The Institute for Multicultural Ministry

What is the Institute for Multicultural Ministry?

Founded in 2019, the Institute for Multicultural Ministry provides theological education and intercultural competency training to leaders of multicultural congregations.

Man giving presentation at Institute for Multicultural Ministry


The number of international and multicultural (multi-ethnic) churches is growing globally. Many churches are experiencing a cultural shift from being predominantly one culture or nationality to being multicultural. Basic pastoral skills learned in seminary or lay leadership classes are often insufficient resources for a leader ministering with persons who represent a variety of Christian traditions and cultures. 

The curriculum of the Institute for Multicultural Ministry empowers ministerial leaders to become keenly aware of how their own cultural traits shape their behavior, as well as to read the cultural traits of others. This skill set enables leaders to model the formation of meaningful personal relationships, especially with migrants, refugees, and others crossing significant cultural boundaries. The program is intentionally designed for small group formation, with a maximum participation of 15 learners.

An Overview of the Curriculum

The program is held annually at the Educational Center of the Germany UMC in Stuttgart, in partnership with the United Methodist Seminary in Reutlingen. The program core includes lectures on topics such as hermeneutics, missio Dei, social justice, patterns of migration, contextualization, and intercultural competency skills, with teachers spending the week together with the students. Students also engage in hands-on cross-cultural worship and make field visits to communities successfully engaging in ministry with migrants and/or ethnic minorities. At the close of the training program, participants self-select into covenant groups for continued study and mutual support.

Woman playing a drum alongside a man playing piano at the Institute for Multicultural Ministry


Applications are welcome from pastors and lay leaders of multicultural churches in Europe. Although the majority of past participants have come from a Methodist-related faith community, leaders from other Christian denominations are also invited to apply.

Pastors should be prepared to provide a letter of recommendation from a ministry supervisor. Lay members should be prepared to provide a statement of support from their pastor or other ministry leader.

Essential Information


September 11-18, 2024

September 16-23, 2025
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
Application deadline: January 31 before each September session
Cost: €1,000.  Registration includes all meals, accommodation, local transportation, and round-trip travel within Europe to Stuttgart.
Reduced fees are available for participants nominated by one of the partnering churches.

For More Information

To learn more about the Institute for Multicultural Ministry, or to begin the registration process, please contact Üllas Tankler, Regional Director for Europe and Eurasia, UMC Global Ministries,

Sponsoring Organizations

The Institute for Multicultural Ministry is a collaborative ministry of the following church denominations and organizations:

Oversight for the Institute is provided by an Advisory Board comprising representatives of partner organizations.