Center for Missiological Research


Graduates from the PhD in Intercultural Studies should:

  • provide an original contribution to theory and knowledge
  • make a practical contribution to the mission of the church
  • master one or more principal 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 SIS PhD program and in support of SIS and Seminary goals, the SIS PhD Portfolio consists of the learning outcomes and includes three additional requirements:

  • supervised experience teaching at graduate level
  • significant engagement in activities of the CMR community of scholars
  • attention to integrating spiritual formation and academic life

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Keon Sang An

Missiology, missional hermeneutics, contextual theology, vocation and formation, daily and workplace spirituality, Ethiopian Orthodox Church

Ryan Bolger

Faith and technology, emerging church, missional church, church growth, contemporary culture, contextualization, local theology, Jesus and mission

Doug McConnell

Interfaith dialogue, leadership and missiological integration in a global context, children at risk

Bryant Myers

Development theory and practice in Christian perspective; the intersection between development, the local church, and Christian witness; globalization and the poor

Diane Obenchain

Comparative history of global religion, methods in the study of religion, Asian traditions of religion (Confucianism, Daoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam), Christian engagement with people of other faiths, introduction to mission, world Christianity, Christianity in China

Timothy Kiho Park

Cross-cultural church planting, discipleship in mission, Korean mission history, crucial issues in mission

Johnny Ramirez-Johnson

Practical theology research methods applied to mission studies (i.e. qualitative and mixed approaches), mission with sex workers (female heterosexual), Latino church in the USA, race relations, cultural identity, approaches to diversity in the postmodern world

Evelyne Reisacher

Islamic studies, intercultural relations, attachment theory, world religions, gender studies, affect regulation, conflict resolution

Dave Scott

Mission with children at risk, cognitive anthropology, cognitive research methods, child participation and human rights for children, motivation and retention among children and youth workers, theology of children

Scott Sunquist

Asian Christianity, historiography, missiology, Christianity in the non-Western world

Amos Yong

Global Pentecostalism, political theology, disability and mission, interfaith encounter, Buddhist-Christian dialogue, Asian American Christianity

The Doctor of Philosophy in Intercultural Studies (PhD ICS) degree, offered through Fuller's Center for Missiological Research (CMR), represents the highest academic credential in the study of global Christian mission at one of the most well-known and respected missiological training institutions in the world. It is designed to provide exceptional candidates the opportunity to design, develop and complete a customized research plan in consultation with faculty advisors through a customizable tutorial-driven process that integrates a wide range of missiological disciplines.




Students are required to spend at least the first year in residency at the Pasadena campus. Fulfillment of at least the second year can be done at the Pasadena campus or, as approved by the mentor, at relevant field work sites; via formally assigned teaching, research, or instructional training assistantships; 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.


The PhD in Intercultural Studies is 64 units and is designed to be completed in 4-5 years.


At the time of admission each student is assigned to a mentor whose expertise is relevant to the student's area of research interest. The mentor then becomes the primary consultant to help the student ensure the feasibility and scholarly credibility of their project. Students eventually also work with other scholars as well, and are required to invite one or two other professors to serve on their formal advisory committee. Furthermore, while a student's mentor must be a Fuller faculty member, the SIS PhD program is flexible enough to allow students to work with any appropriately-trained scholar in the world on different aspects of their research. In fact, most students choose to work with at least one outside tutor in this way during the course of their programs.


The King Fellowship is a merit-based scholarship offered to one or two incoming PhD Intercultural Studies students each year on the basis of an outstanding application. The King Fellowship covers over 90% of the cost of tuition for up to three years of the PhD ICS program, so long as the recipient attends full-time and remains in excellent academic standing. Students are automatically considered for the King Fellowship when their application is reviewed. Besides the King Fellowship, incoming PhD Intercultural Studies students are eligible for the Charles E. Fuller Annual Scholarship, which is awarded based on financial need and covers up to 15% of the cost of tuition. In addition to these scholarships, special scholarships have been established to provide financial aid to returning students at Fuller.


Students should expect to enroll in 16-20 units per year. See our Tuition and Fees page for more information .


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