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Online Graduate Certificate Program in
Folk Religion & Culture

☀  Totally Unique Program = only available at Missional University

Expand Your Intercultural Abilities Today!


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Graduate Certificate in
Folk Religion & Culture?


The Graduate Certificate in Folk Religion & Culture offers students an understanding of the influence of popular religious belief on culture as it is practiced in a wide variety of societies as well as it's influence on western culture. Through the program, students learn practical ways to identify folk cultural beliefs, oral traditions, and material culture as a means of developing a better understanding for missional outreach around the world. The certificate enables students to gain the following capabilities:

    • ability to compare and contrast various approaches to answering key questions regarding the relation between Christianity and world religions
    • ability to identify, collect, represent ethically, and offer sophisticated analyses of different forms of vernacular culture including the relationship between folklore and worldview.
    • basic competency in identifying the ongoing processes of adapting, reclaiming and creating folk traditions, beliefs, rituals and physical objects within a specific folk culture
    • basic competency in analyzing the meaning making of oral tradition and addressing ongoing cultural challenges through oral traditions.
    • basic competency in studying the material culture of a specific folk culture and relating it to their folk belief system
    • ability to use anthropological methods for understanding folk practices and perspectives, or, to to study folk visual art in relation to community identity, or, to study the distribution and diffusion of folk culture and the norms associated with folk religion.
    • ability to explore the function of folk cultures to discern appropriate communication approaches in sharing the gospel with folk religion adherents, or, to design contextual approaches to starting a missional congregation in a specific folk culture.

According to the Pew Research Center, an estimated 405 million people – or about 6% of the world’s population – were adherents of folk or traditional religions in 2010, and that number is expected to grow to 450 million by 2050. Folk religion, popular religion, or vernacular religion comprises various forms and expressions of religion that are distinct from the official doctrines and practices of organized religion. The precise definition of folk religion varies among scholars, however it is often seen as consisting of ethnic or regional religious customs under the umbrella of a religion, but outside official doctrine and practices. Folk religion is often a syncretism of two cultures that reshape world religion into folk Christianity, folk Buddhism, folk Hinduism, folk Islam, etc. where formal religions are mixed with folk cultures. Folk or traditional religions are faiths closely associated with a particular group of people, ethnicity or tribe. They often have no formal creeds or sacred texts. Examples of folk religions include African traditional religions, Chinese folk religions, Native American religions and Australian aboriginal religions. The Graduate Certificate in Folk Religion & Culture equips students to serve among folk cultures by providing hands-on tools to recognize the traditions, beliefs, rituals, oral traditions and physical objects of folk culture and develop missional approaches to engage folk culture communities.

Program Features

  • Integrated practicums allow you to gain valuable real-world experience
  • Learn from academic practitioners from around the world
  • Credits earned in this certificate program can apply to a Missional University Master's degree program

Course Effort

hours per week

Course Length

Week Terms

Credits Required

credit hours

Program Cost

per credit hour

What Will I Study?

We offer the most comprehensive approach to serving among religious peoples in the mission of God.

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When Can I Get Started?

We offer multiple start dates each year to give you flexibility in your education, life and work schedules.






A Career in Navigating Cultural Difference

Is this Your Mission?

Missionary, Church Planter, Community Ministry Practitioner, Immigration Services Coordinator, Community Worker, International Worker, Humanitarian Worker, Missional Team Leader, Global Director, Faith and Development Manager, Marketplace Ministry Worker, Children's and Youth Worker, Researcher



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How Much Will it Cost?

We offer tuition based upon country of residence.  According to the Human Development Index, all countries around the world fall into one of four categories:
  • (Tier 1) - Very High Human Development
  • (Tier 2) High Human Development
  • (Tier 3) Medium Human Development
  • (Tier 4) Low Human Development
Our tiered global tuition makes higher education affordable for everyone world wide.


100% Tuition


per credit hour


3 credit course


80% Tuition


per credit hour


3 credit course


60% Tuition


per credit hour


3 credit course


40% Tuition


per credit hour


3 credit course

Tiered tuition based on country of origin and scholarships available.  Find your country of residence here for more information.
Tuition may be further reduced by participating in the Sponsorship Program.