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Deaf Missions Extension Program (Council Bluffs, IA)


Crossroads encourages students committed to ministry to deaf persons to participate in the Extension Class Program offered by Deaf Missions of Council Bluffs, Iowa. This program prepares students for entry-level positions in Christian ministries with deaf people by offering the basic tools and knowledge for such work.

The Extension Class Program

The Extension Class Program consists of 16 semester hours of college-level courses taught by qualified staff members of Deaf Missions. These classes are offered during the spring semester. Students selected for the program spend one semester in the Council Bluffs/Omaha area, which is a national center for ministry to the deaf. There they benefit from an intensive, comprehensive curriculum that includes classroom instruction, guest lectures and field trips. Students also receive on-the-job training through supervised teaching at deaf schools and camps, preparation of Bible visuals for deaf people, and conducting worship services for deaf people in area churches.

Students usually live in special housing on the campus of Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs, about two miles from Deaf Missions. They eat in the school cafeteria with deaf students. Classes meet in a classroom provided for Deaf Missions at ISD. Deaf Missions provides transportation for field trips and other group assignments.

Students pay tuition to Crossroads College, which compensates Deaf Missions for its services. Students pay Deaf Missions $1,114 for housing, meals, and supplies. Crossroads awards college credit for courses completed during the Extension Class Program. Students who successfully complete the entire 16-hour course of study earn a Deaf Ministries Minor as part of their baccalaureate degree from Crossroads. They also receive a certificate of completion from Deaf Missions. While the Deaf Ministries Minor is an excellent program in itself, students' preparation for ministry may be further strengthened by combining these studies with other Crossroads majors or minors (e.g. Christian Education, Counseling Psychology, Inter-Cultural Studies, Pastoral Leadership, Sports Ministry, or Youth Studies).

Spending a semester away from Crossroads may interfere with normal course sequencing for other baccalaureate requirements. Students should therefore plan their academic schedules carefully, and most should allow 9-10 semesters (rather than the normal 8) to complete a bachelor's degree with a Deaf Ministries Minor.

Prerequisites (offered at Crossroads)

American Sign Language (6 hours)
ASL 2100 Beginning Sign Language (2)
ASL 2400 Intermediate Sign Language (2)
ASL 2700 Advanced Sign Language (2)

Required Courses (offered at Deaf Missions)

Deaf Missions (16 hours)
DM 200 Intro to Ministries Among Deaf People (1)
DM 205 Preparation of Bible Visuals for Deaf People (1)
DM 210 Lesson Preparation for the Deaf (2)
DM 226 Beginning a Ministry with Deaf People (1)
DM 230 Independent Studies (1)
DM 235 Comm Skills w/ Deaf People [Interpreting] (2)
DM 236 American Sign Language (2)
DM 241 Survey of Deafness, Communic & Culture (2)
DM 243 Survey of Deaf World Missions (1)
DM 245 Laboratory (2)
DM 247 Personal Evangelism with Deaf People (1)
Total Minor: 16 semester credit hours

Course Descriptions

DM 200 Intro to Ministries Among Deaf People (1)
Students receive an overview of deafness, of the history of deaf people, of the history of religious work among deaf people, of current trends and events, and of methods to employ in evangelizing and nurturing deaf people. Guided tours of deaf-related institutions and businesses in the Omaha and Council Bluffs area are conducted throughout the semester.

DM 205 Prep of Bible Visuals for Deaf People (1)
Students learn the theory and the practical application of preparing and presenting Bible visuals for deaf people. Different types of Bible visuals are created for, and presented to, deaf people throughout the semester. Students are also introduced ways to use PowerPoint and the Internet in their deaf ministries.

DM 210 Lesson Preparation for the Deaf (2)
An in-depth survey of methods, techniques and styles that may be used effectively in communicating biblical content to deaf people. Students teach lessons they prepared to children and teens at a local deaf school. They also teach deaf children and adults in area churches.

