About Us

CultureBound training for language and culture is designed to prepare you for life and work in an unfamiliar culture.

We teach you how to learn a new culture and language, become a part of a community, and view your neighbors in a different and positive way.

Our CultureCourses mix online and onsite training activities to prepare you for life and work with people from a culture different from your own. Our training is for perfect for missionaries, churches and short-term mission workers, international business people, and individuals like you who need the tools to quickly and safely engage with new cultures.

Topic areas include a panorama of cultural expressions, practice in how to be a self-directed culture learner, biblical foundations for ministry across cultures, and skill building in intercultural communication.

At CultureBound, we believe that every person should have the opportunity to know the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that often means some people have to cross boundaries of language and culture.

So our purpose is to equip Jesus’ followers to effectively share His message in cultures and languages different than their own. And ultimately, our vision is a world teeming with people who carry the Gospel to the heart of an unfamiliar language and culture.


Mark Hedinger, Dr. of Missiology


Mark leads our team as our practical visionary. Mark and his family spent 12 years living and teaching in Mexico. His personal experience living overseas benefits our program greatly. Mark holds a Master of Divinity, Master of Science in Botany, and Doctorate of Missiology and has 16 years of experience as the director of mission agencies, which includes 5 years as CultureBound’s director. He trains organizations and individuals around the world how to work effectively in cultures and languages other than their own.

Terry Steele, Ph.D., Dr. of Missiology


Terry is a wealth of knowledge and teaching experience, bringing a Doctorate of Intercultural Studies, Doctorate of Missiology, Masters of Divinity, and Bachelor of Arts in Theology to our trainings. His personal experience working with different cultures, along with his time teaching in Oregon universities brings practical and current information to participants who come through our trainings. He is passionate about helping our participants learn how to problem-solve in cross-cultural situations.

Karen Hedinger, MA GL, MS Ed


Over the last 35 years, Karen has ministered alongside her husband, Mark, in four languages (English, Spanish, American Sign Language and Mexican Sign Language). She runs CultureBound’s LanguageCourse program, teaches second language acquisition to groups around the world, and provides language consulting services to individuals who are in the throes of learning a new language.

Lauren Wells


Lauren spent her late childhood and teenage years living in Tanzania, East Africa. Her experience living overseas fuels her passion for working with globally mobile families. Lauren developed and now runs CultureBound’s programs for children and teens. The programs parallel CultureBound’s adult trainings and equip the children and teens with the skills they need to learn new languages and embrace new cultures when they move overseas with their families. Lauren holds a degree in Human Services with a focus on Intercultural Communication and Child Development.

Speakers Bureau

Our experienced and internationally recognized CultureBound instructors can be engaged as professional speakers for your next event, conference and academic opportunity. Discover more on our vast range of speaking topics related to intercultural and language training for children, teens, adults and professionals, by sending your inquiry to Speakers@CultureBound.org or call 503.235.3818 for availability and details.

Administrative Staff

Kylie Trout


Kylie works to curate CultureBound’s marketing, media, and podcast. She keeps communications and event calendars up to date, and uses her experience in middle/high school education to help with CultureBound’s children’s training. She has experience in other cultures due to short term work to build relationships by teaching English in Paraguay and Italy.

Jacob Huey


With a Bachelor of Arts in Bible & theology, youth ministry, psychology, and over five years ongoing experience in youth ministry. Jacob brings determination and expertise to CultureBound. His work in the office and with the teachers, during their training events, is invaluable. Like the rest of the team, Jacob shares in the passion and importance of creating bridges between different cultures.

Jon Mazarella


Jon uses his experience as a small business owner to keep our office running. Like all of our staff, he is passionate about intercultural work and ministry. He worked for several years with an organization devoted to children’s ministry and has also spent time teaching English to Burmese children. He believes in the importance of recognizing cultural differences and finding ways to create bridges between them.

Our History

CultureBound’s history began in 1971 when the Institute for International Christian Communication (IICC) was incorporated in Africa. The IICC’s purpose was to “create understanding of God’s truth in every culture.”

Over the years, the IICC has been known by different names — IICC, WorldView, WorldView Center, WorldView Institute, and WorldLink Graduate Center.

Over the years, from locations spread from Kenya to Portland to Peru and beyond, we have served students, schools, and mission organizations through degree programs and informal training events. Our ideas have been shared through conferences, books, and Internet classes.

From 1995 until 2015, the IICC also included the living and learning international community called WorldView Center in Portland.

In 2014, the IICC Board of Directors decided to sharpen and broaden our focus to concentrate on providing training for even more people heading into unfamiliar languages and cultures. This new focus deserved a new name that we launched in 2018. Welcome to CultureBound.