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Ghana – Tamale Institute of Cross-Cultural Studies (TICCS)

About the Institute

The Tamale Institute of Cross-Cultural Studies is a research and teaching institute of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) Ghana-Liberia Province, and the Catholic Archdiocese of Tamale. TICCS is situated in Northern Ghana.   

TICCS was founded in 1983 by Dr. Jon Kirby SVD. The objective to set up TICCS sprung from the need to help situate Christian ministry and culture-sensitive development practice within local cultural contexts. Also, TICCS was inspired by the idea of culture-specific ministries which has its origin in the document Ad Gentes of the Second Vatican Council where local churches were challenged to start doing inculturated ministries.



To be a leading research and teaching institution of the Catholic Church providing culture-sensitive approaches to do ministry and development through language-learning, culture-learning and action-learning (action for ministry and action for appropriate development). 



Currently, TICCS runs four major programs. These are:

  • A one-week or two-weeks cross cultural orientation course for seminarians and religious
  • A one-month cross cultural orientation for seminarians going on pastoral year and overseas training programs
  • A one-month cross cultural introduction for new missionaries to Ghana and other parts of Africa and for foreigners who are interested in learning the Ghanaian culture through a village immersion program.
  • Recently we added a three-day interreligious dialogue seminar for Christian and Muslim leaders. We hope to increase the days to five in the coming years if we get funding to reduce the cost of participation for the participants. 

Over the years TICCS has trained many people from Ghana and abroad. Today, there are groups and individuals who show great interest in our programs. The overall goal of our programs is to assist participants to acquire intercultural competence, i.e. the ability to accommodate/respect cultural differences, gain the capacity for cross cultural communication and bonding, and to acquire a cultural identity that fosters mutual and effective encounter with others.

In the past, TICCS has had functional partnerships with the Akrofi-Christaller Memorial Centre, at Akropong in the Eastern Region of Ghana, and the Catholic Theological Union, (CTU) in Chicago. Because of changes in the leadership of the institutes, and other factors, these partnerships are no more. Currently, we are trying to start a partnership with the Catholic University College of Ghana, in Sunyani, and Fu Jen University, in Taiwan. We hope these new partnerships will add some interesting perspectives to our programs and bring other mutual benefits.   


Partner of Network Pastoral Africa

TICCS is more than happy to be part of the Network Pastoral Africa (NPA) because, firstly, the NPA offers us a space to share our rich experiences with other institutes and to take constructive feedback. This is a privilege through which we become a lot richer in our programs and courses.

Secondly, as a member of NPA, TICCS belongs to a family that it can share its challenges with. TICCS stands to benefit from the help of other institutes because there is a strong sense of collective sharing in the weaknesses and strengths of one another. This is a great opportunity for the institute. It is for these and other reasons that we are grateful to missio for making us a part of this great family. 


Fr. Dr. Joshua Awienagua Gariba SVD ( Outgoing Director)

Tamale Institute of Cross-Cultural Studies (TICCS) - Ghana
Joshua Awienagua Gariba SVD, Outgoing Director of Tamale Institute of Cross-Cultural Studies

Network Pastoral Afrika