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Deepening Understanding for Intercultural Ministry (DUIM) is a 5 day interactive and engaging program with practical ideas for implementation in your own context. DUIM is for Christian ministry leaders nurturing cultural relevance, understanding, and awareness in their communities. Registration is open to anyone who is interested, or through Canadian Churches Forum partners.

Individuals preparing for international settings can also register for a 2 day additional “International Personnel Pre-Program”

DUIM Brochure cover


“…it was one of the best learning events I have attended in that it allowed me enough time to consider how I might apply learnings to my context. I developed ideas well enough so that I could actually articulate these ideas to colleagues on my return to work. So often workshops tend to be heavy on content without enough time for application. Your program achieved its aim, ‘Deepening Understanding for Intercultural Ministry'”.

Download the DUIM brochure[PDF]


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Program Description

     “Thanks for a transformative week, and for your gentleness and wisdom as facilitators”

There is no “formula” or easy simple tricks for intercultural ministry or ministry across difference. Rather it requires a humble enthusiastic openness to learn and to grow. It is a process of engaging your context and deepening understanding of how culture shapes you, your relationship to others, and your community.

At every step the program intentionally prepares the participants to return to their communities and ministry settings, not as “experts” on intercultural ministry, but rather with tools and attitudes for engaging and facilitating their community in reflecting on intercultural ministry and ministry across difference.

In a learning community of no more than 20 participants you will spend 5 intense, gently challenging, and engaging days focusing on intercultural ministry.

The program moves through several content and conversation “phases” over the 5 days:

  1. Theoretical- theories of culture, models for understanding culture, cultural dimensions, and definitions through a faith lense.
  2. Application- historical shaping of “Canadian” culture, power, privilege, social location. Application of  models of culture to Canada, to church (national/local expressions), to local community, and to self.
  3. Practical- resource people on how culture shapes specific areas of ministry and faith such as: theology, pastoral care, worship, music, homiletics, etc.  Tools for engaging your community in intercultural ministry.
  4. Practice- group projects and presentations, practice how to engage course content in participants contexts using an area of ministry/work as a case study.
  5. Take away-  self care and support, resources, next steps, commitments.

The content is engaged through a variety of approaches, all of which model/help participants practice engaging the content with the community in their ministry setting. The approaches include:

  • Establishing an intentional learning community during the program to draw on the experience and knowledge of the participants
  • Worship (variety shaped by cultures)
  • An “Intercultural Mentor” accompanies the program and provides daily observations and reflections
  • Resource people for examples of practical engagement
  • Several content facilitators
  • A variety of hands on approaches to the content that engage participants as resources, including self reflection, group work, guest speakers and resource people, hands on experience, physical arts, worship, case studies and readings.
  • Practicing models and activities that can be used in ministry settings
  • The ecumenical program allows practice engaging content across difference
  • Program content applicable to ministry across difference, including but not limited to ‘culture’

This holistic intensive 6 day program will help you:

  • Gain a greater understanding of your own culture and abilities and aptitudes in intercultural settings. The program will begin with the recognition that we are all shaped by culture(s). A variety of activities will help you identify and reflect on the culture(s) that shape you.
  • Engage in a faith based approach to theories of culture and healthy relationships.
  • Apply your learning to better understanding your ministry context. Ministry settings and the Canadian Churches have cultures shaped by a history and reality that needs to be understood as part of the process of engaging the culture(s) of your current context.
  • Practice and apply learning to your ministry responsibilities, including pastoral care, worship leadership, education, nurturing faith communities and ministry in the wider community. You will have the opportunity to choose areas of ministry on which to reflect more deeply, and will have opportunity to hear fellow participants reflections on other areas of ministry.

Sample 5 Day program
**Note– programs may vary as they are shaped by context. Contact CCF for schedule for your program

Prior to some DUIM course offerings there will also be an optional 2 day International Personnel Supplement (details below) for individuals preparing for international work and living.

This will be an interactive, engaging program with practical ideas for implementation in your own context.

“I don’t impress easily…but I am always impressed by the Forum. Every time I participate in one of their events or programs I know it will be well done.”

Who is this Program For?

ConversationThis program is for leaders in Christian Churches and ministry settings who desire vibrant faith communities engaged in cultural relevance, understanding and awareness. The DUIM program is shaped by theological appreciation of diversity and a justice orientation focused on mutuality and respect.

While participants will have a variety of experience with intercultural ministry for most this will be a first experience of comprehensive cohesive faith based training in intercultural ministry.

Participants will predominantly be shaped by the ‘dominant Canadian culture’. This means they will themselves be shaped by this culture or are serving a ministry setting largely shaped by this culture.

Participants will be able to commit to the full program.

Why this Program?

