2017-2018 Academic Catalog

All Catalogs > 2017-2018 > School of Intercultural Studies > Doctor of Philosophy & Master of Theology

Doctor of Philosophy & Master of Theology

Center for Missiological Research

The School of Intercultural Studies’ Center for Missiological Research (CMR) contributes to the ministry and witness of the global church by equipping men and women from around the world for faithful leadership in missiological education and practice. The Center for Missiological Research provides an exemplary doctoral-level missiological program centered on a community of scholars drawn from around the world and equipped to address the seminal missiological issues facing the global church in this century. The Center offers two advanced degree programs: the Master of Theology (ThM) in Intercultural Studies and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Intercultural Studies.

Doctor of Philosophy in Intercultural Studies

The Doctor of Philosophy in Intercultural Studies (PhD ICS) represents the highest level of academic certification, and is designed to contribute to the development of missiological scholarship and prepare a person to teach at university and graduate levels. The flexible tutorial-based structure of the program is designed to support students in the pursuit of a wide variety of disciplinary perspectives and topics while also ensuring that a core commitment and relevance to missiology is maintained.

Students in the PhD in Intercultural Studies program are assigned a mentor at the time of admission to the program who helps to guide and frame the course of their study plan. Additionally, upon successful completion of the initial Research Proposal Evaluation (at the end of the first year of study) the student is assigned a Guidance Committee of one or two additional faculty members to help further develop their study program.

Student Learning Outcomes

In accordance with our commitment to provide the highest level of educational effectiveness possible through a healthy culture of assessment, and in alignment with the Fuller Institutional Student Learning Outcomes, this program offers the following learning outcomes.

Graduates form the PhD in Intercultural Studies program should:

  • Provide an original contribution to theory and knowledge
  • Make a practical contribution to the mission of the church
  • Master one or more principle disciplines that contribute to missiology
  • Demonstrate an ability to do effective academic research
  • Demonstrate personal ability to think and write missiologically

In keeping with the Learning Outcomes of the PhD program and in support of the goals of the School of Intercultural Studies and the seminary, the School of Intercultural Studies Portfolio consists of the learning outcomes and includes three additional requirements:

  • Supervised teaching experience at the graduate level
  • Significant engagement in activities oi the Center for Missiological Research community of scholars
  • Attention to integrating spiritual formation and academic life

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the PhD in Intercultural Studies program must:

  • Complete an Application for Admission
  • Submit official transcripts of all postsecondary schools attended, showing a master’s degree from an accredited institution with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher
  • Demonstrate successful completion of the following prerequisite coursework:
    • Theology: 24 quarter units (16 semester units). These units cannot include biblical languages or “ministry” courses (i.e. preaching, homiletics, pastoral counseling, etc.).
    • Missiology: 36 quarter units (24 semester units), including at least 4 quarter units (each) of mission theology, global history of Christianity, and cultural anthropology or other social sciences.
  • Submit three references: one pastoral and two academic.
  • Submit a 15-30 page academic writing sample in English.
  • Submit a 250-300 word Proposed Research Interest Statement (PRIS) Outline (download guidelines here). Note: A match between interests of the applicant and strengths of our current Fuller faculty is a critical factor in admission decisions.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must provide an official record of all scores earned on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test. Only test scores earned within two years preceding the submission date of the applicant’s current PhD application will be acceptable. TOEFL overall scores of at least 100 (Internet-based) or 600 (paper), or IELTS overall scores of 7.0 meet the minimum English language entrance requirements. Applicants who have previously completed a regionally-accredited master’s level degree in English may submit a 300-400 word letter requesting a waiver of this requirement. The letter should provide a detailed explanation of the applicant’s English language background and a rationale for the waiver request. Letters requesting a waiver of the TOEFL/IELTS requirement may be sent to Joel Short at joel@fuller.edu for consideration by the Center for Missiological Research.

Curriculum

The curriculum of the PhD is comprised of six seminars or tutorials, three methods classes, four comprehensive exams and a dissertation (64 units total). Almost all of these components is customizable to meet the specific research interests of the student under the guidance of their faculty mentor and guidance committee.

The School of Intercultural Studies PhD curriculum is based on a set of flexible tutorials and methods classes that begins after the completion of a structured series of classes to be finished by the end of the first year:

  • MI803 Advanced Missiological Research 1 (2 units)
  • MI804A/B/C Missiology as a Discipline (8 units)
  • Initial Literature Review (8 units)
  • MI806 Advanced Missiological Research 2 (2 units)

After the first year, students generally register for 16-20 units per year while completing the remaining requirements:

  • four tutorials (8 units each)
  • three research methods classes (4 units each)
  • dissertation (0 units)

The program also requires that the student successfully completes each of the following checkpoints at specified times throughout the program:

  • Initial Research Proposal evaluation (end of first year);
  • research proposal defense (after fourth tutorial);
  • comprehensive examinations (after completion of the sixth tutorial)
  • dissertation defense (after completion of dissertation)

While in residence, students are also required to participate in regular faculty and peer presentations and critiques, called CMR Colloquia.

Residency Requirements. Students are required to spend at least the first year in residency on the Pasadena campus. Fulfillment of at least the second year can be done on the Pasadena campus or, as approved by the mentor, at relevant field work sites; via formally assigned teaching, research, or instructional training assistantships; by periodic visits to the Pasadena campus for research or other events related to various requirements for the degree; or by other arrangements related to the research and approved by the program executive committee.

