Rosebud Rez Immersion Experience

Welcome: July 2014 will be the eighth year of a ten-year commitment to conduct a cross-cultural immersion learning experience on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation. Our experience is conducted in a good way in friendship and partnership with the Sicangu Lakota people. It is deeply enriching learning experience for those who participate. The group is limited to the first twenty-five people who register. We will arrive as learners to be educated by Sicangu Lakota leaders/people, history and the ways of the people.  

Cross-cultural Immersion Learning Experience; Rosebud Sioux  Reservation

July 12-18, 2014,  
Professors: Jay Moon and Doug Anderson

For registration information contact the Wiconi office at Put Rosebud Immersion Course in subject line. Or call the Wiconi office at 360-546-1867.

Introduction: There are certain aspects of ourselves, culture, and faith that we can only learn by deeply engaging ourselves in another culture. I hope that this short immersion experience will expose and challenge you to a wider appreciation of Creator's creative wonder in the light of being fully human and fully a follower of Jesus.


You can participate in two ways. First, is in a more formal way as a student with course requirement and reading and writing assignments in order to receive master degree grade/credits; (Or at an undergraduate level too with necessary agreement from the accrediting institution). For course credits there will be corresponding school costs attached as well as registration agreements. Second, you can audit the course and simply attend and participate in all activities at the same level as those attending for university credit without the corresponding school costs for accreditation, however, lodging, food and a small admin fee will be charged.

Course Description: A one-week trip participating in intercultural studies. The location is the Rosebud, Lakota/Sioux Reservation, in South Dakota. As an immersion experience, you will learn from various speakers, interact with community members and participate in some traditional ceremonies. In this course, you will learn some of the critical aspects to consider in contextualization, as well as learn from mistakes in the past to become sensitized to the relationship between colonization and christian mission and a reorientation of the gospel of Jesus as story in a cross-cultural context. 


Depart from Sioux Falls, South Dakota from the Sioux Falls Seminary parking lot at 8 AM  on Saturday, July 12th. Arrive at Sicangu Owayawa Oti (Todd County High School Dorms) in Mission SD for dinner. (If you are flying, and you want assistance with ground transportation to Rosebud, you will need to fly to Sioux Falls and contact Doug Anderson for help). 

During the week, we will drive to various locations (e.g., Wounded Knee site, Tree of Life) and participate in various activities (e.g., Pow-wow, Sweat lodge).

Depart from Mission, SD on Friday, July 18th at noon.

Local Costs:
Lodging and all meals for the ten days on the Rosebud has been arranged. The cost for all participants, per person, is $400.00 to be paid to Wiconi International, Box 1346 Vancouver, WA 98668 by June 30th. This does not include the cost for transportation to the Rosebud and back. There will be a seminary van that can take 6 people. Other arrangements for transportation will be needed for a group larger than that. Contact Doug Anderson at Sioux Falls Seminary,  for assistance on transportation.

NOTE: For those that are taking the course as a visitor (auditing the course) and they are not officially enrolled through a seminary, they will need to pay an additional $150 paid to Sioux Falls Seminary, 2100 South Summit Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD 57105   (605) 336-6588 for administrative costs by June 30th. Please include "Attn: Rosebud Immersion" in Address.

Course Objectives: Our goal is to expose students to aspects of culture, religion and faith that they normally are not exposed to in order to sensitize them to the issues, needs, and opportunities for living out ones faith in Jesus in the midst of "otherness." One of the major benefits of a short cross-cultural experience is the opportunity to recognize ones own cultural ways, biases and prejudices more clearly as they closely learn to understand and appreciate those of another. This unique experience will challenge and assist participants to discover Creators work in all cultures. The following objectives strive to reach this goal:

1.    Encounter another culture and begin engaging yourselves with others in that culture. In the process, we learn to love one another as ourselves.
2.    Gain a better grasp of the dynamic of clashing worldview assumptions in the process of cross-cultural communications.
3.    By learning some mission's history among the tribes of North America, a person will gain a greater understanding of the larger context of intercultural relationships and global service.
4.    Help prepare and be a part of a team to be stretched, molded, and used by the Creator in your own as well as another culture.  
5.    Begin to understand and practice some basic principles of intercultural service, holistic/integral discipleship, critical contextualization and cultural adjustment.
6.    Understand opportunities for future involvement in intercultural relationship building such as prayer, research, funding, community development and encouraging.
7.    Begin to understand what neo-colonialism is, some of the root issues, and some of the possible Christian responses.

