Group of five friends sitting next to each other smiling with a slight blue and purple overlay on the entire photo.

Global Studies

In this section

Global Studies at a glance

The School of Global Studies will prepare you to effectively live and work in cross-cultural settings. You’ll gain exposure to multiple languages, worldviews and strategies to empower social relationships, while gaining biblical and theological knowledge, innovative approaches to intercultural communication, and community building skills. Through an intense integration of theory and practice, you will graduate equipped to learn, lead, and serve in globally diverse communities throughout the world.

The Global Studies program includes a minor of your choice. See below for a list of qualifying minor opportunities.

Want to learn more?

Download the one sheet!

Simply fill in your info on the form to download the informational one sheet that covers:

  • An overview of the program
  • Classes you’ll take
  • Exciting jobs you can get after graduation

Interested in earning your degree in Global Studies at NCU?

Click here to apply today!

What sets us apart

Group of people standing together in a church.
Study abroad and fieldwork

Gain real-world experience in one of our study abroad and international programs.

Read more. Hide

See the world. Gain global awareness. Get firsthand Global experience.

The Global Studies major several  study abroad programs so you’ll get a truly immersive cross-cultural experience. These experiences are built into each of our tracks and are taken the spring semester of your junior year.

Additionally, you’ll participate in a 4-week faculty-led international fieldwork experience following your sophomore year. Past locations include Argentina, Bulgaria, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, India, Israel, Lebanon, Macedonia, Peru, Russia, Turkey, and Uganda.

To apply for study abroad trips, please fill out the checklist (pdf), application (pdf), and three reference forms (pdf) and return them to the Study Abroad Coordinator.

For more information, contact:

Jodi Petersen
Study Abroad Coordinator
jzpeters@northcentral.edu 
612.343.4100

Student scrapes paint on the porch of a house.
Local service

Get involved with local service groups to build new relationships.

Read more. Hide

Serve the local community

From the beginning of their time at NCU, students are encouraged—and in some cases required—to become involved with international people locally. To that end, the Global Studies department has identified a few churches and organizations where students can plug in and gain experience working cross culturally. The following are only a few of the organizations in the local network:

  • Christ Church International
  • Light the Way Church
  • Somali Adult Literacy Training (SALT)
  • Union Gospel Mission, Asian Ministries
  • Urban Ventures, Latino Outreach
  • Urban Neighbors
  • World Relief Refugee Ministry
Opportunities to connect

Connect with North Central students interested in Global Studies.

Read more. Hide

Make connections through student groups and organizations

We offer a variety of opportunities to get connected with students and alumni who have a passion for Global Studies.

 

  • Skills you’ll gain

    When you graduate from the Global Studies program, you’ll be prepared with:

    • A greater understanding and love for God, others, and yourself
    • A broader understanding of the world around you
    • Theory and practical experience in intercultural service settings
    • Biblical, theological, strategic, and practical understanding of world missions
    • The ability to disciple, mentor, and build community with others
    • Cross-cultural communication skills
  • Career paths

    Our graduates go on to make significant contributions in a number of fields. Here are some possible career paths:

    • Counseling
    • Youth work
    • Nursing
    • Teaching
    • Second language
    • Business
    • Nonprofit management
    • Human rights
    • Urban development
    • Global worker
    • Church staff
  • Minors & supporting programs

    We want you to be well-rounded and well-prepared when you graduate, so you’ll have the opportunity to choose a minor or supporting program so you can explore another area of interest. Here are some possibilities:

    • Biblical Languages
    • Business
    • English
    • Entrepreneurship
    • International Development
    • Marketing
    • Music
    • Nonprofit
    • Psychology
    • Social Services
    • Theology
    • TEFL Certificate

    See the full list of minors and supporting programs.

  • Three Core Areas

    When you graduate from Global Studies at NCU you’ll have competencies in three core areas: Biblical Studies, Cultural Studies, and Global Service. 

    Global Service includes a practical minor in one of the following:

    • Business
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Teaching English as a foreign language
    • Music
    • Child/youth specialist
    • International development
    • Media communications
    • Computer science
NCU student Adalia Cyr standing in front of a wall of green vines.

Adalia Cyr '20
Manchester, NH

"Global Studies is so much more than a department- it’s a family! During my time at North Central, GS gave me the opportunity to learn from incredible professors, engage in cross-cultural ministry and deepen my passion for global missions, all while surrounded by lifelong friends."

Requirements

All students must complete the General Education Core and Christian Studies Core. General electives may be added or an optional minor may be selected. You need 124 total credit hours to complete the Global Studies degree.

Meet one of your professors

Faculty Member Phil Zarns

Contact

pwzarns@northcentral.edu
612.343.4419

Phil Zarns, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Director, School of Global Studies

Phil is a ’00 graduate from North Central, returning to lecture at the University in 2018. Phil has served in Ecclesial roles in the local church, University environments, and as a Global worker. These last 10+ years, he has worked with both AGWM and the Swedish Pentecostal Movement encouraging planting faith communities and working academic endeavors.

What are your areas of expertise?

Missiology and theology, with a focus on constructing biblical understandings of pneumatology. God encourages us to found faith communities in contexts ranging from devout to secular – obedience to his leading is the key to this future work of our Global Workers. “The church does not have a mission; God’s mission has a church.” (Bosch)

What do you love about teaching at North Central?

I’ve learned that Global Studies students both have heart and are smart. Interaction with the students is a highlight of teaching at North Central. The classroom is a test chamber where ideas are exchanged, challenged, and refined. The Global Studies Program equips aspiring Global workers and hopes to send even more to serve the world.

What are your favorite classes to teach?

Cultural Anthropology and God & Religion. C.A. encourages the student to ask the question of ‘Why?’ a culture is functioning in a certain manner. Recognition of one’s cultural lenses will affect how to communicate and interact with both people and challenging environments. G&R considers philosophical constructs shared across the world’s religions. Information changes perspective, and both of these courses expand the quality and quantity of questions our students are able to ask.