Nathan Corbitt

J. Nathan Corbitt

Emeritus Professor and Coordinator of Social Transformation

Dr. Corbitt served both as a musicologist and cross-cultural communication strategist in Southern and Eastern Africa between 1982 and 1992. There, he assisted a broad variety of ministries and managed a multi-national media center. An interdisciplinary teacher, he has taught widely across subject areas. He chaired Eastern University's Department of Communication Arts between 1994-2000. In 1997 he co-founded BuildaBridge International, a cross-cultural arts education organization committed to using the arts for education, healing, and reconciliation, primarily with vulnerable populations in urban contexts.

Dr. Corbitt regularly consults and trains on cross-cultural issues in business, education, missions, community organizations, children and youth, and overseas living. He has lectured or researched in over 30 countries. His areas of expertise include cross-cultural skills; cultural competence; organizational culture; communications; integrative arts education; faith, culture and the arts; overseas travel and living; integrative arts education; and urban ministry. His post-doctoral studies have included linguistics, anthropology, leadership, cross-cultural communications and research (Daystar University, Nairobi) and Swahili (Baptist Language School, Kenya).

Dr. Corbitt has been married for 42 years and has three children, seven grandchildren and two godsons. He is an avid fisherman and enjoys anything outdoors. For the past 12 years, he has renovated an 1890 mansion in the historic Tulphehocken district of Philadelphia, where he lives with his wife and a diverse community of like-minded people. View a blog he maintains on the renovation/restoration, Big Place, Small Place.


D.M.A., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
M.C.M., Southern Baptist Theoglocial Seminary
B.Ed., Mars Hill College
At Eastern University since 1992

Courses Taught

Cross-Cultural Skills for Urban Services, Applied Research and Evaluation, Urban Models for Social Transformation, Disaster Response and Community Redevelopment, Leadership Practicum for Community Arts, Cultural Community Context, Foundations for Community Arts, Arts in Communication and Social Commentary, Arts in Community and Economic Development, Technology for Non-Profits

Research Interests

Cross-cultural issues, music and oral theology, arts in transformation, global awareness

  • Corbitt, J. (1998). Global awareness profile. Yarmouth, Me.: Intercultural Press. 
  • Corbitt, J. (1998). The sound of the harvest: Music's mission in church and culture. Grand Rapids,MI: Baker Books.
  • Corbitt, J., & Early, V. (2003). Taking it to the streets using the arts to transform your community. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
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