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About the D.Miss. Program

Program Philosophy

The AGTS Doctor of Missiology is more than a degree program. It is an experience in developing greater discernment of the Spirit’s leading and greater dependence on the Spirit’s power.

J. Philip Hogan, executive director of AG Foreign Missions from 1959 to 1989, and a key player in the founding of AGTS as a training ground for missionaries, wrote:

“Make no mistake, the missionary venture of the church, no matter how well planned, how finely administrated, or how fully supported, would fail like any other vast human enterprise, were it not where human instrumentality leaves off, a blessed ally takes over. It is the Holy Spirit that calls, it is the Holy Spirit that inspires, it is the Holy Spirit that reveals, and it is the Holy Spirit that administers.”

The D.Miss. recognizes the priority of the Holy Spirit’s person and power in accomplishing the mission of God (Missio Dei) and creates an environment in which students can experience the kind of learning that connects them more deeply to the Spirit’s work in mission. Tracks in Intercultural Studies and Relief and Development allow students to focus their program on specific application of their learning in the field.


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Program Design

Core Classes (20 credits)

  • Leaders in a Global Context
  • Missio Dei and the Contemporary World
  • Intercultural Communication and Missions Anthropology
  • Theological Issues, Contextualization and Area Studies
  • Methods of Missiological Research

Choose One Track

Intercultural Studies Track (12 credits)

  • The History of Christianity in Missiological Perspective
  • Encountering Non-Christian Religions
  • Evangelizing, Discipling and Church Planting

Relief and Development Track (12 credits)

  • Biblical Perspective on Issues of Social Justice
  • Relief and Development in Mission: Theories and Strategies
  • Contemporary Social Issues in Mission

Electives (12 credits—Choose 3 courses)

  • Areas Studies Elective (required)
  • Alternative Approaches to Education
  • Leading the Christian Non-Profit Organization
  • Contextualized Leadership Training
  • HIV/AIDS in Global Context
  • Contemporary Missions: Issues and Strategies
  • Special Studies with an Approved Educational Provider
  • Special Studies: Tutelage

Project/Dissertation (4 credits)

  • Project/Dissertation Workshop
  • Project/Dissertation Development and Oral Defense

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Program Features

The AGTS Doctor of Missiology consists of 48 credits earned in 11 modules and a professional project, and is built around several components.

  • Pentecostal perspective: Distinctive emphasis on Spirit-empowered mission in a global context.
  • Lifestyle fit: Relocating to Springfield is not necessary; in fact the D.Miss. requires only five visits to AGTS over the course of the program.
  • Cohort experience: Learning and growth occur through the bonds formed with other career missionaries in a diverse small group setting.
  • Modular convenience: Courses are taught in two, one-week blocks scheduled back-to-back allowing two classes on one airfare.
  • Contextualized study: Area studies, special study with an approved educational provider and/or tutelage offer field-based training.

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Program Goals

The Doctor of Missiology Program will provide students with

  • a deepening biblical and theological understanding of Missio Dei;
  • a distinctively Pentecostal theology of intercultural ministry;
  • an understanding of the historical development of the Christian movement and the participant’s role in the contemporary world;
  • the ability to discern the Holy Spirit’s direction in the fulfillment of the mission of God in diverse cultural settings and to contextualize effective expressions of the Gospel;
  • an emphasis on the priorities of evangelism, church planting, leadership formation, and compassion ministries;
  • a continuing commitment to personal spiritual formation and growth as a member of God’s missionary people;
  • a working knowledge of the close relationship between the local church and missions; and
  • a scholarly contribution to the understanding and practice of intercultural ministry through the completion of a D.Miss. major applied research project or a dissertation that integrates theoretical and empirical disciplines important to a specific ministry.

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Core Courses (20 credits)

Core 1 - Leaders in a Global Context (4 credits)

This course will orient participants to the unique dynamics and requirements of Doctor of Missiology education, highlighting issues that will impact their lives and ministries; provide an overview of the Tracks and courses, with special focus on missiological research; and guide participants in self reflection in light of their ministries and global issues.

Core 2 - Missio Dei and the Contemporary World (4 credits)

An examination of Missio Dei from biblical and Pentecostal theological perspectives. This interdisciplinary study integrates theory and praxis, preparing the student to develop strategies for accomplishing the mission of God in diverse cultural milieus.

Core 3 - Intercultural Communication and Missions Anthropology (4 credits)

Studies in the literature of intercultural communication, focusing on cultural contexts and barriers, with implications for Christian witness, lifestyle and relationships. Cultural anthropological issues will be examined to determine their application to a Christian view of intercultural ministry and the discipline of missiology.

Core 4 - Theological Issues, Contextualization and Area Studies (4 credits)

A course to enable students to respond to theological issues encountered in intercultural contexts, such as Trinitarian concerns, bibliology, local theologies, syncretism and Pentecostalism. Students will work with personally relevant area-specific case studies and principles of “doing theology” in another context will be analyzed.

Core 5 - Methods of Missiological Research (4 credits)

An introduction to the approaches to research design and research methods employed in missiological research. The relationships among theological inquiry, socio-anthropological inquiry, and missions practice will be examined. Attention will be given to each of the major components of a major applied research project and a dissertation: problem, review of the literature, research methodology, findings and conclusions. Development of a research design, bibliography and database for missiological research will be emphasized.

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Track Courses (12 credits)

Following their Core courses, D.Miss. students will choose between two tracks: Intercultural Studies or Christian Relief and Development. Each track involves 12 credits (Three courses) of study in a specialized area.

