Baker Academic has a brand new website! Click Here To Visit:

Teaching Cross-Culturally

An Incarnational Model for Learning and Teaching

Cover Art Request Exam Copy

Where to Purchase

More Options


"Required reading for seminary students, pastors and teachers, and any who teach. . . . This book challenges us to understand the culture that impacts how and what we preach and teach. . . . [It] contains a wealth of research in the area of teaching and learning."--Equip for Ministry

Teaching Cross-Culturally is a challenging consideration of what it means to be a Christian educator in a culture other than your own. Chapters include discussions about how to uncover cultural biases, how to address intelligence and learning styles, and teaching for biblical transformation.



Teaching Cross-Culturally is ideal for the western-trained educator or missionary who plans to work in a non-western setting, as well as for those who teach in an increasingly multicultural North America.



"Applause for an interestingly written teaching guide that encapsulates an extraordinary amount of scarce information under one cover! Drawing on decades of research and experience, the authors identify sources of bewilderment for both teachers and learners, then suggest a wealth of practical techniques with which to meet the challenges. Lessons learned during my years in non-western classrooms confirm the wisdom of these recommendations. Here is a 'must-read' book for all cross-cultural instructors, whether novices or seasoned practitioners."--Patricia M. Davis, international literacy and education consultant, Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL), Dallas, Texas

"What a delight to read a book that helps to address one of the most important and most neglected needs in world missions. Christ's Commission is much broader than reaching the unreached. Jesus commands us to make disciples of all nations through teaching. Each person teaching in another culture will benefit from the principles and examples in this book."-Jim Plueddemann, international director, Serving In Mission (SIM)

"Incarnational teaching is truly the strength of this book. It allows readers to reflect from both a teacher's and a learner's perspective. The books provides a deeper understanding of the importance, as Christian educators, of taking culture seriously. Readers will be challenged to reflect in ways that bring growth as a teacher as well as a Christian. Administrators will find that this book brings wisdom about creating an institution that includes persons from different cultures-international students as well as national ethnic groups. A book for faculty group discussions."-Elizabeth Conde-Frazier, assistant professor of religious education, Claremont School of Theology

"What an eye-opener for someone who thought himself quite informed in teaching cross-culturally! The contents of this book must become functional knowledge for everyone who seeks to disciple the nations. Teaching Cross-Culturally provides step-by-step, doable actions to create the best learning environments. I have been in a formal education setting for twenty years and have been developing ideas of my role as a teacher. After reading this book, I need to do a U-turn!"-Julius Wong Loi Sing, Moody Graduate School

"Written with power, grace, and a wealth of wisdom, Teaching Cross-Culturally is essential reading for all Christian leaders who are called to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ in an ever-dynamically changing world. This is vintage Lingenfelter!"-S. Steve Kang, Wheaton College

"Whether you teach in the culturally diverse classrooms of North America or in a Bible college or seminary worlds away, Teaching Cross-Culturally may make the difference between frustration and success in your educational ministry. Don't hang on by your fingernails when you can enjoy the experience of learning and teaching effectively in other cultures. Your own cultural experience and assumptions about learning won't automatically work when you are teaching students from other cultures. The Lingenfelters link sound educational technique with timeless biblical example to make teaching a ministry in intercultural contexts."-Michael Pocock, chairman and senior professor, world missions and intercultural studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

"Looking for a text to prepare students to teach effectively in diverse cultural contexts? Teaching Cross-Culturally is the tool you need! Those of us who have used the Lingenfelters' earlier texts on intercultural living and ministry welcome the arrival of this new work. It goes beyond educational technique in showing the teacher how to learn from students about how to teach them more effectively. Using sound missiological principles and timeless biblical truths, the Lingenfelters provide a truly Christian approach to teaching successfully in intercultural contexts."-Michael Pocock, chairman and senior professor, world missions and intercultural studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

"Cross-cultural teaching is going on in almost every corner of the globe. Teachers everywhere in the world need this book--and this includes missionary teachers. This is an important, unique, and useful book. Though missionaries have taught cross-culturally for more than two centuries, almost nothing has been written on the subject. This book is a practical handbook that can help cross-cultural teachers communicate more effectively. The authors are both excellent teachers and superb writers. Readers will find their suggestions immensely helpful, no matter the cultural context in which they are called to teach."-Charles Van Engen, Fuller Theological Seminary

