.  In this course, students will study the psychological impact of suffering and begin to develop their own personal theology of suffering.  They will also discuss the importance of resilience as a building block of successful cross-cultural service.

IS2323-IN Introduction to Coaching (May) (3 undergraduate credits)

Preparing to work in an international, cross-cultural context is more than learning to “do.” It involves learning to empower others to become competent “doers” as well. This course is designed to help students learn how to do that. It offers training in the five coaching skills that are at the core of the COACH Model®; an overview of the eleven coaching competencies of the International Coach Federation the skills are based on; and an analysis of how the application of coaching skills may need to be adjusted to meet cultural, spiritual, and ethical considerations.

IS2331 (SL) Introduction to Political and Economic Systems (Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

Throughout history, societies have organized themselves into a variety of political and economic systems. Those who work cross-culturally may live and interact within a political or economic system different than one to which they are accustomed. This course introduces the student to basic political and economic ideas and systems, with the goal of equipping the student to understand them better and to operate more effectively within them.

IS2341 (SL) Logic, Critical Thinking and Rhetoric (Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

Learning valid forms of arguments, standard fallacies, how to draw inferences, and how to arrange arguments are crucial skills for thinking critically and communicating effectively about any issue. This course will teach students how to think well, how to understand and critique arguments using the basic elements of logic, and how to arrange ideas effectively.

IS2352 Globalization (Spring) (3 undergraduate credits)

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.

IS3311 Research Writing (Spring) (3 undergraduate credits)

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.

IS3317 (SL) World Religions (Spring) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course is an introduction to the history, beliefs, and practices of the world’s major living religions.  Religions studied include Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Indigenous Cultures, Islam, and Judaism.

IS3325 (SL) Missiology (Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course provides an overview of topics related to the theory and practice of Christian Missions including the biblical/theological basis of missions, the history of missions as well as cultural and practical issues that relate to the cross-cultural ministry.

IS3351 (SL) Dynamics of Cross-Cultural Service (Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

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.

IS3356 Introduction to Orality and Storying (Spring) (3 undergraduate credits)

Craft and tell culturally appropriate stories!

IS3361 (SL) Introduction to Historical Linguistics (Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

All languages change over time, and one language can, given enough time, develop into many languages. Often these related languages provide the only surviving clues about their ancestral language. This course is an introduction to the techniques of linguistic reconstruction, and to the basic concepts underlying the genetic classification of languages. Both the comparative method and internal reconstruction will be taught. The emphasis will be on developing the practical skills of linguistic reconstruction, rather than on theoretical issues.

IS3364 (SL) Theory and Reality of Development (Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course explores issues of poverty, economic development, education, and primary health care within the developing world. An emphasis is placed on examination of both successful and unsuccessful methods.

IS4320-OL Cross Cultural Practicum (Spring/MayExt/Summer/Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

(Please consult with course instructor if you plan to attend during the Summer term).

This multi-week practicum combines learning and practical service, allowing the student to explore the reality of cross-cultural service through either a student-chosen program or a sponsoring agency.

IS4344 (SL) Chinese I (Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

An introduction to modern standard Chinese, commonly called Mandarin, which is the official language of China and is the most widely used variety of Chinese in the world. This course is for beginners. The emphases will include pronunciation, acquiring core vocabulary in both spoken and written forms, and beginning conversation skills. There will also be an introduction to the lifelong process of learning the Chinese writing system.

IS4350 (SL) Dynamics of Religious Experience (Spring) (3 undergraduate credits)

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.

IS4361 Cross-Cultural Communication (Spring) (3 undergraduate credits)

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.

IS4399 Special Topics in International Studies (TBA) (3 undergraduate credits)

With permission of your academic advisor.

IS4646 (SL) Chinese 2 & 3 (Spring) (6 undergraduate credits)

Building on the foundations laid in Chinese 1 and 2, students will achieve a basic level of competence in conversation and reading and be able to write short compositions.

Undergraduate Courses offered in conjunction with other Departments

AA4170a Cultural Anthropology (research supplement) (Spring/Fall) (1 undergraduate credit)

This course emphasizes ethnographic research methods and analysis. After completing this course, students will have satisfied DIU’s requirements in this regard.

