Mission & Outreach – Cultural Competency

Welcome to the Cultural Competency Mission page! Learn strategies to increase your cultural competency to reach the world for Christ!

School of Mission – How to Create a Cross Culture Mission Mindset

Joni Oliveira, South American Division

“Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all” Colossians 3:11

Where Are You From, Anyway?

Click on the image to the left to read this story by Erica Bradfield from South Africa.


Culture – the collective customs, arts, social institutions, achievements, and manifestations of a particular nation, people or social group.

Competency – a defining capability to describe a person’s knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes.

How to Live & Work in Foreign Fields

Brenda Mays & Jack Bowers, Adventist Frontier Missions

The Power of Culture, by Dr. Ekkehardt Mueller

Click on the image to the left to download and read the article

Biblical Principles for Cross-cultural Mentoring

Cruz Dioi, DMin
Associate Professor of Global Mission Leadership, Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies

Lost in Translation

Click on the image to the left to read this story by Vanessa Pizzuto from Argentina

“It is not earthly rank, nor birth, nor nationality, nor religious privilege, which proves that we are members of the family of God; it is love, a love that embraces all humanity” -Ellen G. White

When Translation Isn’t Enough

Gregory & Amy Whitsett
Directors, Global Mission Center for East Asian Religions

“We are all woven together in the great web of humanity, and whatever we can do to benefit and uplift others will reflect in blessing upon ourselves” -Ellen G. White

The Gift of the Stranger

Click on the image to the right to read this article by Gerald Klingbeil, Associate Editor of the Adventist Review

Effective Communication Across Cultural Barriers

Paul Dybdahl, PhD, MDiv Professor of Mission and New Testament, Walla Walla University  

BA, Walla Walla College; MDiv, Andrews University; PhD, Andrews University)
Paul Dybdahl was born in Thailand and spent the first eight years of his life in Asia before moving to the Walla Walla Valley. He attended grade school and high school in College Place, and graduated from Walla Walla College in 1992. He then accepted a call to be a pastor in the Oregon Conference, where he served for nearly five years. His time as a pastor included a sojourn to Andrews University, where he earned his MDiv in 1995. Paul later returned to Andrews for his doctorate and received his PhD in Missiology in 2004. His academic interest centers on the issues related to the effective communication of the gospel, especially across cultural barriers. Paul has been teaching at Walla Walla University since 2001.
Paul and his wife, Kristyn (also a graduate of Walla Walla College), have three children: Noah, Alyssa, and Sarah.

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands” Revelation 7:9


Cristian Dumitrescu, PhD, Professor of Mission AIIAS


Culture’s Role in Writing Scripture, by Angel Manuel Rodriguez. Available in English, Portugues & Espanol

Click on the image to the left to read the article

“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord” Hebrews 12:14

Presented by the South American Division, Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies, Global Mission Center for East Asian Religions, Asia-Pacific International University, Adventist Frontier Missions, Walla Walla University, & General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.


The Office of Adventist Mission, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Mission resources specific to culture

Institute of World Mission

Click on the image to the left for more information about the book Before We Call Them Strangers.

In his book, Dybdahl suggests that learning about other religions shouldn’t scare us, but should actually strengthen us in our walk with Jesus. “I think we tend to be afraid of people who are not of our religion,” says Dybdahl. “We don’t need to be afraid. If we listen, we can be blessed, and though we are different, there is much that we share.”

“From early on in life, I’ve had a missional interest in telling the story of Jesus in ways that make sense to those of other religions,” says Dybdahl. “In order to do that, I believe it is important to understand where others are coming from. If we are going to understand, we must listen.”

“I hope people who read the book will be more open to conversations with those of other faiths, and I hope their walk with Jesus will be strengthened,” says Dybdahl. “God so loved the world. He cares about other people and what they believe, and we should too.”

Adventist Learning Community Resources

ALC Information Video

Adventist Learning Community

The ALC is a website created by the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. It houses thousands of continuing education (CE) courses and resources for teachers, pastors, chaplains, administrators, lay-leaders, and faith-seekers.

The ALC requires you to create a FREE account to access content on the site.

Adventist Learning Community homepage

Click on the links below to view CE courses and resources related to reaching other cultures.

The Role of Developing Cultural Intelligence in a Multicultural World

Reach the World Next Door

Connecting to Your Muslim Neighbor

Culture Matters