Institute of Strategic Languages and Cultures

Institute of Strategic Languages and Cultures

Welcome to ISLC!

The Institute of Strategic Languages & Cultures (ISLC) is devoted to providing Christian workers with essential training for complex cultures.

You can quickly learn Russian or Chinese in one of our year-round or summer language programs.

A Word from our Director – Dr. Marc Canner

Our journey into the language of the people God is calling us to is directly linked with our entry into their culture, their world and their trust.  It is extremely difficult to impact your “new people” without such trust, and learning to communicate is the bedrock for gaining this trust.  Depending on the approach that is taken, however, the effort to learn a second language and adapting to the culture can either be one of the most rewarding adventures in life, or an experience fraught with frustration and even depression.

Language programs at ISLC take into account the principles and strategies demonstrated in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) research to be most effective for acquiring native-like proficiency in a new language. It is time for those serving cross-culturally to move beyond the mere fluency (ability to speak with native-like speed) that is developed with some approaches, and acquire true native-like proficiency, including fluency, accuracy, and good pronunciation.

We now know that the best approaches take into account both the target language and the individual’s learner profile so that all resources can be brought to bear to enable the development of true proficiency.  ISLC endeavors to provide every learner with his or her learning profile. Our training emphasizes the ability to communicate fluently and accurately.  Our instructors serve our students compassionately, and all our teachers excel in applying the most effective learning principles and methods to the learning experience.

Our Bottom Line

The bottom line for us is that we do not see our “institute” as a school.  It is God’s calling to help equip you to serve Him in a way that will remove the obstacles to native-like language abilities, proper acculturation, and effective ministry. The result is that ISLC alumni in the Russian world are known as some of the finest speakers of the language and most effective servants in that vast region. Our alumni have established many new ministries, from rescuing orphans and victims of sex trafficking, discipleship, new theological schools, campus ministries, and so much more. So thank you for giving ISLC a look as you consider where and how to approach learning your new language and adapting to your new culture.  May God’s richest blessings of grace, peace, and strength guide you and keep you for your own journey into His perfect will!


ISLC Goals

  • To equip workers with the cross-cultural skills to be proficient at serving in their target culture.
  • To provide quality Russian, Arabic and Chinese language programs that will accelerate language learning so that workers are equipped to work effectively within their new culture as soon as possible.
  • To provide workers with a broad understanding of the worldviews prevalent in their new cultures.

Our Location

ISLC is located in Spokane, Washington and has developed a strategic partnership with Moody Bible Institute to equip workers with the language and cross-cultural skills they need to make Christ known among the nations.  Correspondence by mail is now being received at our Washington location. Please address any correspondence to:

ISLC P.O. Box 282 Valleyford, WA  99036 (800) 799-7976

Over 6.8 billion people living in 195 countries including over 1,500 different cultures and speaking over 5,000 languages.

There are billions of people living in our world today

How many of them know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior?

China is in great need of church leadership training

It is also home to one of the hardest languages for English speakers to learn. Nearly 100 minority ethnic groups who are in great need of an active Christian witness.

The need to equip workers for the Arab world is greater than it has ever been

The needs are overwhelming and the spiritual hunger is palpable. Are you ready to make an impact on the Arab world?

The Russian world – wracked by a thousand years of turmoil and oppressive history

A challenging language and complex culture in great need of Christ. Proficiency in Russian opens doors to over 120 different ethnic groups, most of which are in desperate need of  a viable witness for Christ.

Of all the important regions in the world, China, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union stand out as strategic areas for which workers must be thoroughly prepared and trained in order to maximize their potential and ensure success.

The three dominant languages in these regions are among the most difficult to learn for speakers of English. The cultures there are influential and complex. And the spiritual needs are acute, making such cultures strategic: We define a strategic culture as one that has a widespread influence over a large region of the world and presents Christian workers with formidable challenges in cultural assimilation, language acquisition, and apologetics.

Russian Speaking Countries

Russian Speaking Countries