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Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies

Program Mission
The Doctor of Philosophy in Graduate School of Intercultural Studies (GSICS) is an academic degree that equips students with cultural knowledge and strategies necessary for effective missionary and educational ministries in various cultural contexts. Through a multidisciplinary approach, the program provides students with expertise in contemporary intercultural issues to promote cultural insight and develops students' knowledge of contextual, spiritual, and strategic studies in the fields of evangelical research and practice.

Program Learning Outcomes
The Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies degree program offers the following outcomes.
Students will be able to:
• demonstrate a deeper understanding of theories in intercultural studies associated with one’s research areas of interest.
• evaluate theoretical perspectives on a culturally responsive ministry and construct new understandings of more effective ministry with cultural insight.
• discuss the integration of biblical, theological, and historical disciplines with a critical understanding of the social and cultural issues in the contemporary context.
• demonstrate research skills that can contribute to the advancement of intercultural studies.

Design of the Curriculum
Coursework includes typically pre-session preparation, in-class meeting, and follow-up work, as follows:
• Pre-session: six weeks of discipline-related reading
• In-class meeting: five full-day seminars
• Post-session: seven weeks to complete a related customized research project
• End session: two weeks of presentation and critique (in-person or synchronous remote)

Methodology courses may be taught in other formats.

Degree Requirements
The following specific requirements are necessary to receive the Doctor of Philosophy degree:
• Completion of 54 credit hours, including all required courses;
• Attainment of a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.30/4.00;
• Successful completion of the comprehensive examination;
• Successful completion of a dissertation proposal and successful defense of the dissertation;
• Submission of all revised dissertation copies to the Office of GSICS

Course Requirements
otal 54 Semester Credit Hours for Completion of the Program)

• Required Courses (42 hrs)
Core Courses
IS711 Theory
and Strategy in Cross-cultural Studies 4hrs
IS721 Social Anthropology for Ministry 4hrs
IS722 Culture and Transformation 4hrs
    (Choose one of the following:)
     IS714 Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation 4hrs
     IS723 Teaching Across Cultures 4hrs
Methodology Courses
IS701 Methods of Social Research 4hrs
IS702 Qualitative Research 4hrs
Bible/Theology Courses
IS732 Biblical Theology and Culture 4hrs
IS733 Essentials of Reformed Theology 4hrs
Dissertation Writing
IS803 Dissertation Proposal 4hrs
IS804 Dissertation Writing 4hrs
* IS741 Comprehensive Exam Preparation 2hrs

• Electives (12hrs: Choose three)
IS712 Methods of Church Planting 4hrs
IS713 History of the Expansion of Christianity 4hrs
IS714 Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation 4hrs
IS723 Teaching Across Cultures 4hrs
IS730 Principles of Contextualization 4hrs
IS731 Theology of Mission and Evangelism 4hrs
IS740 Conte
mporary Issues in Intercultural Studies 4hrs
IS811 Developing an Annotated Bibliography 4hrs
IS812 Developing a Literature Review 4hrs
* IS741 is normally taken after all the coursework.


Course Reduction
With the approval of the GSICS committee, students with a previous doctoral degree may be granted course reductions of up to 20 credits but must complete at least 34 additional credits at IRUS GSICS, of which 28 credits must be new coursework and up to 10 credits may be devoted to comprehensive examination and dissertation research proposal and writing.

Comprehensive Examination
Ph.D. students are required to demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of their field of study by examination. The content of the written comprehensive exam includes material from the core areas of the curriculum.

Admission to Candidacy
Official Ph.D. candidacy indicates that students have completed all of the preliminary requirements and are now qualified to undertake original research contributing to scholarship in their respective fields through their doctoral dissertations. To achieve candidacy, students must complete the following:
• Required coursework
• Portfolio, approved by the doctoral committee
• Comprehensive examination
• Successful defense of the dissertation proposal

The dissertation process officially begins with the successful defense of a candidate's proposal before one's doctoral committee before beginning the student's field research. The doctoral dissertation contributes to theory relevant to the candidate's concentration and must be conducted in some aspect of intercultural studies.

Dissertation Defense
The final examination is an oral defense of the dissertation before the doctoral committee and other invited professionals. Successful defense of the dissertation completes the candidate's responsibilities for the degree, which is conferred in the scheduled graduation ceremony immediately following the defense.

Time Limit for Degree Completion
The typical full-time student will complete the program in 4.5 to 5 years. All course and academic requirements for the Ph.D. degree should be completed within seven years, beginning on the date of the student's first registration. Petitions for extension beyond six years will be considered on a case-by-case basis for students.

Students enrolled in IS803 or IS804 are considered full-time students. During the dissertation phase, doctoral students are considered full-time for a maximum of four semesters. If doctoral candidates have not defended their dissertations by the time all required dissertation credits are completed, they must enroll continuously in IS804 for zero credit each semester until the successful defense of the dissertation.

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