Doctor of Intercultural Studies

The Doctor of Intercultural Studies (DIS) degree is designed primarily to further equip leaders engaged in cultural ministry by deepening their understanding and application of lessons from intercultural communication, contextualization, socio-cultural dynamics, biblical theology, missional trends and analysis, and intercultural research. The degree fits well for leaders called to service as missionaries or evangelists who have intercultural experience in either western or non-western contexts. The goal of the program is to cultivate academic excellence, socio-cultural insight, and a sharpened understanding of biblical missions and evangelism which will enhance the personal and professional development of program participants.

The DIS is an in-service 48-quarter hour program that allows participants to complete the program while remaining in full- time ministry.

The DIS Program Director serves as the initial advisor for all participants. Many DIS courses may be taken online but are offered also in a hybrid format involving week-long resident seminars. Normally, students enrolled in the DIS are required to attend a minimum of two modular (week-long) resident courses on campus at some point during the program. In order to remain active in the program, a minimum of three courses must be completed during any twelve-month period. The general curriculum may be modified, but only with permission from the director of the program.


The degree is open to applicants who hold an accredited master’s degree or its substantive equivalent. An equivalent degree must reflect a minimum of 36 semester or 54 quarter hours of graduate study in a field related to Christian ministry with a minimum GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale. The applicant also should possess extensive full-time missionary, pastoral, or chaplaincy leadership experience (a minimum of five years), and meet all other admission requirements

Applicants must have read and signed that they are in agreement with and will uphold the Doctrinal Statement, that they will abide by the Biblical Code of Conduct, Academic Code of Honor, Drug and Alcohol Policy, Payment Policy, and all other academic and financial policies. Additional requirements can be found on the Application for Admission. The DMin Committee reserves the right to make professional judgments regarding all admission or program requirements.

  1. Demonstrate a breadth of knowledge in theological and socio-cultural disciplines that relate to intercultural studies;
  2. Demonstrate awareness of how differences in worldview and culture shape perspectives and practice for intercultural leadership;
  3. Demonstrate the ability to develop effective strategies and cast vision in a global and intercultural context;
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of current issues and trends in missional thought;
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of how to disciple and create leaders who are both theologically equipped and aware of socio-cultural dynamics; and
  6. Demonstrate the ability to research and write in the disciplines associated with intercultural, global/missional studies.

Transformational Leadership Curriculum

Required Courses (24 hours)
AT 8563 Research Design and Statistics4
IC 8552 Missional History and Biblical Theology4
IC 8580 Cultural Anthropology and Contextualization4
IC 8554 Intercultural Communication Dynamics4
IC 8323 Christian Worldview in a Global Context4
IC 8720 Intercultural Counseling4
Electives (8 hours)8
Research Project (16 hours)
AT 8589 Doctoral Research Practicum 14
AT 8591 Doctoral Research Practicum 24
AT 8593 Doctoral Research Practicum 34
AT 8596 Doctoral Research Project4
Total Hours = 48

Program Application

Download the Doctoral Programs Application Packet

Note: Before beginning the DIS program, students intending to seek vocational opportunities based on this degree should check with their organization of choice to determine the applicability of the degree to meet hiring requirements.