DM 226 Beginning a Ministry With Deaf People (1)
The "how to's" of ministering with deaf people are taught. Students learn how to establish and maintain a ministry with deaf people.

DM 230 Independent Studies (1)
Students design and complete a project that falls into one of the three general areas of study. Faculty advisers assigned to students oversee their projects.

DM 235 Comm Skills w/ Deaf People [Interpreting] (2)
Students study various communication skills necessary to work effectively with deaf people in a religious setting. The class includes a one-hour lab each week, where students practice interpreting.

DM 236 American Sign Language (2)
This course is designed to acquaint students with the unique grammar and syntax of American Sign Language as deaf people use it among themselves. Students become aware of the great difference between English and ASL, and receive practical instruction in how to become more fluent in the use of ASL. This class is taught in sign language (no voice) by a deaf instructor.

DM 241 Survey of Deafness, Communic & Culture (2)
Deaf people, family members, and skilled professionals who work with deaf people share their experiences and insights into the separate culture of deaf people. Students learn how to adapt to that culture. Lectures by deaf speakers are in sign language.

DM 243 Survey of Deaf World Missions (1)
This course gives students a brief overview of the work that is being done with deaf people in other parts of the world. Students learn about the needs and opportunities for service with deaf people worldwide.

DM 247 Personal Evangelism with Deaf People (1)
Students gain a better understanding of the perceptions of deaf people about Christianity, so students may share the Gospel more effectively with deaf people.

DM 245 Laboratory (2)
Students learn additional techniques for teaching deaf people. They also work together throughout the semester to prepare a Bible-based drama to be presented to area deaf people and also produced on video.

Benefits to Crossroads College Students

Crossroads students who participate in the Extension Class Program enjoy the following benefits: (1) the opportunity to prepare for ministries to deaf persons under an experienced and uniquely qualified faculty; (2) the opportunity to earn not only a certificate in deaf ministry, but also a bachelor's degree from an accredited college with a Deaf Ministries Minor; (3) introduction to a network of professionals engaged in ministry to the deaf; (4) increased prospects for job or ministry placement, and/or more advanced study, that such preparation provides; (5) the services that Crossroads and DM representatives provide to assist Crossroads students reach their educational goals; (6) access to financial aid awards that are available from government and institutional sources at Crossroads; and (7) access to student activities and services at both Crossroads and ISD.

Admission Requirements and Prerequisites

In order to qualify for the Extension Class Program, students must (1) be personally committed to the principles and teachings of Jesus Christ; (2) have long-range plans to minister among deaf people; (3) be at least a college sophomore or have an equivalent level of maturity; (4) have a cumulative grade point average of "C" or above; and (5) have completed six semester credits of sign language courses or have an equivalent level of American Sign Language vocabulary and signing skills. ASL courses available at Crossroads College may be taken as part of the Lower Division Leadership Core.

Participating students must enroll at both Crossroads and Deaf Missions, meeting all the admission requirements for each institution. Application forms are available in the Academic Office at Crossroads, or from Deaf Missions. Applications must include a VHS videotape on which students demonstrate basic ASL competence by signing a brief introduction about themselves and Scripture passages.

Application Deadlines

Applications for the Crossroads College-Deaf Missions Extension Class Program must be received by Deaf Missions no later than October 15 of the year prior to the next scheduled program. Late applications may be accepted. If students submit their applications earlier, then the admissions committee of Deaf Missions will review each application and notify applicants of its decision within 15 days of receipt.

For more information

Contact the Vice President of Academics or the Director of Admissions. You may also contact the Academic Dean of the Extension Class Program at:

Deaf Missions
21199 Greenview Road
Council Bluffs, IA 51503-4190
Telephone: (712)322-5493 [Voice/TTY]
Fax: (712)322-7792

Crossroads College
920 Mayowood Road SW
Rochester, MN 55902, USA
(507) 288-4563

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