Mexican Field Studies

Missions 3232-3 / Sociology 3232-3

Southern Nazarene University - Dr. Howard Culbertson -- Tel.: (405) 491-6693 or (405) 721-1915

Building on an SNU-organized Work and Witness trip to Mexico, this course provides a supervised cross-cultural educational experience.

Objectives / goals

  1. To provide an opportunity to bring together missiological knowledge acquired in earlier coursework, and to apply this knowledge in an actual cross-cultural situation.
  2. Expose students to actual field research, working with phenomena that are best observed within the context of their environment.
  3. To have students gain practical hands-on cross-cultural missions experience.
  4. To provide seminar type opportunities for discussion of the field problems of other students in the class as well as career missionaries
  5. To have students express themselves clearly, logically, and concisely both orally and in writing.

Requirements: 2 Hours Credit

  1. Read and report on a book on Mexico before the trip.
    Preferred titles:
    Condon, John C. Good Neighbors: Communicating with the Mexicans
    Hess, J. Daniel. From the Other's Point of View
    Mayers, Marvin K. A Look at Latin-American Lifestyles
    Oster, Patrick. The Mexicans: A Personal Portrait of a People

    Condon's book may be the best one. If none of these are available to you, find some other book on Mexico in a library and get it approved by the course professor. The report should be on one typewritten page. It should be turned in by the beginning of the trip.
  2. Read the August 1996 issue of National Geographic. It is all on Mexico. Write a minimum two-page report (summary/reaction) on your reading.
  3. Watch and write a half-page summary/reaction to two videos: Mexican Family Celebrations (Educational Video Network, 20 min.) and The Pinata.
  4. While in Mexico, keep a daily impressions journal.
    This is not to be a simple diary, but an introspective review. Write down each day what you saw or experienced that confirmed or deviated from reading you did before the trip. Your observations should note what you learned each day in cross-cultural living, including what you learned about yourself. There should be some notes about cultural contrasts. This journal, in final form, should be turned in within 3 weeks after the trip along with a 2-3 page post-trip reflection paper. In this brief paper, to reflect back on your reading and other study before you went to Mexico and what you actually experienced. [ see sample paper ]
    Students seeking sociology credit should highlight in their journal insights relevant to that field.
    The journals of students seeking missions credit should highlight insights about religious experience in the Mexican context.
  5. To give some structure to the field part of this educational experience, Dr. Culbertson will meet with you a couple of times in Mexico.

Additional requirements: 3 hours credit

  1. All of the above, with the final reflection/reaction/summary paper being at least 5 pages.
  2. Two additional books to be read and reported on.
  3. Watch and report on four of these six videos on Mexico:
    • Civilization in Chiapas
    • Mexico: Its Land and People.
    • Mexican Family Celebrations
    • Mexican Youth Today
    • The Pi¤ata
    • 100 Facts About Mexico
    These videos are in the SNU media center. Write a one-page reaction/summary to these videos. Ideally, this viewing will also be done before the trip to Mexico.
    If you live in another city, check a local public or university library for video material on Mexico. Find two films on Mexico (can be different from the two listed above) and write or call for approval from the course professor. Then, watch them and then write a one page summary/reaction on each one.

Note: Regardless of where you live, your own library can arrange to borrow books for you from the SNU library. To use this service, ask your library to do an "interlibrary loan."

Commission Unto Mexico information

Complete information on "Commission Unto Mexico" can be found on the SNU web site. [ click here ]

SNU missions course materials and syllabi

Cultural Anthropology    Introduction to Missions    Linguistics    Mexican Field Studies    Missions Strategies    Modern Missionary Movement (History of Missions)    Nazarene Missions    Church Growth and Christian Missions    Theology of Missions    Traditional Religions    World Religions
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Howard Culbertson, 5901 NW 81st, Oklahoma City, OK 73132  |  Phone: 405-740-4149 - Fax: 405-491-6658
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