The following pages provide five modules for Building Intercultural Competence for Ministers. The content is designed to assist those leading workshops on building intercultural competence for ministers.  The intent is to offer ministry leaders an opportunity to achieve a basic level of awareness and proficiency in the area of intercultural competency through the five guidelines recommended by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church.



These guidelines are divided into five sections representing five different modules:

Module 1:  Frame issues of diversity theologically in terms of the Church’s identity and mission to evangelize.

Module 2: Seek an understanding of culture and how it works.

Module 3: Develop intercultural communication skills in pastoral settings.

Module 4: Expand one’s knowledge of the obstacles which impede effective intercultural relations.

Module 5: Foster Ecclesial integration rather than assimilation in Church settings with a spirituality of hospitality, reconciliation and mission.


At the beginning of each module is a list of goals and outcomes clearly identified to guide the training process. There are also group activities specific to each module that encourage effective interaction and constructive group dynamics. This promotes an atmosphere that is most conducive to open authentic dialogue within a group setting.

Additionally, each section features a list of resources relevant to that specific module. The Glossary of Terms at the end of this resource provides useful terminology in the area of cultural diversity.


It is recommended that further reading be done on this topic such as the material outlined in the Catholic Cultural Diversity Network Convocation Notebook, which is a valuable additional resource based on the experience of the Catholic Cultural Diversity Network Convocation (CCDNC). For instance, the process by which “witnesses” were selected to voice the stories of their particular community is detailed in the Notebook available on the USCCB Cultural Diversity in the Church webpage

The Building Intercultural Competencies for Ministers (BICM) video gives an introductory overview of the workshops and the overall vision that brought forth the development of the competencies. It serves as an inspirational visual guide on the work that has been piloted by the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church.

Finally, the results of a National Consultation on Best Practices in Culturally Diverse/Shared Parishes will also be available soon on the USCCB website.