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Doctor of Philosophy in Intercultural Studies

The Doctor of Philosophy in Intercultural Studies (Ph.D.) degree is the highest level of professional certification in the field of missiology and academic research. The Ph.D. programme enables a candidate to exercise a higher level of academic thinking in missionary and social science principles, competence and authority.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Intercultural Studies degree builds on a general foundation of theological and missiological studies done at the M.A. and M.Div. levels by providing advanced training in specific areas of missions theory and practice at the Ph.D. level.

This 68-credit study programme is designed to provide quality advanced training in intercultural service for qualified men and women.

It prepares and equips individuals:

  1. For cross-cultural missionary training, missionary service, and church-planting ministry.
  2. For missions leadership positions in missions agencies, and in churches with well-developed missions programmes.
  3. For faculty development and training for theological schools in Asia and Africa. The entire programme of study is set in the context of the Asian and African church and culture.

It is open to all Christian leaders, pastors, missions leaders and missions and theological lecturers other categories of workers in Christian missions & church planting.


  • 68 Credits
  • Singaporeans Only. No Scholarships.


During the period of candidacy, the candidate will go through seven Doctoral Seminars — seven major areas of 8 credits each (to be selected from the list of concentration given below). Each area of concentration is called a Doctoral Seminar.

The dissertation carries 12 credits of 70000-75000 words. There will be Mutual Enrichment Seminars (MES) held once annually where candidates present their research findings on the research being done.

Candidates should plan to complete all assignments for each Doctoral Seminar before they sign up for the next one.

The candidate is to choose the seven areas of concentration from the following list and indicate the same at the time of application. (NOTE: at times new areas may be added depending on the specific concentration of the candidate).

  1. Culture, Worldview*
  2. Contextualization — Gospel And Culture*
  3. Proclamation And Pluralism*
  4. Theology Of Mission*
  5. Social And Political Dimensions Of Missions
  6. Communications Theory And Analysis
  7. History Of Church And Missions Expansion
  8. Missionary Leadership Selection And Training
  9. Philosophy Of Missionary Education
  10. Church-Planting And Church Growth Studies
  11. Religions And Ideologies
  12. Urban Strategies

*Candidates are required to select any five of these as core areas for Doctoral Seminars.

The entire study programme is done under the guidance of the mentor. Before the candidate begins to write the dissertation, there should be no incomplete course work (including the passing of the comprehensive exams).

For each of the doctoral seminars, a research paper of about 100 A4 size pages (about 3000 pages) must be written at the end of the research and submitted to the Doctoral Seminar professor for grading, who in turn, will turn in the grade to the registrar’s office. It is recommended that the course work be done keeping the dissertation in mind. The candidate is required to be in residence for the orientation, the first Doctoral Seminar, and toward the end of the programme.

During the programme of study, the candidate may sign-up for relevant courses in any approved university or institution of higher learning including BIU, which contributes to his research, but this is subject to the approval of the mentor.

General Information

Entry Qualifications

  • Proven men and women of Christian character and Christlikeness.
  • A Master of Arts in intercultural Studies (M.A.I.S) degree or its equivalent with a significant theological studies background (at the graduate level) with an average GPA of at least B+ (3.3 on a 4.0 scale) OR A Master of Divinity / post graduate B.D (Note: B.D done at the undergraduate level is not recognized as its equivalent) degree with an average GPA of at least B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale). It must show at least one third of studies related to missions studies; otherwise upgrading to at least 24 credit in missiology/intercultural studies becomes necessary.*
  • English skills: All applicants (Including native English speakers) must produce evidence of English language competency either through a TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language) with a score in the range of at least 550 – 600 or through British testing system or its equivalent.
  • Ministry competence of at least 5 years in pastoral and missions related work must be demonstrated before entering the programme (there may be some rare exceptions that may call for a waiver)
  • Competency in a field language, and research language other than the mother tongue.
  • Graduate level reading and writing ability is a basic requirement. This is usually demonstrated by a Master’s level thesis.

* NOTE: Institutions that offer one year M.A. must be able to show at least 96 credits of work plus a 100 page (A4 size) thesis. Anything below this does not meet the requirements for this programme of study. Therefore, an upgrading may be required.

Overview of Program

  • Phase 1: Application Stage
  • Phase 2: Intention Paper Writing & Completion of Research Methodology Course
  • Phase 3: Proposal Stage (Writing & Defense)
  • Phase 4: Doctoral Seminars Stage
  • Phase 5: Comprehensive Exams Stage
  • Phase 6: Dissertation Writing Stage
  • Phase 7: Dissertation Defense
  • Phase 8: Graduation

Financial Information (SGD)

  • Application and Registration Fee:  SGD 150 (non-refundable)
  • Tuition (per credit):  SGD 500 (SGD 500 X68 = SGD 34,000)
  • Continuation Fee (where Applicable):  SGD 500
  • Comprehensive Exam Fee:  SGD 500
  • Graduation Fee:  SGD 500
  • Affiliation Fee (to ICHE):  SGD 500