Transformative Learning

Cross-Cultural Study Term

Every Winter Term, we give students the opportunity to expand their horizons by studying with Christians outside the United States, and exploring the host nation’s history and culture. For second-year students, the extra cost of the study term is covered by an institutional grant.

Venture: Akwachink

A three week leadership and spiritual formation program that takes place in the Canadian wilderness. Participants learn how to canoe, portage and navigate using a compass while also learning various leadership skills and spiritual habits.

Short Term Ministry Credit

If you’ve been part of a short-term ministry program, you might be eligible to turn those experiences into college credit at Rosedale.

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Cross Cultural Study Term Details

Because RBC is committed to helping our students engage the world they live in through study, service and travel, we offer generous grants to second-year students to encourage them to take part in our cross-cultural study terms. Please see the academic catalog for the details about the grant.

RBC offers at least one cross-cultural experience per year, generally during winter term. Locations in the current rotation are listed below, along with the most recent academic year in which they were offered.

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Students spent six weeks in residence in Central Ethiopia, exploring the historical and cultural heritage of the region and interacting with the Ethiopian Mennonite Church. They were based in the dorms of the Meserete Kristos College; excursions were planned for most weekends. Courses offered were Introduction to Missions, taught by Richard Showalter, and Introduction to Islam, taught by Matt Showalter.

Richard Showalter serves as a global church liaison and adjunct instructor in missions for RBC and a consultant for RMM. He has long-standing relationships

with Ethiopian Mennonites and in recent years serves with two African groups in mission training in Ethiopia, where he and his wife Jewel are honorary members of the Meserete Kristos Church. Jewel grew up in Ethiopia as a daughter of missionary parents. Richard’s vocation is Christian witness to the world’s least-reached people, and his avocation is learning everything he can about the footprints of God in human history. (Ethiopia has lots of them.)

Matt Showalter grew up in Turkey and attended Turkish public schools into the 5th grade. As an adult, he has served with his family in church planting in a Muslim context, pastoral ministry, Bible teaching, and discipleship. Currently, Matt, his wife Colleen, and their five kids live on the Rosedale Bible College campus where he serves as the dean of students. He had never been to Ethiopia but enjoyed connecting with a church there that he had heard about his entire life from his mother and grandparents.

This study term combines two courses:  Introduction to Humanities and Mennonites, Anabaptists and the Radical Reformation (MARR). Students combine time in class on campus with several weeks in Europe, where they visit the places and see the art they’ve read about.


Students spend six weeks in residence in Southern Spain studying conversational Spanish, exploring the historical and cultural heritage of the region and reflecting on the forces shaping post-Christian Europe. They live with families and work with a Spanish church.

Students who are enrolled full-time for a year of resident study after earning at least 18 credits the prior school year may be eligible for the Cross-Cultural Grant. The grant is for up to $2,000 (up to $1,000 for non-dorming students) and may be applied toward the cost of any of the cross-cultural study programs offered for credit by RBC during the winter term. Eligibility is dependent on maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Funds from the grant may be credited to the student’s account during the spring semester following the experience. 

For questions about eligibility, contact the financial aid office.

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Venture: Akwachink Program Details

This program is operated through a partnership with Living Hope Native Ministries in Canada. It is scheduled for the three weeks prior to the fall semester. The three weeks consist of a canoe expedition in the Canadian wilderness. Teaching and activities are built into the trip to emphasize spiritual and leadership development. Twelve students are able to go on this trip.

(Three credit hours)
August 23 – September 13, 2024 
COST: $1,250.00

For more information, or to ask questions, email admissions@rosedale.edu.

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Credit for Short-Term Ministry

The following policies guide the granting of academic credit for approved programs of at least six months duration which combine discipleship or missions training in a classroom setting and supervised outreach experiences. The REACH and YES programs operated by Mennonite missions agencies are prime examples. The academic dean maintains a list of programs approved by the academic committee for inclusion in this policy.

  1. Students who have completed their program may request academic credit for their experience from the registrar’s office at RBC. The request for credit must be made within three years after the completion of the program.
  2. Students requesting credit should present written verification from the agency office specifying the dates of participation and the location of the field experience.
  3. Credit for participation is graded on a pass/non-pass basis. The academic dean assigns this grade based on the written recommendation of the program administrator.
  4. Students may request credit from RBC only after earning at least 18 credit hours either prior to or following participation in the training program. Tuition for program credit is twenty percent of the standard tuition rate, payable at the time the credit is granted.
  5. Up to 9 credit hours may be granted for the following courses:
    VSF 101 Spiritual Formation (3 hours)
    VSF 231 Supervised Formation in Ministry (3 hours)
    VMI 111 Introduction to Evangelism (3 hours)

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