Where can this degree take me?
The purpose of the Doctor of Philosophy (Intercultural Studies) is to assist in the development of specialists in evangelism and mission-related strategy, research, and teaching for church, parachurch, and institutional ministry. Students are usually well established in intercultural ministries connected with the world mission of the church, whether at home or abroad. Participation in the program links them with a broad-based community of scholars and provides tools to promote lifelong learning. Many of Trinity’s PhD/ICS students participate in the program during sabbatical or other educational leaves from Christian mission organizations, colleges, seminaries, and churches. The admission requirements presuppose that the student has completed one or more graduate degrees and has had substantial recent experience in a mission-related ministry. Relatively few students are in major career transitions.
The program is designed for academic development of experienced persons in higher educational leadership development in institutional, church, and parachurch missions leadership. It is an academic doctorate with requirements and expectations comparable to American university and seminary research PhD standards. Comprehensive examinations and the formal presentation of the dissertation proposal take place during the second or third year.
Intercultural Studies defined
Intercultural studies represents a broad category of scholarly inquiries related to the differences and commonalities across cultures. Human commonalities are understood to be based on the oneness of humankind, and differences are understood to be the outgrowth of historical, geographic, and sociopolitical variability. The scholarly task in this field of doctoral studies is to grasp with knowledge and wisdom those matters of diversity that impinge on human relationships and understandings of reality and to evaluate these in the light of biblical teaching.
Socioanthropological inquiry is used to help understand the nature of intercultural relationships and to develop substantial awareness, knowledge of the skills of analysis and interpretation, and theoretical comprehension of the nature and consequences of sociocultural diversity. Effective human relationships and communication of ideas and images from one culture to another require an understanding of intercultural dynamics.
The foundation of the program is evangelical Christian theology, which provides the basis for the evaluation of the interaction between a given culture and the gospel in such areas as evangelism, church planting, and theologizing. The field of intercultural studies explores in scholarly modes the tasks that demand the proper contextualization of the biblical message and focuses on the missiological purposes of God in the world.
What will I study?
The PhD (Intercultural Studies) Program is designed as a program of three to four academic years, requiring two years (four semesters) of classroom and seminar studies followed by one to two years of comprehensive examinations and dissertation research. The length of the program can be reduced by enrolling in full-time study during all three semesters (fall, spring, and summer). Part-time students need considerably longer to complete the program. The minimum number of courses and seminars, comprehensive exam and dissertation credit, is 60 semester hours. A full-time student takes 9 to 12 semester hours. The program operates on a year-round basis, with full-load enrollment available in fall, spring and summer semesters. Program courses are available in a variety of term-length and modular formats, making study accessible to students who do not relocate to Deerfield. To insure that students not residing locally participate in the broader learning community, attendance at ICS fellowship meetings, academic hearings, and other community events while present on campus for coursework is expected.
Seminars you’ll take include the following: