Latest Book Release from GBHEM Publishing Explores Leading with Cultural Intelligence while Ministering to God’s Diverse Peoples

Published On: September 13, 2018

The Publishing Office of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, released a new book, “Develop Intercultural Competence: How to Lead Cross-Racial and Cross-Cultural Churches” by HiRho Y. Park. This book identifies best practices and offers practical tips and case studies for leading diverse and vital congregations.

The book shows readers how to navigate the growing complexities of race, ethnicity, culture, and religion and find appropriate and effective ways to make disciples of Jesus Christ in cross-cultural and cross-racial contexts. Park offers innovative, evidence-based guidance to help leaders foster culturally intelligent faith communities and shows them how to drive innovation and champion a culture of call.

“Being a worldwide church means that United Methodists affirm our unity in Christ regarding missional and structural accountability, responsibility, and interdependence for the transformation of the world,” said Park in the book’s introduction. “Being a worldwide church is a prophetic declaration that United Methodists resist racism, sexism, and classism within institutional ideologies. But this also means that The UMC must be aware and attuned to the richness and challenges posed by cross-racial and cross-cultural contexts.”

HiRho Y. Park, Ph.D., is the executive director of Clergy Lifelong Learning and UMC Cyber Campus, for the Division of Ordained Ministry at GBHEM.

“Develop Intercultural Competence” has received praise from bishops and church leaders across the United Methodist connection. “Rev. Dr. HiRho Park’s excellent book is relevant for effective leadership in congregations and helpful in cross-racial, cross-cultural ministry settings,” said H. Pauline Kang, Ph.D., pastor, Trinity United Methodist Church, Marmora, New Jersey.

“Dr. Park has written a valuable resource for those engaged in this vitally important ministry and those who deploy and supervise them. Having worked in both those vineyards, I have frequently been distressed at the dearth of tools available to work with pastors and congregations in preparing them to journey together and face the inevitable challenges,” said Rev. Dr. Clarence R. Brown Jr., senior pastor, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Yorktown, Virginia. “Dr. Park offers practical reflections on the history, nature, pitfalls, and celebrations of the ministry I believe is the future of the church. I recommend it highly.”

Young Jin Cho, bishop (retired) of The United Methodist Church, adds, “It is not an option but a reality to live and minister in multicultural settings. Dr. Park’s academic background and her ministerial experience at local church and general church levels provide wisdom and guidance to help us respond to the challenges we face in today’s multicultural society. I believe that her book will be a great resource for those who seriously think about the future ministry of churches in the United States.”

“Develop Intercultural Competence: How to Lead Cross-Racial and Cross-Cultural Churches” is available at and For more information about GBHEM’s Publishing Office, visit Publications or follow @GBHEMPublishing on Facebook.

Wesley’s Foundery Books is an imprint of GBHEM that publishes clearly and accessibly written books with an emphasis on church life and ministry. Representing the rich diversity of the church, these books offer a disciplined and balanced approach.

About GBHEM: As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s mission is to build capacity for United Methodist lay and clergy leaders to discover, claim and flourish in Christ’s calling in their lives, by creating connections and providing resources to aid in recruitment, education, professional development and spiritual formation. Every elder, deacon and licensed local pastor benefits from our training and candidacy programs. Many young adults find help in clarifying their vocation and God’s call in their lives through our leadership and discernment programs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM.

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