GEO3000EN - Themes in Cultural Geography

Course description

Themes in cultural geography is designed to focus on arguably the greatest force within individual cultures and that is religion. This course focuses on the spread of religion across the globe and how the history of these diffusions have shaped the modern religious landscape. Particular focus is given to the influence of Christianity on culture. Students are required to research and analyze the appropriate variables adherence to cultural practices and principles across space.

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
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 understanding this course helps them to better grasp not only where different cultures exist, but also why they are there. Students are expected to 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 situations.

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

The development of 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 sees that God is truly at work no matter where we are, and we can have the skills and confidence to partner with Him.