La Iglesia Intercultural: Fundación Teológica y Práctica Pastoral

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This course is based on the bilingual manual Building Intercultural Competence for Ministers, published by the USCCB. Beginning with the mission of the Church and the demands of the New Evangelization, the manual explores what culture is and how it affects us, how to develop intercultural communication skills, how to recognize the damaging dynamics of racism, and finally, how to promote a spirituality of hospitality, reconciliation, and mission.

This course also incorporates readings from the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and other documents to complement the theological themes of the manual. Each participant will have the opportunity to reflect upon his or her own experience and identify areas for personal growth in developing knowledge, skills, and attitudes for ministry in intercultural contexts.

Option to Participate in English

This same course is available through Camino’s sister program, STEP. The primary language for participation in the Camino course will be Spanish; in STEP, it will be English. To learn more, please visit the STEP website.


Unit 1: Theological Foundations - Mission and Evangelization
Unit 2: Culture and Intercultural Capacities
Unit 3: Intercultural Communication in Pastoral Ministry
Unit 4: Obstacles - Racism, Prejudice, and Stereotypes
Unit 5: A Spirituality of Reconciliation and Ecclesial Integration

Required Texts


  • Building Intercultural Competence for Ministers (Bilingual). Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church. Washington, D.C.: USCCB, 2014.
  • Bible and Catechism of the Catholic Church (available online)
  • Links to Church documents and other materials provided online

Course Requirements

  • Weekly reading of assigned texts and materials
  • Participation in class discussions in the forums (minimum of two comments, questions or responses each week)
  • Written assignment (between 150 and 200 words)
  • Weekly chat session (minimum 4 chats)

Time Required

  • 4 to 6 hours per week (this varies from student to student depending on learning style and available study time) 

Course Certificate

  • A Certificate of Completion awarding 25 Contact Hours will be sent upon completion of all course requirements.


United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

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Meet the Developers

María del Mar Muñoz Visoso, MTS and Esther Terry, MTS


Maria del Mar Muñoz-Visoso holds a bachelor of arts in communications with a major in journalism from Centro Escuela Universitaria San Pablo in Valencia, Spain, and a master of theological studies degree from the Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan. She has over two decades of experience as an editor and journalist and in Hispanic ministry, with emphasis on leadership development, training, and organizing.

She has worked in radio and the written press and was the founding editor of El Pueblo Católico, a Catholic Spanish- language diocesan newspaper. She was Director of Hispanic Ministry in the Archdiocese of Denver and co-founded and was executive director of Centro San Juan Diego, a pastoral institute and adult education center for Hispanics in Denver. Most recently, she was assistant director of Media Relations at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops until her appointment as Executive Director of the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church in February 2012. She and her husband Rafael have three children.



Esther Terry is the director of the Camino program at the University of Notre Dame. In this role she collaborates with professors in the development of online courses and with leaders in Hispanic ministry to offer courses to diocesan groups. She holds a BA in English and Spanish from Hillsdale College and a Master of Theological Studies from the University of Notre Dame. Her theological interests revolve around questions in moral theology as well as Latin American and US Hispanic theologies. In addition to her work with the Camino program, she has taught courses on moral theology with programs in Hispanic Ministry in the Diocese of Ft. Wayne-South Bend. From childhood her mother instilled in her the value of intercultural communication, and she is happy to participate in this course based on the USCCB’s materials on developing intercultural competencies for ministry. 

Course development made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.