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Effective Intercultural Communication

A Christian Perspective

series: Encountering Mission

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With the development of instantaneous global communication, it is vital to communicate effectively across cultural boundaries. This addition to the acclaimed Encountering Mission series is designed to offer contemporary intercultural communication insights to mission students and practitioners. Authored by leading missionary scholars with significant intercultural experience, the book introduces intercultural communication; explores the foundations that lay beneath, and the cultural values that show up in, patterns of intercultural communication; and examines areas in which communicating effectively in a new cultural setting is important. Features such as case studies, tables, figures, and sidebars are included, making the book useful for classrooms.

About the Series
The Encountering Mission series is designed to introduce a new generation of students to missions. Authored by leading evangelical scholars, these volumes explore the issues, context, and changes in world missions in the twenty-first century.


Part 1: Introducing Intercultural Communication
1. What Is Intercultural Communication?
2. The Story Line of Intercultural Communication
3. Perspectives on Intercultural Communication
Part 2: Foundations of Intercultural Communication Patterns
4. Worldview and Intercultural Communication
5. Verbal Intercultural Communication
6. Societies and Social Institutions
7. Networks, In-Groups, and Social Change
Part 3: Patterns of Intercultural Communication
8. Nonverbal Intercultural Communication
9. Contexting
10. Polychronic and Monochronic Time
11. Individualism and Collectivism
12. Social Power in Intercultural Communication
13. Gender Roles
14. Honor and Justice
Part 4: Developing Intercultural Expertise
15. Cultural Adaptation
16. Intercultural Competence
17. Intercultural Relationships
18. Intercultural Evangelism
19. Intercultural Discipleship
20. Intercultural Church Planting
21. Cross-Cultural Teaching and Learning
22. Intercultural Ministry through Teams
23. Conflict and Culture
24. The Future of Intercultural Communication


"Communication skill is the cross-cultural worker's most essential tool. Moreau, Campbell, and Greener have teamed up to produce a remarkably comprehensive and well-researched volume to sharpen and strengthen that tool. The best of theory is applied to real-life situations with numerous case studies and examples. Effective Intercultural Communication is destined to become the text of choice on this topic from a Christian perspective."

Craig Ott, professor of mission and intercultural studies, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"Effective Intercultural Communication is an excellent compilation, containing important information for Western leaders who want to serve internationally with cultural intelligence. The case studies and practical examples provide new and interesting ways to approach these crucial topics."

David Livermore, author of Cultural Intelligence and Serving with Eyes Wide Open

"We live in unprecedented times. People from divergent cultures have never been so near and accessible yet unable to meaningfully understand one another. As globalization redefines how we live, Effective Intercultural Communication charts a clear pathway for those courageous enough to rethink how we communicate in a radically changing world. The principles in this book have profoundly changed me. They will change you too."

Stephan Bauman, former president and CEO, World Relief

"Any Christian hoping to live faithfully and minister effectively around the world will benefit beyond measure from reading this book and taking its myriad lessons to heart. Building on foundations of solid biblical analysis, a deep understanding of communications theory, and years of international experience, Moreau, Campbell, and Greener have constructed a thorough, wise, and insightful text that will guide any serious missionary toward faithful presence and effective ministry when crossing cultures. One powerful feature of the book is how the authors raise key issues in intercultural communication then, through stories and case studies, engage readers by inviting them to participate in the challenging work of applying biblical and theoretical insights to real-world situations. This book will be a treasure for mission-minded people who aren't looking for pat answers but who want to be well prepared to face those vexing intercultural issues that are sure to come as soon as one crosses the border."

Roland Hoksbergen, professor of economics and international development, Calvin College; author of Serving God Globally

"This book fills a need for an up-to-date textbook on intercultural communication. Missionaries, professors of missions, and students will all find this book immensely helpful. This book brings the discussion of intercultural communication up to date and provides assistance for struggling communicators. Readers will find useful discussions of the role worldview and contextualization play in the process of evangelization. Missionaries will be challenged to become truly bilingual and bicultural so their audiences will understand the gospel fully. Highly recommended."

J. Mark Terry, professor of missions, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary

"The authors both write about communication and provide an excellent example of communication. I was drawn in immediately, gaining new understanding and perspective. This book not only captures the academic portion of intercultural communication but also, through the art of storytelling, explains concepts and principles in a way that can be understood and practiced in all contexts. I highly recommend this for business and ministry professionals as another tool to more effectively share the good news of the gospel."

Jo Anne Lyon, vice president, Wesley Seminary

The Authors

  1. A. Scott Moreau
    © Michael Hudson

    A. Scott Moreau

    A. Scott Moreau (DMiss, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is academic dean and professor of intercultural studies at Wheaton College Graduate School in Wheaton, Illinois. He is the editor of Evangelical Missions Quarterly and has authored,...

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  2. Evvy Hay Campbell

    Evvy Hay Campbell

    Evvy Hay Campbell (PhD, Michigan State University) is associate professor of intercultural studies emerita at Wheaton College and lives in Flushing, Michigan.

    Continue reading about Evvy Hay Campbell

  3. Susan Greener

    Susan Greener

    Susan Greener (PhD, University of Illinois, Urbana) is associate professor of intercultural studies at Wheaton College.

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Named an Outstanding Mission Book of 2014, International Bulletin of Missionary Research

"A strong contender for the text lists of seminaries and graduate schools of world mission."

Keith E. Eitel,

International Bulletin of Missionary Research

"This book is a priceless resource for anyone interested in crosscultural matters. . . . I commend this book for anyone interested in missions, communications, cultural understanding, in developing missional communities, or in any other forms of outreach. With the many useful sidebars to concisely point out the essential points, the eloquent quotes from respected individuals, and the questions at the end of each chapter to stir discussion, this very well written book makes it a pleasure for learning."

Conrade Yap,

Panorama of a Book Saint blog