Proceedings of The 4th International Conference on Applied Research in Education
Intercultural Readiness in Theological Education
What began as an investigation into the causes of recent incidences in plagiarism and resistance to language support at my institution ultimately led to developing a program to help students live, work, and learn alongside one another. St. Mary’s Seminary & University is a diverse formational community that has been preparing men for the Roman Catholic priesthood in the United States since 1791. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of international seminarians studying in Roman Catholic seminaries in the United States, and, at the time of this writing, the international population at St. Mary’s is 42% out of a total of 70 students. In response to the needs of the international students, St. Mary’s has put many successful supporting structures in place for them. But we discovered that for them and especially for our native-born students, mere exposure to and information about other cultures do not lead one to be interculturally effective. This prompted a closer look at our own underlying values and assumptions as well as the cultural assumptions of all our seminarians. We were led to start an ongoing program to help strengthen intercultural competences that would lead to better communication and would, in turn, positively impact the classroom and the community.
keywords: international, multicultural inclusion, cross cultural, intercultural competence, theological education .