AA4350 (SL) Language and Society (Spring/Summer/Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course considers the relationship between language and society. After successfully completing the course, students will be able to articulate the multilingual nature of the world’s societies, the function(s) of language(s) in nations, and how different languages are used alongside one another, including the idea of diglossia. They will also be able to identify the factors influencing the choice among language varieties for national and educational use. In addition, students will be able to explain how language attitudes and domains of language use influence the long-term maintenance and/or shift of language(s) in society. They will be able to discuss how all the aforementioned may possibly affect an applied anthropology program for a given linguistic community.

AA4357 (SL) Genres of Oral Tradition (Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

Oral traditions, especially storytelling, may include aspects of entertainment, but they are art forms and a discipline of academic study.  This introductory course will integrate information from various disciplines and include topics that contribute to and are related to the general field of oral traditions. The course examines four broad genres of oral traditions: proverbs, riddles, verse, stories. For each of these four genres, the course covers three approaches: How to collect/observe the genre; How to analyze the genre; and How to apply the genre in ways that benefit the community.

AA4370 (SL) Cultural Anthropology (Spring/Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course is an introduction to cultural anthropology with emphases on application and several research methods. The main assignment is a practicum or research project that includes having students make at least four study-visits outside class hours to a Dallas/Fort Worth-area cross-cultural social situation.

AA4370-OL Cultural Anthropology (Summer/Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course is an introduction to cultural anthropology with emphases on application and several research methods. The main assignment is a practicum or research project that includes having students make at least four study-visits outside class hours to a cross-cultural social situation.

AA4372 (SL) Political and Social Systems (Spring) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course is an introduction to political and social systems worldwide. Subjects treated include basic types of political organizations, concepts and practices of authority, power, law, and decision-making.

AA4387 Training in Cross-Cultural Contexts (Spring) (3 undergraduate credits)

The course reviews adult learning theory. Students design and teach learning sessions to people of their own culture and to people of another culture, and analyze some of the cultural factors affecting learning and teaching.

AA4505 (SL) Second Language and Culture Acquisition (Spring/Fall) (5 undergraduate credits)

Students will learn to identify and apply their own language and culture learning styles; manage language learning; use appropriate techniques and activities to develop second language competence at the novice level while working with a native speaker in language learning sessions. They will be able to describe techniques and activities suitable for language learning at more advanced levels. Building on awareness of their own cultural values, they will be able to describe and will begin to implement strategies for dealing appropriately with differences in cultural values.


AC1305 (SL) Basic Biblical Hebrew (Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course introduces students to the basics of Biblical Hebrew, focusing on reading, writing, and vocabulary. Identifying key verses from the lectionary cycle helps students navigate scripture as displayed in a Torah scroll. To practice skills, students will work with partners. Together the class will develop a variety of activities to stimulate interest in Hebrew learning.

AC2305 (SL) The Art of Hebrew Cantillation (Spring) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course introduces students to the Hebrew trope marks used to identify accented syllables, pauses and phrasing, punctuation, and the application of cantillation melodies for public reading of the Torah.

AC3305 (SL) Foundations of Torah (Spring) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course relates study of the first five books of the Bible to the traditional Jewish lectionary cycle. Weekly portion names serve to organize the narrative storyline of Genesis-Deuteronomy so that today’s readers may join the ancient conversation of the wider global community.

AC4305 (SL) Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures (Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

As an introductory survey of the history, literature, and message of the Old Testament, this course explores the unfolding of over-arching themes, narrative storyline, and intertextual relationships as understood by the history and historiography of the Hebrew scriptures. How Jewish, Christian, historical critical and post-modern approaches have shaped the reading of the canon will be a focus of class discussions.

AC4306 (SL) Introduction to the Greek Scriptures (Spring) (3 undergraduate credits)

As an introductory survey of the history, literature, and message of the New Testament, the course traces the unfolding of over-arching themes, narrative storyline, and intertextual relationships as experienced in its religious Jewish context within Greco-Roman society. How Christian, rabbinic and historical critical approaches shaped the reading of the canon will be a focus of class discussions.