"This engaging book helps westerners understand just how western they really are, in most cases, in their educational and pedagogical assumptions. The authors show that learning styles and kinds of intelligence may look quite different in non-western cultures, posing unforeseen challenges for would-be teachers. They question the 'culture of questioning' so common in the west, point out that rote memorization may be an appropriate and effective learning strategy in some contexts, and show that in teaching, low-tech is sometimes more effective than hi-tech. Very useful for anyone engaged in transcultural ministry, whether at home or abroad."-Howard A. Snyder, professor of the history and theology of mission, Asbury Theological Seminary

"Much is said today about contextualizing the gospel but little about the ways in which we communicate it. This is particularly true of teaching, which is what many of us do much of the time. Judith and Sherwood Lingenfelter do us great service by helping us to teach the gospel in culturally appropriate ways that enable people to truly understand it."-Paul G. Hiebert, Distinguished Professor of Mission and Anthropology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

The Authors

  1. Judith E. Lingenfelter

    Judith E. Lingenfelter

    Judith E. Lingenfelter (PhD, University of Pittsburgh) is associate professor of intercultural education at Biola University. Sherwood G. Lingenfelter (PhD, University of Pittsburgh) is provost/senior vice president, dean of the School of World Mission, and...

    Continue reading about Judith E. Lingenfelter

  2. Sherwood G. Lingenfelter

    Sherwood G. Lingenfelter

    Sherwood G. Lingenfelter (PhD, University of Pittsburgh), a senior statesman among evangelical anthropologists, is provost emeritus and senior professor of anthropology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He has written numerous books,...

    Continue reading about Sherwood G. Lingenfelter


"I would like to recommend this as required reading for seminary students, pastors and teachers, and any who teach. . . . This book challenges us to understand the culture that impacts how and what we preach and teach. . . . [It] contains a wealth of research in the area of teaching and learning. . . . Good to use in a teacher training or homiletics class."--Equip for Ministry

"Educators and practitioners alike will rejoice over the appearance of Teaching Cross-Culturally. . . . It is popularly written and well illustrated, with many practical examples drawn from the authors' teaching experience in a variety of cross-cultural settings. . . . The authors combine expertise in both anthropology and education to address this topic competently. . . . This volume is simply must reading for missionary and cross-cultural teachers of all kinds! . . . [It] provides an irresistibly helpful overview of the key issues. Teaching Cross-Culturally is destined to become a standard introduction to the topic if for no other reason than that there is no other book like it on the market."--Craig Ott, Missiology

"The Lingenfelters apply many years of experience as cross-cultural missionaries and educators to this small but engaging book. . . . This book is an easy read and would be useful for anyone who is doing ministry with people from different cultural backgrounds."--John P. Hartwig, Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly

"A readable combination of scholarship . . . and story. . . . The Lingenfelters are right on target. Those planning to teach cross-culturally--especially those who wish to do so from a Christian perspective--would do well to carefully study this delightful and useful volume." --Nancy Jean Vyhmeister, Andrews University Seminary Studies

"Teaching Cross-Culturally fills an important void in Christian mission literature. . . . The Lingenfelters provide a valuable contribution to all seeking to minister cross-culturally--whether at home or abroad. Highly readable, this book will interest both the seasoned and novice missionary. . . . Its insights are invaluable for anyone seeking to communicate the gospel in a cross-cultural context."--Rhonda M. McEwen, Evangelical Missions Quarterly

"This is a helpful book. In a pluralistic world in which all contexts have become more or less cross-cultural, not only is Teaching Cross-Culturally geared toward those teaching overseas, but it is also an essential resource for those who desire to teach effectively in the changing North American context. . . . The Lingenfelters have provided an excellent primer on teaching cross-culturally through an incarnational model. These insights and wisdom provide a solid foundation of the questions and practices teachers need to address if they are to become learners of a culture in order to teach effectively within it."--Roland G. Kuhl, Review and Expositor

"The authors write about the complex nature of teaching when the teacher is of a western culture and students are not. They give a plethora of examples illustrating the complexities in such teaching, and anyone contemplating teaching overseas would find this book a very helpful preparatory resource. . . . The book helpfully includes tables and diagrams to summarize theoretical approaches used in the text. Another helpful feature is the section at the end of each chapter called 'research/reflection questions.'. . . This book would be most attractive to Christians considering service as missionary teachers in other cultures. It could be a useful introductory text in preparing them for the culture shock they may initially face. It could also develop their sensitivity and respect for the cultural differences they would encounter. The book shares personal experiences and wisdom, and for those who want to avoid the mistake of teaching as if everyone in the world is an American, it offers an alternative vision."--Ann L. Gilroy, Mission Studies