Course Requirements:     Participation

Mentoring: Identify a "mentor" that will agree to serve as a sounding board for this experience. This person should be mature, and be available to listen to your story and offer any feedback in the way of prayer, reflection or encouragement that you might wish or need. They could be an aunt or uncle, parent, pastor, professor, older student, or anyone of your choosing. You are a part of a wider community and you represent them when you step out of your own culture and visit another.  

Class: Attend all scheduled gathering times. Participate in all lectures, events, ceremonies, community participation and other activities scheduled.
On-Site: Attend the trip with a learner's attitude, and be willing to serve in whatever capacity is needed. Continue to see yourself as a team member that represents a larger community; therefore, cooperate and encourage the team. Be open and flexible to participate in new cultural experiences. While some physical work will be involved, focus on relationships both within the team and within the host community that you are visiting, as well as deepen your relationship with the Lord.

Journal: Spend time each day in quiet reflection, Bible reading, and prayer. Each day, record your thoughts, feelings, and concerns during the trip. The journal may be a safe place to relieve frustration, express yourself, or reflect on what you are experiencing. You will show this to me but I will not read it unless you request me to do so.

Reading: The reading requirements are meant to help the group discuss issues that are pertinent for your particular trip. While you are not required to submit a reading report, you will submit a form indicating that you have read all of the material. We will refer to this reading in the class so that you will know what areas to concentrate on. In addition, we will watch portions of several video/DVD's. The required reading is: Neither Wolf Nor Dog, by Kent Nerburn, and Rescuing Thelogy from the Cowboys, by Richard Twiss and an assortment of articles.  If you have a particular book that you would like to use to replace one of these, please contact the professor ahead of time for approval. It is also required that you watch the HBO DVD Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee prior to the trip. I am assuming that you have read the book, Black Elk Speaks. If not, please also have that read prior to the trip. Prayer: Enlist a team of people to pray for you each day. This could be your friends, professors, family, co-workers, etc. Preferably, you should have at least 4 people on your prayer team. This will help both you and those who pray for you to be a part of the trip and God's work in your life.  

Final Presentation: You will be required to write a 10 page (double spaced) report that incorporates your readings, observations, experiences and participation in the various activities. In the paper, we are asking you to describe succinctly what you did, your feelings on the trip, what you learned about yourself/others/culture/God, and how this has impacted your life. Also include suggestions for others who may be considering a similar trip in the future, along with your advice concerning whether others should try a similar experience. Instead of a written report, you can do this as an oral report. Look for creative opportunities to share this. In addition to your "mentor," it may be with your own church, youth group, Sioux Falls Seminary (or the school you are attending) chapel, classroom, SFS community meal, etc. We would encourage you to present this as a group. You now become an advocate for justice, the need for Biblically and culturally informed cross-cultural communication, and mission.

For Doctoral Students: In addition to the above requirements, doctoral students will need to read an additional book (see bibliography and discuss this with the professor) and they will be expected to assist the other participants throughout the week.


This course will draw upon the following sources:
(Twiss, 2002), (Neirhardt, 2000; Twiss, 2000), (Bucko, 1998), (Zahniser, 1997) (Costello, 2005), (Hyde), (Nerburn, 2002), (Twiss 2013) :

HBO DVD (2007). Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee


Bucko, R. A. (1998). The Lakota Ritual of the Sweat Lodge: History and Contemporary Practice. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.
Costello, D. (2005). Black Elk : colonialism and Lakota Catholicism. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis.

Hyde, G. E. Spotted Tail's folk: a history of the Brule Sioux Unpublished manuscript.

Neirhardt, J. G. (2000). Black Elk Speaks (Twent-First Century Edition ed.). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.
Nerburn, K. (2002). Neither Wolf Nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder. Novato, CA: New World Library.
Twiss, R. (2000). One Church Many Tribes. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.
Twiss, R. (2002). Dancing Our Prayers: Perspectives on Syncretism, Critical Contextualization, and Cultural Practices in First Nations Ministry. Vancouver, WA: Wiconi Press.
Zahniser, A. H. M. (1997). Symbol and Ceremony: Making Disciples Across Cultures. Monrovia, CA: MARC.
Twiss, Richard L. (2013). Rescuing Theology From the Cowboys. Vancouver, WA.

For registration information contact Wiconi Office at or call 360-546-1867. Put Rosebud Immersion Course in subject line.

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