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Meet Andrea '17

"As a Bolivian, I have a heart for Latin America and I want to continue working there for social and biblical justice in the field of human rights; much has been done but there are still changes that need to happen!"

Why did you choose Wheaton's Intercultural Studies program?

"Working in social justice, relief, and community development can be challenging. I questioned aspects of my faith when I started working with Christian non-profits: exposed to a world full of brokenness, violent oppression, and pain, the “Sunday school –god” who was confined only to the four walls of a church building made no sense. In fact, he seemed irrelevant and insufficient to respond to “real world” needs. 

To strengthen my faith, and discover how the Good News of the Gospel was Good News to people living in poverty, I talked to others working in the same field as me. Even though they had struggled with the same questions I had, their faith was strong and they seemed to be well equipped, and to my surprise, most of them were Wheaton alumni! It was then that I started looking at Wheaton as an option.

I was looking for a program that included three main elements: intercultural communication, principles of development, and basic theology, a program that could help me put faith and action together, and the M.A. and Intercultural Studies had it all!"

How do you plan to use your degree, and how is this program preparing you for your future goals?

"As a Bolivian, I have a heart for Latin America and I want to continue working there for social and biblical justice in the field of human rights; much has been done but there are still changes that need to happen! This work requires constant partnership with the people you serve, local and international governments, national and international donors, and the church, and requires skills to navigate and bridge different cultures.

The M.A. in Intercultural Studies has enhanced my ability to communicate and work with people from different cultural backgrounds, as well as lead cross-cultural teams. One of my favorite classes has been Intercultural Communication, which challenged me to see what is behind a person, beyond my biases and assumptions of specific cultures. 

This program gave me practical skills like cross-cultural research, as well as tools to keep growing, both as an individual and on a team, professionally and spiritually. I plan to use this degree to take the Good News of the Gospel as part of the fight for justice in the Global South, especially for those who live under poverty and violent oppression, and to advance God’s kingdom on earth while we wait for the eternal restoration of all things."