AC4310 (SL) Introduction to Islam (Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course introduces students to basic elements of Islamic societies in their diverse expressions, including origins, historical developments, beliefs, practices, worldviews, and cultural and religious patterns. Particular emphasis is given to understanding common barriers to communication and approaches for bridging worldview, cultural, and religious differences for purposes of transformation.

AC4311-OL Communication and Service in Muslim Contexts (Online) (Spring) (3 undergraduate credits)

In light of scriptural and anthropological principles, this course explores the nature, dynamics, scope, challenges, and approaches in appropriate and effective service in Muslim contexts.

AC4341 (SL) Arabic 1 (Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course introduces the student to Modern Standard Arabic and Arab culture. Students will learn the Arabic alphabet, basic grammar, and a vocabulary of 400 words in acquiring basic speaking and reading proficiency.

AC4342 (SL) Arabic 2 (Spring) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course is the second step toward learning Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). It will help the student to achieve advanced beginner-level proficiency in speaking, reading, listening, and writing, accessing a vocabulary of 800 words. The student will also be introduced to important aspects of Arab culture.

AC4343 (SL) Colloquial Arabic (Spring) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course enables students to speak a dialect of Arabic at a beginning level using either traditional classroom methodologies or else a Growing Participatory Approach (GPA). If the latter, then students will meet in small groups with a native-speaker language consultant, under the instructor’s guidance. The dialect offered will depend upon the language consultants that are available for the course.

AC4344 Reading Arabic (Spring) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course is the third step toward learning to read Arabic. It will enable students to read significant Abrahamic texts in classical and Modern Standard Arabic.

AC4392 Special Projects in Abrahamic Studies (TBA) (3 undergraduate credits)

Students will complete a project in Abrahamic studies. This course may be repeated when the topic changes with permission of the student’s advisor.


AL4201 (SL) Principles of Sign Languages Phonetics (Summer) (2 undergraduate credits)

This course introduces the theory and practice of sign language phonetics. It provides intensive practice in the recognition and production of a wide range of manual and non-manual phonetic elements that are used in natural sign languages, along with terminology for describing those elements precisely. It also teaches reading and writing one or more notational systems that are useful in recording phonetic details when conducting research on sign languages. This course is taught in American Sign Language and written English.

AL4207 (SL) Field Data Management (Spring/Summer/Fall) (2 undergraduate credits)

With a focus on methodology and good praxis, this course instructs students in the use of computational tools for managing and presenting phonological, textual, and lexical data collected in linguistic field research.

AL4302 (SL) Principles of Articulatory and Acoustic Phonetics (Spring/Summer/Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

Using an augmented subset of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), students will be able to identify, mimic, and transcribe sounds and prosodies in normal human speech and to describe the mechanisms by which a speaker produces these sounds.  Students will also be introduced to basic techniques of acoustic analysis.

AL4303 (SL) Principles of Phonological Analysis (Spring/Summer/Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course provides practice in recognizing the difference between phonetic (etic) and phonological (emic) data through numerous practical exercises. Theoretical topics of focus include the use of distinctive features, natural classes, phonetic plausibility, complementary distribution, free variation, contrast in identical/analogous environments, phonological processes, common conditioning environments, typological universals, tone analysis, and morphophonemics. This is an ideal course for field-workers preparing to help develop or revise an orthography for any language.

AL4304 (SL) Introduction to Language Structure (Spring/Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course provides a basic introduction to language sounds and structures. It will enhance students’ ability to learn another language as they use natural language data to discover and analyze word and sentence formation in a variety of different languages. Students will also have the opportunity to identify, pronounce, and transcribe the most common sounds found in the world’s languages.

Note: This course serves as a prerequisite for AA4505 in lieu of AL4302 and AL4410, but not as a prerequisite for any AL course.

AL4304-OL Introduction to Language Structure (Spring/Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course provides a basic introduction to language sounds and structures. It will enhance students’ ability to learn another language as they use natural language data to discover and analyze word and sentence formation in a variety of different languages. Students will also have the opportunity to identify, pronounce, and transcribe the most common sounds found in the world’s languages.

