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Doctor of Philosophy in Intercultural Studies and Ministry
(Ph. D./ICSM)

Purpose of the degree: Doctor of Philosophy in intercultural Studies and Ministries(Ph.D./ICSM) is a five-year academic research program. The Ph.D./ICSM degree program is intended primarily to equip persons for vocations of teaching and research in theological schools, colleges, and universities, or for the scholarly enhancement of ministerial practice or organizational leadership with an emphasis on the social science aspect of Christian mission without neglecting biblical ontology.

A. Admission Requirements

Doctoral students are required to have an adequate educational and ministry background providing the foundation for personal and academic development, and specific objectives clear enough to provide a sense of purpose and direction from the beginning to the end of the doctoral program.

1. Prerequisite for study:

a. Applicants for the Ph.D./ICSM program are required to have an appropriate Master’s degree or equivalent from an accredited institution maintaining academic standards similar to those of GRS. A Master of Divinity or a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies, Theology, or Missions is considered an appropriate Master’s degree.

b. Applicants may be admitted with deficiencies noted. All such deficiencies must be completed prior to the end of the first academic year of study. No academic credit will be granted for work done to satisfy admission deficiencies.

c. Applicants may petition the faculty to be granted credit for work previously completed which may be the substantial equivalent of courses listed in the Ph.D./ICSM curriculum.

2. Selection for admission is based on demonstrated academic ability. In addition to the general requirements for admission to GRS, applicants for the Ph.D./ICSM program must:

a. Show competence with documented evidence in at least one modern language and at least one language for field research. For English programs, applicants for whom English is not their mother tongue must attain a score of 600 or better on the Test Of English as a Foreign Language(TOEFL) and must take the Test of Written English(TWE) portion of the TOEFL. For the computer based version of the TOEFL(CBT), the equivalent score is at least 250. For the internet based version(IBT), the score must be at least 100. This requirement may be waived if the language of instruction is Korean for all courses.

b. Demonstrate potential for scholarship and original academic research at the doctoral level.

c. Have engaged in at least five years of vocational ministry or service directly relevant to ICSM after receiving the Master’s degree.

d. Prove his/her academic contributions in teaching and publication as documented in the applicant’s curriculum vita.

e. Show academic aptitude with the equivalent of a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 (on a 4.0 American scale) in all previous graduate studies.

B. Program Duration

The Ph.D./ICSM program is structured to provide courses that will internally allow for flexibility in the light of each student’s academic background and objectives. Once the student’s background and objectives are reviewed with the faculty advisor, the student may plan appropriate courses within the required areas.

The degree requires at least five academic years, at least three years of approved course work(classroom, seminar studies, guided research, etc.), and followed by the preparation of a dissertation that makes a significant contribution to the literature of the field. The minimum number of credit hours is 60, including 48 credit hours of courses in addition to the comprehensive examination(3 credit hours), the dissertation proposal(3 credit hours), dissertation field research(3 credit hours), and the writing and defense of the dissertation(3 credit hours). The student may be admitted to candidacy after two years of residence, successful completion of written and oral comprehensive examinations, and the approval of a dissertation proposal.

C.Program Curriculum(60 hours)

1. Theoretical Studies: (30 hrs, including a minimum of 6 hours from each area to provide breadth and an additional 6 hours in one area to provide depth, or specialization).


a. Intercultural Theology of Mission

(1) Biblical Theology of Intercultural Ministry (core)

(2) Elective(s)

(a) Theology of Intercultural Mission and Evangelism

(b) Intercultural Ethics

(c) Contemporary Theologies of Mission

(d) Regional Mission-Church Traditions and Issues


b. Mission/Church History

(1) History of Intercultural Ministry: Theory and Method (core)

(2) Elective(s)

(a) Contributions of Great Mission Figures to ICS

(b) Revivals and People Movements

(c) Intercultural Study of Creeds and Confessions

(d) World Christian Movement

(e) Theological Ethnohermeneutics


c. Anthropology

(1) Ethnicity: Modes of Inquiry and Analysis (core)

(2) Elective(s)

(a) Applied Cultural Anthropology: Identifying Entry Points for Christian Ministry

(b) Phenomenology of Folk Religions and the Occult

(c) Religious Pluralism in Postmodern Society

(d) Christian Engagement with World Religions


d. Strategy for Christian Ministry, Education and Mission

(1) Globalization and Contextualization (core)

(2) Elective(s)

(a) Science of Intercultural Leadership for Mission and Education

(b) Urban Ministry: Problems, Principles, and Prospects

(c) Relief and Development Ministries

(d) Organizational Leadership and Management

(e) Contemporary Issues in Christian Ministry Strategy

(f) Area Seminars

2. Research Methods (9 hrs.)


a. Foundations in Research Literature (core)

b. Advanced Research Methodology – one of the following:

(1) Theological Research in ICS

(2) Ethnographic Research Methods

(3) Historiographic Research Methods

c. Research Design (core)

3. Teaching – Educational Theory and Practice (6 hrs.)


a. Intercultural Education (core)

b. Elective

(1) Pedagogical Theory

(2) Intercultural Communication

(3) Intercultural Counseling

4. Elective (3 hrs.)


– Provide for either specialization or breadth as needed.

5. Comprehensive Examinations and Dissertation (12 hrs.)


a. Comprehensive Examination Preparation (3 hrs.)

b. Dissertation Proposal Preparation (3 hrs.)

c. Dissertation Field Research (3 hrs.)

d. Dissertation Defense (3 hrs.)

Any course not included in the above curriculum must be approved by the Faculty Advisor and the Ph.D./ICSM Program Director. The comprehensive examinations will enable the student to integrate under grading interdisciplinary foundations. The student will be admitted to candidacy on passing the comprehensive examinations and successful defense of the dissertation proposal. At this point, the student may begin research emphasis.

D. Ph.D. Graduation Requirements

1. Satisfactorily pass the coursework required by the Department and obtain a minimum GPA of 3.3.

2. Satisfactorily pass the comprehensive exam.

3. Submit an acceptable dissertation proposal, final product and defend them before an academic panel.

4. Complete the program within 5 years from the time of matriculation.

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