Doctor of Intercultural Studies – Missiology (DISM)

The purpose of Doctor of Intercultural Studies – Missiology (DISM) is to equip professional missionaries for further research and future teaching opportunities. The DISM program seeks to develop students with foundational knowledge and extensive experience of cross-cultural ministry by

  • Advancing their knowledge of missiology as an interdisciplinary study combining theological, historical, and contextual studies.
  • Engaging them in critical and constructive interaction with existing scholarship in an area of missiology through original research.
  • Fostering an understanding of the vocation of theological scholarship in its dimensions learning, teaching, and research.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students will have demonstrated

  • Ability to integrate missiological disciplines related to the subject areas of their research.
  • Competence in applying missiological research methods to their ministry contexts.
  • Sensitivity to cultural and ethnic diversity as they engage in missiological research.
  • Commitment to spiritual formation for their own growth and for the growth of others.

Degree Requirements 

Students must complete at least 62 semester credit hours with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0. In addition, students must complete a doctoral research dissertation. The maximum time limit for completion of the DISM is ten years. This time limit may only be extended in special circumstances by petition to the academic dean.


Bible and Theology (9 Credit Hours)
BI 500 Old Testament Survey (3)
BI 501 New Testament Survey (3)
TH 502 Systematic Theology (3)
Practical Theology (6 Credit Hours)
MN 552 Lifelong Leadership Development (3)
MN 581 Mentoring & Developing Giftedness (3)
Missiology (39 Credit Hours)
MS 501 Biblical Principles of Mission (3)
MS 502 Biblical Strategies of Mission (3)
MS 503 Worship and Mission (3)
MS 510 Contemporary Theology of Mission (3)
MS 514 Folk Religions and Mission (3)
MS 533 Missiology of Acts (3)
MS 534 Pauline Theology of Mission (3)
MS 546 Asia Mission History (3)
MS 565 Intercultural Communication (3)
MS 575 Mission Field and Evangelism (3)
MS 577 Missionary’s Cooperative Ministry (3)
MS 580 Mission Project (3)
MS 587 Relationship-Centric Mission and Communication (3)
Dissertation (8 Credit Hours)

Doctoral Dissertation

Students in the DISM program must submit an acceptable scholarly dissertation as the final requirement for graduation. As the centerpiece of the doctoral study at Vine, the topic of dissertation should be chosen wisely, after extensive appropriate reading, and the research should be done carefully and thoroughly.

A carefully designed dissertation proposal (10 pages in length) shall be submitted to the mentor for approval after completion of coursework. The proposal must demonstrate that the research topic is chosen thoughtfully, appropriate methodology is applied, the chapter-by-chapter outline is logical and coherent, and the bibliography is relevant and reasonably comprehensive.

The normal length of the dissertation is between 150 and 200 pages. The dissertation is examined by the student’s doctoral committee consisting of the primary mentor (chair) and two other members of the Vine faculty. The student will work with the primary mentor to identify the remaining committee members on the basis of ability to contribute to the research topic. The dissertation prepared by the DISM candidate must demonstrate:

  • Competence in independent academic inquiry.
  • Mastery of missiological theory and knowledge.
  • Critical interaction with the pertinent literature.
  • Intellectually and methodologically rigorous scholarship.

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