Note: This course serves as a prerequisite for AA4505 in lieu of AL4302 and AL4410, but not as a prerequisite for any AL course.

AL4406 (SL) Field Methods and Linguistic Analysis (Spring/Fall) (4 undergraduate credits)

Working with a speaker of a non-western language, students in this course elicit data which they then use to analyze the phonological system and produce a mini-lexicon and a grammar sketch of the target language.

AL4410 (SL) Principles of Grammatical Analysis (Spring/Summer/Fall) (4 undergraduate credits)

This course introduces students to techniques for analyzing and describing basic morphological and syntactic issues in natural languages. By working through numerous practical exercises from a large variety of languages, students gain confidence in their ability to determine word classes and allomorphy and to deal with inflectional and derivational morphology. Students also learn to analyze different types of phrases, clauses, and sentences. This course serves as a prerequisite for several graduate linguistics courses.


WA2381-IN Arts for a Better Future (MayExt) (3 undergraduate credits)

In this undergrad course, students will learn to help a community recognize, value, and plan to use its own arts to meet local needs and goals. The course provides a compact overview of the Create Local Arts Together (CLAT) model of community engagement. The CLAT process consists of seven flexible steps grounded in ethnographic and appreciative inquiry approaches: meet a community and its arts; specify goals; select communication genre and content; analyze the genre; spark creativity; improve new works and creative systems; and integrate and celebrate for continuity. Students will engage with the model through three pedagogical cycles. This course is also available at the graduate level by registering for WA5381.

See a short video here.

You may also view the Arts for a Better Future FAQ.

WA3380-IN Introduction to Ethnodoxology (TBA) (3 undergraduate credits)

This is a foundational course introducing key principles of ethnodoxology that will help students serve worshipping communities more effectively, whether overseas or in multi-ethnic North American contexts. Students will experience a corpus of songs and other artistic liturgical expressions from around the world, developing a vision for multicultural worship. In addition, students will explore appropriate ways to incorporate these artistic expressions into the worship life of their communities.

This course is also available at the graduate level by registering for WA5380.

Registration for a workshop version (no credit) is available in partnership with the Global Ethnodoxology Network (GEN) – see here.

WA3386-OL Directed Practicum in World Arts (Spring/Fall) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course entails acquiring the performance and artistic skills needed for cross-cultural participation in one of the artistic traditions of a community.  Emphasis is on developing an understanding of how to perform within the context of a chosen tradition, including researching this tradition and how it functions artistically and socially in its community.  The choice of ethnic ensemble or mentoring relationships will vary depending upon the artistic tradition chosen for study and availability of local mentors.

Note: This course requires access to an internet connection capable of supporting Zoom class meetings that will be scheduled around students’ availability.

WA4202-IN Audio and Video Techniques for Fieldworkers (May) (2 undergraduate credits)

This course prepares students to record, edit, archive, and share audio and video recordings of linguistic and cultural data, including recordings of artistic performances that will support their analysis, documentation, and publishing. Students will learn basic principles of analog-to-digital conversion and will be able to choose the appropriate equipment and settings to use for a given recording situation.

WA4322 Video Production and Editing (Spring) (3 undergraduate credits)

Through work on practical projects, this course focuses on video production workflow, examining the stages of preparation and execution for each phase of a given project from inception to completion. Course topics include project planning, field recording, an introductory overview of editing, and uploading completed projects. Course content also includes discussions of audio/visual aesthetics and telling a story through video.

WA4382 (SL) Survey of World Arts (Spring) (3 undergraduate credits)

This course looks at various artistic traditions from communities around the world, showing how these artistic expressions perform important cultural functions and serve as markers of identity. The course uses experiential activities and media resources to expand the students’ appreciation of the complexity and significance of various world art traditions.

WA4387 (SL) Area Studies for World Arts (Spring) (3 undergraduate credits)

Through this course, students will develop preliminary skills for researching and analyzing artistic genres within their cultural context. Student research will focus on an ethnolinguistic group of the student’s choice, including diasporic groups.