Canadian Churches increasingly desire to appreciate in thought, word and deed a diverse Canada and the diversity within their own ministry settings. Cultural diversity is not a new phenomenon in Canada, but there is recognition that building faithful relationships requires intentional learning. While there are many culture and diversity resources, there is an expressed need for faith-based training for intercultural ministry, particularly one shaped by a justice approach to diversity which fosters mutual, respectful, faithful relationships across cultural difference.

There is a growing awareness of a long history of diversity in Canada and globally that hasn’t always benefited from healthy relationships. Within Canada a critique of multiculturalism and the challenges of the Truth and Reconciliation process have helped to reveal relationships within God’s family that are broken by systems that would impose the cultural values and norms of one group on the whole community.

Who is Providing this Program?

Core facilitators training 2012:
Jeanette Romkema (GLP), Jonathan Schmidt (CCFGM), Chris Pullenayegem, Dave Warren, Chun Zhang, Irene Ty, Aruna Alexander, Adele Halliday, Janet Ross, Sonia Hinds, Carmen Ramirez, Roni Beharry, Alice Schuda (CCFGM), Kim Uyede-Kai, (Not pictured: Girma Bekele, Rafael Vallejo)

Canadian Churches Forum for Global Ministries (CCFGM) is an ecumenical agency with over 90 years of experience preparing individuals for ministry and life in intercultural settings. The DUIM program is designed and facilitated by a diverse team of facilitators and resource people experienced in intercultural ministry settings and trained in facilitation. The DUIM program draws on the experience and wisdom of CCFGM’s many partners. Over the past several years CCFGM has engaged in a number of informal and formal consultations with its partners across the Canadian Churches. Through these consultations emerged a clear need for faith based intentional learning for building faithful relationships across cultural diversity.

The next step of the process was to identify a diverse team of facilitators and resource people from across the church experienced in intercultural ministry settings. CCFGM worked with Global Learning Partners to gather this team for further training in designing program and facilitation.

This team draws on the content and resources of current CCFGMs programs, the consultation process, and their own experiences to design the DUIM program.

Learn more about CCFGM including its history.


Program Date, Location, and Registration Details


Fall 2016 Register
Vancouver, BC

  • October 17-21, 2016
  • Gilmore Park United Church, 8060 #1 Road, Richmond, BC
  • Course runs 9:00 am Monday to 5:00 pm evening of Friday.
    • Evening activities Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. All other evenings program ends at 5 pm
  • Fees and registration deadlines:
    • Registration deadline September 19, 2016
    • Cost $895 (Non-residential program; $100 deposit to confirm registration)
    • Suggestions for local accommodation will be provided for out of town participants.

Spring 2017 Register
Sandy Saulteaux Theological Centre, 29 Dugard Rd, Beausejour, MB

  • May 8-12, 2017
  • Sandy Saulteaux Theological Centre, Beausejour Manitoba
  • Course runs 9:00 am Monday to 5:00 pm evening of Friday.
  • This is a residential program
  • Fees and registration deadlines:
    • Registration deadline April 10, 2017
    • Cost $995 (Residential program; $100 deposit to confirm registration)
    • Additional nights accommodation available prior or after the program $60/night + meals

Other Upcoming Programs (registration open soon)

  • Winter 2017, Saskatchewan
  • Summer 2017, Toronto
  • Fall 2017 Vancouver
  • 2017, Montreal (Bilingual French/English. Quebec context)
  • 2017, Peterborough (Small urban and rural intercultural contexts)



Your involvement in this program will be of benefit to your employer, community, church, denomination, or other organizations. Approach them to subsidize your program fees. A number of Canadian Churches Forum partners offer bursaries. Please contact the Canadian Churches Forum for possible bursaries in your faith community. The DUIM program is also recognized by various continuing education plans. Contact the Canadian Churches for for more information or help with supporting documents.


This is a non-residential program unless otherwise noted. Out of town participants and long distance commuters may want to arrange accommodation nearby. You are welcome to arrange your own billet or hotel/guest house. There are a number of suggested hotels and guest houses. Please note that you will need to arrange and pay for your accommodation. (For programs at Scarboro Missions please book accommodation through Canadian Churches Forum)

International Personnel Supplement

The DUIM program is ideal for individuals preparing for international work and living. Some DUIM programs will also offer a 2 day pre-program (8:30 am – 5:00 pm). The content of these two days will focus on overseas safety, security and well being, principles of partnership, and communicating your experience. During the DUIM program these participants will also apply course content to their anticipated international placements. Please note your participation in the International Personnel Supplement when registering.

International Personnel Supplement Sample Schedule

More Questions?

If you have questions or want to talk to someone to help decide whether you will participate in this program please contact Canadian Churches Forum for Global Ministries Co-Directors, Jonathan Schmidt or Alice Schuda.