Program Overview

Program Features

  • Cohort format of 8-12 students
  • Cohort Mentor professor(s) for the duration of the program
  • 4, 37-week modules (once a year for over 4 years)
  • Modules designed around theoretical content and research methods
  • Online component to each module
  • 2 weeks on-campus intensive per year
  • Dissertation research integrated within each module
  • In-Context research aimed to affect change

Mission, Vision, and Values


We foster and equip communities of learning for in-service leaders from all parts of the world for missiological research and transformational missional practice.


To see discerning leaders who, using applied missiological research, effectively participate in the mission of God.


  • We will be characterized as global.
    As much as possible, our students will study with others around the world and, in these learning communities, be exposed to global trends and cultural, contextual analysis.
  • We nurture missional commitment.
    We desire our students to embrace their role in missio Dei and their role as change agents in their communities.
  • We serve in-service leaders who are adult learners.
    We come alongside identified leaders in their communities. Adult learning philosophy and praxis typify our program design providing opportunities for reflecting, learning, and doing.
  • We create biblical learning communities of practice.
    We understand that transformation best happens in safe, peer-oriented environments. Therefore, we foster space for dialogue and collaboration, acknowledging the value of learning in community.
  • We value theory and practice with concrete application in mind.
    We focus on applied research designed to address problems and take advantage of opportunities in ministry.

Contextualized Applied Research Dissertation

While the main priority of traditional research is to expand knowledge, applied research seeks to utilize research in order to solve a practical problem.

Students enter the DMiss aiming at a particular area in their contexts where they want to see change. Thus, the work done in the DMiss will ultimately apply directly to the work and ministry in which the student is currently engaged.

Module Outline

In addition to the module-specific learning outcomes below, students will participate in communities of practice that foster spiritual formation in both its personal and communal dimensions.

Upon successful completion of this degree program, students will have:

  • Developed a Personal Rule of Life that is revisited/revised throughout the program.
  • Corporately developed a Community Rule that is revisited/revised throughout the program.
  • Participated in a Community of Practice.

Year 1: Missiological Foundations (8 units) and Program Design (4 units)

Year 2: Issues in Context (8 units) and Research Methods (4 units)

Year 3: Leadership (8 units) and Change Dynamics (4 units)

Year 4: Integration (4 units) and Dissertation Writing (8 units)

DMissModulesOverview2Module Overview Diagram


Students in the DMiss degree program may elect to have their doctorate degree designated as Doctor of Missiology degree (DMiss) or as a Doctor of Intercultural Studies Degree (DIS). The election must be made by the time of submission of the Application for Graduation. Once the degree has been awarded the election is non-revocable; however, petitions for change in degree nomenclature from DMiss graduates may be carefully considered. All such petitions would be requested via the SIS Dean's Office:

Students seeking further information on this process should contact the DMiss Coordinator:

Doctoral Programs Comparison Chart

PhD SIS DMiss DMin
Preparing for scholarship, teaching, research Equipping for leadership, training, missional praxis Developing ministry skills and effectiveness
Research focus with emphasis on development of theory Field research focus with emphasis on application to context Content focus with emphasis on application to ministry context
Program structured around tutorials and dissertation in a community of scholars Program structured around cohort-based modules and dissertation Program structured around courses and ministry project (through either cohort or personalized tracks)
4-5 years to complete 4 years to complete 4-6 years to complete
Residential with 18-month minimum requirement Non-residential with 3 two-week & 1 one-week intensives Non-residential with 3-5 one- to two-week intensives

(626) 584-5200
(800) 235-2222
135 N. Oakland Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91182