Intercultural Studies Track: 12 credits

  • The History of Christianity in Missiological Perspective
    • A study of selected missiological paradigms throughout the expansion of Christianity from Pentecost to the present. Writings of mission theorists will be studied for understanding the advance or decline at key historical junctures, as well as the assessing of current missiology.
  • Encountering Non-Christian Religions
    • A focus on the biblical and theological understanding of non-Christian religions. Participants will examine critical issues facing the church in light of biblical teaching and current conflicting ideas and theories in pluralistic societies. Attention will be given to diversity, truth and salvation in religions.
  • Evangelizing, Discipling and Church Planting
    • An exploration of biblical principles, contemporary models, and effective strategies for evangelizing non-believers, discipling converts, and planting healthy churches. Global challenges of the urban context and assimilation will be considered. Case studies will be examined.

Relief and Development Track: 12 credits

  • Biblical Perspectives on Issues of Social Justice
    • An investigation of biblical perspectives on social justice and the formulation of a scriptural foundation for the Church’s response to human suffering with holistic ministries. Special attention will be given to racial injustice and global poverty. A prerequisite for Relief and Development Track.
  • Relief and Development in Mission: Theories and Strategies
    • This course facilitates the articulation of a Christian response to global relief and development. Classical and modern theories of economic development and poverty eradication will be examined from a Christian perspective. Community development within a Christian worldview will be informed by the role of the developer on a personal, local, regional and global level.
  • Contemporary Social Issues in Mission
    • This course will identify the major global issues of injustice that impact women, children and minority people groups, such as human sexual trafficking, children at risk and human rights abuses. It will explore issues that impact on development such as AIDS and other international health crises, urbanization trends, global economic threats, wars and refugees and environmental issues. It will provide a critical overview of best practice interventions by international agencies and Christian relief and development organizations who address these global issues of social injustice.

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Elective Courses (12 credits)

Students will select three classes from the available Elective courses to deepen their study of specific topics. One elective course in Area Studies is required.  

Area Studies Elective (required)

Specialized study in a particular area or region of the world. These studies may be taken as a tutorial or through course work in government-approved universities around the world. (In order to take this required elective course, the student must petition and secure the approval of his/her program advisor.)

Alternative Approaches to Education

An analysis of the principles of traditional and nontraditional education, both formal and informal, with emphasis given to ministry formation. Selected educational systems such as theological education by extension (TEE), distance education, in-service training, will be evaluated as to contextual suitability and effectiveness. Participants will engage in creative application of the principles presented and innovative modes of delivery systems.

Leading the Christian Non-Profit Organization

This course will trace the history of non-profit organizations and examine their unique contribution to international and national community development. Laws governing these groups and their financial management and accountability will be explored. The student will be guided in the skills of creating a viable business plan including potential funding resources.

Contextualized Leadership Training

A study to facilitate leadership development vision by analyzing leadership selection processes, authority patterns and spiritual formation in a particular setting. Participants will be encouraged to develop culturally appropriate principles, strategies and methods of leadership training including church-based, institutional and non-formal approaches. Emphasis will be given to designing resources and building team concepts for long-term reproducible models.

HIV/AIDS in Global Context

The course will explore the global HIV/AIDS pandemic from various perspectives such as its contribution to poverty and the medical, political, economic, social and security issues that it has created. The role of both the international and local church in prevention and ministry to the infected will be examined.

Contemporary Missions: Issues and Strategies

A study of current issues and strategies in missions. Topics such as collaboration, short-term and career commitments, non-residential missions, the “business as missions” movement, theological education, training church leaders/planters, missionary lifestyle, interfaith dialogue and holism/international development will be considered.

Special Studies with an Approved Educational Provider

A track elective taken with an approved educational provider that facilitates the development of competencies germane to the major applied research project or the dissertation. (In order to take this course, the student must secure the approval of his/her Program Advisor.)

Special Studies: Tutelage

A track elective taken under the tutelage of an assigned professor of record. (In order to take this course the student must secure the approval of his/her program advisor.)

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Project/Dissertation Workshop

The workshop focuses on the development and refinement of the doctoral major applied research project proposal/dissertation proposal and the exploration of issues related to the major project and dissertation research. The student will submit an acceptable project proposal to the D.Miss. Committee.  Prerequisite: Completion of core and track courses.

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Project/Dissertation Development

Upon the completion, acceptance and successful oral defense of a written major applied project/dissertation which integrates theory and praxis and makes a scholarly contribution to the practice of intercultural ministry, four credits will be recorded on the transcript. All participants working on the project/dissertation phase will maintain a continued registration in the program.

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Qualifying Exam

The qualifying examination is intended to demonstrate an acceptable level of competency in missiology, and the ability to apply the literature to a set of circumstances. Students will be eligible to take the examination upon successful completion of the following core courses:

         Core 1 – Leaders in a Global Context

         Core 2 – Missio Dei and the Contemporary World

         Core 3 – Intercultural Communication and Missions Anthropology

         Core 4 – Theological Issues, Contextualization and Area Studies

A list of recommended readings to support competencies developed in the core courses will be provided at the beginning of the program. In the event of an unsuccessful examination, the student may have one retake.  

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What will a D.Miss. do for me?

  • Equip you with advanced resources and enhanced practice
  • Prepare you to teach missiology at every academic level
  • Enable you to train missionaries in other nations
  • Train you for leadership in Christian compassion ministry agencies and projects around the world

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A fee for the entire program is $23,400 to be paid in 12 equal installments over four years. AGWM and AGUSM appointed missionaries are eligible for a discounted fee of $18,400. (Applicable for the 2014–2015 academic year and subject to change thereafter for new participants.)

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Updated: Thursday, January 29, 2015 8:44 AM

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