GEO2100EN - Cultural Geography

Course description

Geography is a spatial science, which studies phenomena (cultural or physical) over space. It answers the question of why things are where they are. Cultural geography refines the definition to specifically focus on the phenomena that shape and influence the human or lived experience over space. In this introductory course students examine theories, principles and spatial connections of cultures around the world. Examples of cultural factors that are spatially examined in this course are development, religion, language, race, ethnicity, and politics, among others.

How this course benefits students

Humanity operates in an increasingly interconnected world, and understanding complex cultures and why they differ over space increases our confidence and competence to meaningfully and intentionally participate not just in daily personal and professional interactions, but also and most importantly to skillfully and compassionately engage in God’s ultimate mission, which is pointing people toward Jesus.

Why this course is important

Understanding why individuals or people groups are where they are is just one of the necessary elements useful in our mission of serving others and pointing them toward a saving knowledge of Jesus.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Educational level
Social Science Distribution
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Dr. JoAnna Sommerfeld, Professor of Geography

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

As the student reaches out to our global community with the message of Christ, they strive to meet them at their point of need and understanding. Understanding better how they have arrived where they are by examining the positive and negative influences cultural factors leads to that end. “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.” 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

Missionally driven

As the student goes out among individuals from different backgrounds and understandings, this course helps s/he to better grasp not only where different cultures exist, but also why they are there. Students examine inter and intra cultural relationships and whether they are positive or negative (push or pull) factors and use this to inform our outreach in the mission of God.

Contextually informed

The content of this course directly strengthens the cultural competence of the student to engage and work with increased knowledge and effectiveness in cross cultural situation no matter where they are located.

Interculturally focused

This course unpacks diverse cultural impacts over space by analyzing positive and negative interactions among people groups on a global scale. Students examine how cultures differ over space in things like population dynamics, economic and social development, language and religion, and how that can be used to help navigate diversity and hopefully make meaningful connections with individual and people groups.

Practically minded

This course offers information of where and why cultures differ over space. This material is intentionally selected to be part of a suite of knowledge that better equips students with an appropriate skillset to engage in the Missio Dei no matter where they are.

Experientially transformed

This course includes opportunities for students to examine the causes and implications of diverse culture where they are by researching and reporting on human cultural influences on a personal level, right in their community so that each student can see that God is truly at work no matter where we are, and we can have the skills and confidence to partner with Him.