Diversity by Design: Intercultural Leadership Development for Multiethnic Witnessing Communities

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This dissertation seeks to design antiracism leadership training for white students and staff members involved with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA’s Graduate and Faculty Ministries (GFM). The issue prompting this study was a need for leadership training around students’ intercultural experiences. In part I, I argue that the biblical vision of multiethnic witnessing communities (MEWCs) is particularly hindered by the problem of whiteness and that adaptive leadership is necessary to address this problem. MEWCs can be effectively advanced through intercultural leadership development (ILD) that is intentionally facilitated through an adaptive instructional design. Part II uses semistructured interviews and focus groups to study InterVarsity graduate students’ learning needs in relation to multiethnic issues. The data suggest that most graduate students have had significant intercultural experiences but that they are receiving little to no training around these experiences in relation to multiethnic issues. I draw conclusions about (1) the universal potential for ILD among InterVarsity graduate students and (2) the particular need for more training on multiethnic issues among white students. Part III recommends antiracist communities of practice for white InterVarsity staff and graduate students to facilitate ILD. While the instructional design presented is specific to InterVarsity GFM, antiracist communities of practice could be used to develop intercultural leaders and advance MEWCs in other contexts.

Mentor: Dr. Andrew Myers

Degree Name

Doctor of Intercultural Studies (DIS)

First Advisor

Myers, Andrew

Document Type





Diversity by Design: Intercultural Leadership Development for Multiethnic Witnessing Communities


Missions and World Christianity


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