May 29, 2024  

Missiology DMiss

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Program Description

Bruce L. Bauer, Director

The Doctor of Missiology (DMiss) program equips practitioners, leaders, and trainers who minister in cross-cultural mission situations through focused study and research in theological and social-science fields of study. For more detailed guidelines and program structures see the DMiss Handbook. A copy may be accessed online at:

Program Design

The DMiss degree is pursued while engaged in ministry. The curriculum is cohort-based and designed to be completed in four modules. Modules will include 1) pre-session reading, field research, application activities, and online discussions with the cohort group, 2) a residential period of at least 4 weeks on the campus of Andrews University, or one of its off-campus locations, and 3) post-session projects and/or paper. Cohorts will have emphases such as world religions, urban mission, cross-cultural leadership, ministry in animistic settings, and relief, development, and social issues.  All credits given will adhere strictly to the minimum total study time of 60 hours (in class and out of class) for each credit as outlined in Andrews academic policies.

Total Credits - 48

Program Requirements

Core Requirements

The DMiss program is cohort-based. Each cohort will consist of a specific course schedule during 4 annual modules. All cohort members will take the 42 credits of those specific modules and its listed courses. A dissertation of 6 credits will also be completed. Evidence of ability to read and speak in a language other than English may be required for certain concentrations or research topics.


Dissertation Proposal

Proposals for the dissertation will be accepted following the completion of the second module. Under the guidance of the Program Director and the student’s dissertation advisor, the student will write a proposal. The final proposal must be approved by the student’s committee and the DMiss Program Committee.

The proposal must contain a basic survey of pertinent literature, a clear statement of the problem, a succinct purpose statement, a description of the methodology to be employed, a list of tentative chapters and subsection titles, and a preliminary bibliography. This will be submitted with the completed form found at:

Following the fourth module and the proposal approval, the student registers in MSSN 899 DMiss Dissertation for 3 credits for each of the following two semesters. If the dissertation is not completed after one year, the candidate must register for MSSN 888 (DMiss Dissertation Continuation) every semester, and pay a continuation fee until the dissertation is completed and the defense held, or until the time limit has expired.

Dissertation Preparation

The dissertation prepared by the DMiss candidate must:

  1. Demonstrate the candidate’s competence to do independent research.
  2. Reveal the candidate’s familiarity with and proficiency in handling the pertinent literature.
  3. Present a logically organized, methodologically sound, and readable account of the investigation, findings, conclusions, and implications of the study.

Oral Defense of the DMiss Dissertation

The date is set and advertised by the director of the DMiss program.
The oral defense is conducted by the dissertation defense committee and is held no later than four weeks before the degree is conferred.
To pass the oral defense, candidates must receive a vote of approval from at least three of the four examiners. The committee votes in one of the following ways:
1. Acceptance of the dissertation as presented.
2. Acceptance of the dissertation subject to minor revisions.
3. Acceptance of the dissertation subject to major revisions.
4. Rejection of the dissertation.
Normally, rejection of a dissertation terminates the student’s doctoral candidacy, but the DMiss Program Committee may consider whether to allow him/her to prepare and submit another dissertation and what specific requirements would apply, including possible further course work.

After the defense

After the defense:
• The student makes all corrections.
• The deadline for dissertations to be submitted to the Dissertation Secretary with the signed approval page is no later than Wednesday, 10 days before graduation. Strict adherence to this deadline is essential or graduation is postponed. For more detailed guidelines and scheduling see the DMiss Handbook. A copy may be accessed online at:

Possible Emphases

  1. Ministry in Animistic Settings
  2. Mission Leadership
  3. Relief, Development, and Social Issues
  4. Urban Mission
  5. World Religions

Maintaining Academic Standing

Time Limits

Since the program is cohort-based, the student is expected to finish all modules as scheduled for the cohort. All degree requirements, including the dissertation must be finished within ten years of initial registration.

Admission Requirements

 All applicants must meet the general admission requirements listed in the Graduate Programs Admission and in the Seminary Admission Requirements ( Admission to the DMiss program is granted by the DMiss Committee to applicants who:

  • Hold the MDiv degree or its educational equivalent, or other advanced master’s-level degrees in the related cognate discipline with a GPA of at least 3.3 on a 4-point scale.
  • Have a minimum of 15 semester credits of mission-related course work.
  • Pass the TOEFL test for English proficiency with a minimum TOEFL score of 85 (iBT) or 565 (paper based) if Secondary and Undergraduate schooling was not in English or if requested by the DMiss Program Committee.
  • Have significant work experience (typically three years or more) in a cross-cultural ministry context.
  • Show high promise of future usefulness in the mission of the church.
  • Have completed GSEM620 Research Methods or equivalent.
  • Have recommendations, which include at least one church leader from a cross-cultural/mission setting.

Application Process

Application for the DMiss program should be submitted at least 9 months before the start date for Module 1 of the cohort being applied for.

In addition to submitting the items required of all graduate students, applicants to the DMiss program must also submit:

  • A 1000-word personal statement which includes:
    • The applicant’s philosophy of mission—including religious, cultural, and ethical considerations in doing mission.
    • Personal aspirations for future ministry and how this degree program will contribute to that mission.
  • A significant research paper (term paper or thesis), normally written during MA or MDiv studies. This paper should show the applicant’s ability to carry out research and to present the results and conclusions of such work with correct English and acceptable style. The topic of this paper should be in an area related to mission if possible.
  • Detailed description of applicant’s cross-cultural ministry work experience.

Advanced Standing

The DMiss program is cohort-based. Therefore, it is expected that all students will complete all activities as a cohort. Only in cases where a student has completed extensive mission studies beyond a master’s degree would an exception be considered.

Program Objectives


The purpose of the DMiss program is to advance theologically competent mission leadership for the global church. Although graduates may be asked to teach missions, this degree is not primarily a teaching degree but a professional one. The emphasis of the degree is on knowledge, skills, and mission research, which result in practical applications for effective mission. This degree is not earned by the mere accumulation of credits. It is conferred on those who demonstrate advanced knowledge in missiological themes and the ability to integrate theology and social science research into actual mission leadership and ministry.

Program Outcomes

Graduates will (1) grow in spiritual disciplines; (2) develop theological and biblical foundations for their ministries and mission practice; (3) conduct research on mission challenges of the church which results in recommended solutions; (4) implement mission strategies which are biblically faithful and culturally appropriate; and (5) demonstrate ability to train others for cross-cultural ministry.

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