Transfer Credit/Advanced Standing. Transfer credit is not accepted for this degree. PhD-level work will be considered for advanced standing on a case-by-case basis.

Distance Learning. While significant portions of this doctoral program, including field research, can be done away from the Fuller campus, this degree program is not considered a distance learning degree program. Students are expected to be in regular contact with their mentor and tutors for each part of the program. Online and other distance learning classes are generally not available.

Time Limits. The PhD in Intercultural Studies is designed to be completed in three to five years. However, in exceptional situations permission may be granted to extend the program to as many as eight years. Coursework is expected to be completed in the quarter in which it is registered. Students who do not register for new work or a continuation of some kind in Fall, Winter, or Spring quarters will be moved to inactive status. Students who remain inactive for another quarter after being moved to inactive status are subject to dismissal from the program.

Reinstatement. Students on inactive status may reactivate their program with a petition to the Doctoral Committee, including a brief essay describing the circumstances around their failure to register, a plan for completion of their program, and a brief reapplication form. Their progress will be closely monitored to see that they make steady progress.

Master of Theology in Intercultural Studies

The Master of Theology in Intercultural Studies (ThM ICS) is a degree which equips pastors and mission and denominational leaders to meet the challenge of ministering in an increasingly complex, multiethnic, multinational world. The ThM in Intercultural Studies provides students who have already earned the Master of Divinity degree (or a Master of Arts degree of a sufficiently theological nature) the missiological framework for research and reflection by building on the biblical, theological,and historical studies gained through their previous work. The program enables practitioners to pursue concentrated coursework in one area of missiological study, culminating in a reflective and research-based thesis.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates will:

  • demonstrate the ability to do academic research in intercultural studies
  • demonstrate capacity in one discipline associated with the research area
  • demonstrate the ability to think missiologically.

Admission Requirements

Students may begin the ThM in Intercultural Studies in any quarter, but students wishing to complete the degree in one year of study should plan to begin in Summer quarter and must already have completed at least 12 quarter units of graduate-level missiology (see Curriculum below). Application deadlines are posted online.

Applicants to the ThM in Intercultural Studies must submit:

  • an application for admission;
  • official transcripts of all postsecondary schools attended, showing possession of an ATS-approved Master of Divinity or its equivalent, or a Master of Arts of a theological nature of at least 80 quarter units (54 semester units), with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.3 or above, and the completion of no less than 48 quarter units (32 semester units) of graduate-level theological studies prior to beginning the ThM program (contact the Admissions Office with questions relating to these requirements or for a transcript evaluation);
  • three references (two academic and one pastoral)
  • a 15-20 page academic writing sample in English
  • a 250-300 word Proposed Research Interest Statement (PRIS) Outline (download guidelines here). Note: A match between interests of the applicant and strengths of our current Fuller faculty is a critical factor in admission decisions.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must provide an official record of all scores earned on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test. Only test scores earned within two years preceding the submission date of the applicant’s current PhD application will be acceptable. TOEFL overall scores of at least 100 (Internet-based) or 600 (paper), or IELTS overall scores of 7.0 meet the minimum English language entrance requirements. Applicants who have previously completed a regionally-accredited master’s level degree in English may submit a 300-400 word letter requesting a waiver of this requirement. The letter should provide a detailed explanation of the applicant’s English language background and a rationale for the waiver request. Letters requesting a waiver of the TOEFL/IELTS requirement may be sent to Joel Short at joel@fuller.edu for consideration by the Center for Missiological Research.

Curriculum

The ThM in Intercultural Studies requires the successful completion of 48 units in the School of Intercultural Studies:

  • MI804A/B/C Missiology as a Discipline sequence (8 units)
  • research courses (800-level, 8 units)
  • specialization/elective courses (500-level, 24 units)
  • thesis (800-level, 8 units)

The ThM in Intercultural Studies can be completed in one calendar year, but can be extended by students desiring to attend part-time. The Missiology as a Discipline sequence (MI804 A, B, and C) begins in the Summer quarter each year, and continues during Fall and Winter quarters. Students may begin this sequence once they have completed at least 12 units of missiology, either as part of the ThM program or in prior master’s-level coursework.

Residency Requirements

The Missiology as a Discipline sequence must be completed on the Pasadena campus (Summer, Fall, Winter). While in residence, students are also expected to attend all Colloquia offered by the Center for Missiological Research (currently held four times per quarter.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit is not available for this program.

Thesis

The ThM thesis is designed to demonstrate the student’s competence in his or her area of specialization. The normal length of the thesis is 50–75 pages of double-spaced text, inclusive of notes and bibliography. The guidelines and expectations for the thesis will be covered in the Thesis Design course, which must be completed prior to beginning the thesis.

Time Limit for Completion of Degree

The requirements for the ThM degree must be completed within six years, dated from the first quarter of enrollment with the program.

Relationship to the PhD ICS

Aspects of the ThM ICS coursework are designed to mirror the first year of the PhD ICS program. As a result, the ThM can provide an excellent means of preparing an application for the PhD. Students who are admitted to the PhD prior to completing the ThM may be permitted to use some of their coursework toward the PhD. Contact the Admissions Office for more details on this possibility.

All Catalogs > 2017-2018 > School of Intercultural Studies > Doctor of Philosophy & Master of Theology