Undergraduate Certificate in Intercultural Studies with a focus in Hindu Religion & Culture

Serving among religious peoples in the mission of God

Why Hindu Religion & Culture?

The Undergraduate Certificate in Hindu Religion & Culture offers students an understanding of Hindu religion and culture as it is practiced in predominant Hindu societies as well as it's influence on western culture. The program challenges Christians to think theologically and missionally and learn practical ways to serve among Hindu people in their community, country, and across the globe.  The certificate enables students to gain the following capabilities:

  • ability to compare and contrast various approaches to answering key questions regarding the relationship between Christianity and world religions
  • ability to evaluate Christian/Hindu interaction historically, in the modern period, and its impact on missions and contemporary Hindu political movements
  • ability to read ancient Hindu religious texts in translation, understand modern Hindu philosophical movements, and create Christian responses to Hindu religious thought
  • basic competency in articulating the Hindu salvific systems of India and their diversity of views as to the nature of God and ways in which these salvific systems shape the task of explaining the gospel
  • basic competency in reflecting theologically upon the central themes of Hindu religion and culture including classical Hindu views of self, the body, the cosmos, and human action
  • basic competency in researching Hindu philosophy and developing a Christian approach to Indian thought while addressing philosophical and ethical issues within Hinduism
  • ability to examine core sociocultural expressions of Hinduism such as rituals, contemplative renunciation, and devotion or the global and national distribution and diffusion of cultural norms associated with Hinduism, or ways in which Hinduism engages visual art through the use of symbols, artifacts, color, and images
  • ability to develop methods and strategies to share the Christian faith with Hindu friends or to start churches in the Hindu context

Hinduism is the world's third-largest religion. It is an Indian religion and dharma, or way of life, widely practised in the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia. Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, and some practitioners and scholars refer to it as Sanātana Dharma, "the eternal tradition", or the "eternal way", beyond human history. Scholars regard Hinduism as a fusion or synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions, with diverse roots and no founder.  Its followers, known as Hindus, constitute about 1.15 billion, or 15–16% of the global population. Hinduism is the most widely professed faith in India, Nepal, and Mauritius. It is also the predominant religion in Bali, Indonesia. Significant numbers of Hindu communities are also found in the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, North America, Europe, Oceania, Africa, and other countries. The Undergraduate Certificate in Hindu Religion and Culture provides students with an opportunity to understand Hindu philosophy, ethics, rituals, cultural norms, and practices; and to develop hands-on tools for Christian engagement with Hindu adherents.