The AGTS Doctor of Philosophy in Intercultural Studies (Ph.D./ICS) facilitates the development and academic certification of vocations in missiological and intercultural teaching and scholarship by:

  • Providing an environment and essential tools that enable research and theological reflection;
  • Creating a unique learning experience customized to each student’s call, gifts and academic interest;
  • Equipping missiologists for research, teaching and missional praxis in an increasingly complex multicultural
    world; and
  • Giving credible voice to scholar practitioner missionaries and national leaders before the academy and the church.

The Intercultural Doctoral Studies programs are uniquely Pentecostal focused on developing scholar practitioners with a rich Pentecostal missiological heritage including likely the best Pentecostal Missions library in the world with access to the archives of the Flower Heritage Center.

Located in a short distance from the Assemblies of God World Mission (USA) (AGWM) provides networking with AGWM personnel and decision makers.

The quality of the IDS faculty – Pentecostal scholar practitioners still current and connected to the field with an average of 30 years of missionary experience, representing every region of the world with the appropriate terminal degrees. Faculty and IDS students are being published by leading missiological journals and publishers. Various faculty members serve on the missions commissions of both the World Assemblies of God Fellowship and the Pentecostal World Fellowship.

The PhD in Intercultural Studies (PhD/ICS) degree is an in-service program for those with a master’s degree in an appropriate theological and missiological discipline and with at least two years of intercultural ministry experience. The PhD/ICS program recognizes the priority of the Holy Spirit’s person and power in accomplishing the mission of God (Missio Dei) and creates an environment in which students can experience the kind of learning that connects them more deeply with the Spirit’s work in mission and allows them to focus their program and research on the application of integrative learning in missional praxis.

“The IDS program at AGTS has given me the opportunity to sit under the finest Pentecostal missionary practitioner scholars. The program is challenging, stretching, spiritually fulfilling, and each class has given me something that I can apply in my specific ministerial context. The availability of the professors and fellowship with fellow students has been a wonderful bonus. Studying at AGTS is preparing my mind and my spirit for the next season of ministry.”

 Cindee Frenn IDS Student


Degree Program Overview

The Ph.D./ICS consists of 60 credits earned in 10 modules, one area studies research tutorial, three dissertation research courses, and a research dissertation, and is built around several components:

  • Pentecostal perspective: Distinctive emphasis on Spirit-empowered mission in a global context.
  • Passionate Scholarly Research: The discipline of scholarly research and writing is embraced as a tool of spiritual and missiological discernment and prophetic voice.
  • Lifestyle fit: Relocating to Springfield is not necessary; the Ph.D./ICS requires only five visits to AGTS over the course of the program.
  • Cohort experience: Learning and growth occur through the bonds formed with other career missionaries and intercultural servants in a diverse small group setting.
  • Modular convenience: Courses are taught in two, one to two week blocks scheduled back-to-back allowing two classes on one airfare.
  • Contextualized study: Area studies, special study with an approved educational provider and/or tutelage offer field-based training.

Delivery format/location/ Residential or online 

A modular format requires five trips to AGTS over three years (all in July and December). Two classes are taken during each two-to three-week session. Participants earn 60 credits in:

  • Five Core courses
  • Three Track courses (Missiological Studies or Relief and Development)
  • Three Elective courses
  • Three dissertation research courses
  • Dissertation

How long to complete degree?

Normally four to five years.

Program Course Requirements:

Credit hours 

The Ph.D./ICS consists of 60 credits


Core Classes (20 credits):

  • Leaders in a Global Context
  • Missio Dei and the Contemporary World
  • Intercultural Communication and Missions Anthropology
  • Theological Issues, Contextualization and Area Studies
  • Methods of Missiological Research

Choose One Track:

  • Missiological Studies Track (12 credits):
    • The History of Christianity in Missiological Perspective
    • Missiological Engagement with World Religions
    • Evangelizing, Discipling and Church Planting
  • Relief and Development Track (12 credits):
    • Biblical Perspective on Issues of Social Justice
    • Relief and Development in Mission: Theories and Strategies
    • Contemporary Social Issues in Missions 

Electives (12 credits—Choose 3 courses):

  • Areas Studies Elective (required)
  • Alternative Approaches to Education
  • Leading the Non-Profit Organization
  • Contextualized Leadership Training
  • HIV/AIDS in Global Contexts
  • Encountering Non-Christian Religions
  • Contemporary Missions: Issues and Strategies
  • Special Studies with an Approved Educational Provider
  • Special Studies: Tutelage 

Dissertation (16 credits):

  • Dissertation Research (12)
  • Comprehensive Exam
  • Dissertation (4)

Required prerequisites 

Academic: An M.A. in an appropriate theological or missiological discipline from an acceptable school with a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.

