Doctor of Intercultural Studies

for English Speaking Students


The Doctor of Intercultural Studies Degree is intended to prepare individuals for positive and influential leadership, relationships of trust, and biblical ministry in intercultural contexts either in denominational or interdenominational structures through study and applied learning in the socio-cultural and theological disciplines of missiology.  It provides students with expertise in intercultural issues and missiological strategies and paradigms for effective biblical ministry and for developing cultural intelligence for relevant problem solving in receptor cultures.   

The D.Ics. program requires 10 courses and the Professional Research Project (48 hours) to complete the program. The six required courses are Intercultural Communication, Contextualization, Cultural Anthropology, Biblical Theology of Mission, Methods of Social Research and Intentional Multicultural Ministry.

Students may transfer in 50 percent of the course work from other D.Min., D.Miss. or D.Ics. programs. Students may select D.Min. courses as electives. D.Min. students may take D.Ics. required courses as electives as well.  

Three years is the normal time to finish the program. However, after six years, we will require students to get an extension through a written request to the Program Director. This happens most often with students overseas who cannot get to campus for the modules as they would like. This is always an acceptable reason for us to grant the request. A request for an additional year for the Professional Research Project is also acceptable.

If you take a semester off, you can stay in the program, but you will need to file a continuing registration form to remain a current student.

Rotation of Required Courses

Even Numbered Years

  • Fall: Intercultural Communication
  • Spring: Intentional Multicultural Ministry
  • Summer: Elective

Odd Numbered Years

  • Fall: Cultural Anthropology for Ministry
  • Spring: Methods of Social Research
  • Summer: Biblical Theology of Mission and Contextualization for Ministry

Recommended Electives

  • Understanding World Religions
  • Encountering Islam
  • Discerning God’s Will
  • Current Theological Issues
  • Biblical Teamwork in Missions
  • Practice of Ministry Leadership
  • Independent Research Elective

Professional Research Project: Eight hours


Course Requirements for Doctor of Intercultural Studies

Seminar Registration


Examples of courses in this major:

PM 8260 Current Theological Issues

This seminar coordinates study and discussion of current theological issues and trends that are impacting the church. Special attention is given to the application of these issues and trends to real life settings. This course is team taught by visiting professors and the faculty of Grace Theological Seminary.

IM 8640 Contextualization for Meaningful Ministry

This course prepares the student to fit evangelism, church planting, church development and relief ministries into the social and cultural context of the receiving people. It majors on preparing missionaries to plant Christianity in the soil of the targeted people group, so it will grow up within their context rather than to spread a veneer of Christian values over that culture. The contextualization of methodology, theology, and forms and expressions in the local church is discussed. The danger of Western values being expressed in biblical interpretation and the importance of taking into consideration the religious worldview and the definitions used in the receiving culture are discussed. Consideration is given as well to the differences of the cultural context within which the biblical text was written. This course also prepares pastors for multicultural situations in preaching and teaching ministries.

IM 8810 Cultural Anthropology for Ministry

This course provides basic understandings in cultural anthropology for effective cross-cultural and multicultural ministries. It shows the importance of knowing anthropological concepts to gain and maintain that effectiveness and gives the student an understanding of culture with its behavior, values, beliefs and assumptions. Among other concepts, the course covers social systems, roles and status, rites of passage, enculturation, acculturation and culture shock. Also discussed are cultural values on time, thinking, decision-making, morality, individualism, conflict, logic and ambiguity. It deals with the complexities of culture change and how worldview affects that change. Students will discover many of their own cultural values through the course, an essential element in understanding and working with a second culture.

IM 8620 Intercultural Communication

A basic understanding of this foundational element in all intercultural ministries is developed in the class and in assigned reading. Communication itself is discussed in its various facets, and then each facet is considered as to how it creates meaning in other cultures for real communication. Social, cultural, linguistic and psychological barriers to good communication in a second culture are considered. Other areas covered are intercultural education and leadership training.