Experience: Not less than two years of appropriate intercultural ministry experience.

English: For applicants whose primary language is other than English, a TOEFL score of 585 or equivalent.

Writing: Submission and approval of a writing sample that demonstrates graduate-level research skills.

Language: Second language proficiency. The program requires research proficiency in English as the primary research language of the disciplines of intercultural studies and a second modern language in the field of the research topic. Additional ancient and modern languages may be required as needed for the completion of dissertation research. In exceptional cases, the second modern language requirement may be substituted by petition. When a request for language waiver is submitted, the Committee may require six credits of relevant studies in the applicant’s area of research. This will be implemented at the discretion of the Committee in a case-by-case situation based on transcripts and experience.

Endorsement: Official approval of administrative superiors (e.g., missions board or agency if applicable).

Technology: Acceptable computer and internet competencies.

These are the minimal requirements. The Admissions Committee selects applicants with the strongest qualifications. Candidates who only meet minimal requirements in some areas but are exceptional in others may be accepted. The overall combination of strengths that the applicant brings to the program is assessed in the admissions process.


In cases in which candidates for admission are considered to have insufficient background in biblical, theological or missiological disciplines, the seminary may require them to complete 15 credits of missiology foundation courses or 15 credits of theological foundation courses, or both as a co-requisite.

Program outcomes:

The program seeks to contribute to the discipline of intercultural studies by enriching research, teaching and the practice of those involved in the field. To that end and in accordance with our commitment to provide the highest level of learning effectiveness and foster a robust culture of assessment, at the completion of the Ph.D. program, graduates will be able to achieve the following learning outcomes:

  • demonstrate a breadth of knowledge in theological and religious studies and other academic disciplines, and a comprehensive knowledge of the disciplines that comprise missiology and intercultural studies;
  • competently innovate, defend and critique scholarly work and missional practice for the benefit of the academy and the broader community of faith;
  • demonstrate ability to engage in original missiological intercultural research and writing that contribute to the discipline and to their research context for the sake of their tradition, the church and the academy;
  • make decisions, live and serve according to revealed truth and the will of God in a continuing integrated commitment to learning, spiritual formation, and personal and professional growth;
  • demonstrate the ability to utilize research and theological/missiological reflection in specific contexts; and
  • commit to the vocation of theological, missiological, and intercultural scholarship in its dimensions of teaching, learning and research.

These competencies and skills serve any ministry that engages people from multiple cultures or socio-economic levels including but not limited to: missiologists, missions researchers, missionaries, church planters, pastors, missions executives, chaplains, educators and evangelists.

Financial Information

Tuition is $42,000, to be paid in 15 equal installments over five years. AGWM and AGUSM appointed missionaries are eligible for a discounted fee of $29,400. The PhD/ICS Program qualifies for veteran’s benefits, private student loans, and loan deferment but does not qualify for Title IV federal aid (Alternative Loan Options). (Costs subject to change.)  Contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.


Course NumberCourse TitleLink to SyllabusProfessor
MS 901Leaders in a Global ContextCourse SyllabusDeLonn Rance
MSS 901Leaders in a Global ContextCourse SyllabusDeLonn Rance
MS 905Methods of Missiological ResearchCourse SyllabusAnita Koeshall
MC 904Theological Issues, Contextualization, and Area Studies Course SyllabusAlan Johnson
MCC 904Theological Issues, Contextualization, and Area Studies Course SyllabusAlan Johnson
MC 903Intercultural Communication and Missions AnthropologyCourse SyllabusDeLonn Rance
MCC 903Intercultural Communication and Missions AnthropologyCourse SyllabusDeLonn Rance
MC 911Missiological Engagement with the WorldCourse SyllabusPaul Lewis
MCC 911Missiological Engagement with the WorldCourse SyllabusPaul Lewis
MS 921Relief and Development in Mission: Theories and StrategiesCourse SyllabusJohan Mostert
MSS 921Relief and Development in Mission: Theories and StrategiesCourse SyllabusJohan Mostert
MS 939The Mission of God in Luke and ActsCourse SyllabusRobert Gallagher
MSS 939The Mission of God in Luke and ActsCourse SyllabusRobert Gallagher