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.
Examples of courses in this major:
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.
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.
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.
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.
The individuals who will challenge you to learn:
B.S. in Communication, Ohio University; M.Div., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Ph.D. in Biblical Theology (New Testament), Wheaton College
Matt Harmon brings a passion to equip people to encounter Christ through the Scriptures and lead others to do so as well. His research interests include the use of the Old Testament in the New Testament, Biblical Theology, Pauline studies, and the life/ministry/theology of Jonathan Edwards. He served as full-time staff with Campus Crusade for Christ for eight years, doing evangelism and discipleship with college students. He taught courses at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Wheaton College as well as in the local church. On a regular basis, Harmon also teaches for Campus Crusade for Christ, helping to train staff in interpreting and teaching Scripture. In his spare time, Harmon also teaches training workshops for Bibleworks. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Society for Biblical Literature. Harmon and his wife, Kate, have two sons.
B.A. in Christian Education, Wheaton College; M.A. in Christian Education, Talbot School of Theology; Ph.D. in Educational Studies (Character Development and Spiritual Formation), Talbot School of Theology
Christy Hill brings her passion and training in spiritual formation to facilitate the holistic development of students while at Grace. Her research interests include personal and interpersonal development with empirical work conducted in the area of adult attachment styles and relationship with God variables. She taught at Biola University and Talbot School of Theology before coming to Grace in 2006. While she focuses primarily in women's ministries, she has served in a variety of leadership roles cross-culturally, in the local church and in the para-church context. Hill has developed a number of Bible study materials, published in the Christian Education Journal and presented research findings at the North American Professors of Christian Education Conference, a society of which she is a member. Christy is married to Jim, who also teaches at Grace in the prison extension program.
B.A. in Pastoral Studies, Moody Bible Institute; M.Div., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Th.M. in Practical Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; D.Min. in Preaching, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Rock LaGioia has been heavily involved in pastoral work since 1987. A member of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and the Evangelical Theological Society, he has authored numerous magazine articles and written book reviews. LaGioia has taught a wide variety of college courses such as spiritual formation, preaching and theology at Moody Bible Institute and Taylor University. He has also taught graduate level homiletics and theology courses at Trinity International University and Huntington University Graduate School. LaGioia and his wife, Kathy, have been blessed with two sons.
Diploma in Advanced German, Goethe Institute; B.A. in History, Grace College; M.Div., Grace Theological Seminary; D.Min. in Intercultural Studies, Grace Theological Seminary
Roger Peugh came to Grace in the fall of 1989 with three years of pastoral experience followed by 20 years of missionary experience as a church planter in Germany. While at Grace, he was involved as an elder in a church plant for 13 years. He is an active Bible conference speaker as well as guest-lecturer in several German Bible schools. In addition to his role as professor in the School of Ministry Studies, Peugh serves Grace College as campus prayer coordinator and is serving as the interim dean of chapel. Peugh, who has authored books on the topic of prayer, is married to Nancy, and they have four children and eight grandchildren.
B.S. in Urban and Regional Planning, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; M.Div. in Biblical Languages, Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary; Ph.D. in Theological Studies (Old Testament), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Tiberius Rata came to Grace Theological Seminary from Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama, where he served as assistant professor of divinity. Before that, he taught at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois, and Emmanuel Baptist University in Oradea, Romania. He has also pastored churches in California and Alabama and served as an interim pastor in Michigan and Indiana. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Institute for Biblical Research and has presented papers at the national conventions of the Evangelical Theological Society. Rata is chair of the undergraduate Department of Biblical Studies. He and his wife, Carmen, have two sons.
B.A. in Communications, Grace College; Th.M. in Bible Exposition, Dallas Theological Seminary; D.Miss., Western Baptist Seminary
Tom Stallter has 18 years of missionary experience in the Central African Republic and Chad in the areas of church planting and development, leadership training, mission administration, and famine and economic relief. In addition to his teaching in the School of Ministry Studies, Stallter is the executive director of the Grace Theological Seminary's Center for Korean Studies. Areas of research for Stallter include cultural intelligence, business as mission, multicultural worship, ethics in missions, cultural values, cultural identity assessment, culture discovery and matching missionary candidates to contexts. He is a member of the Evangelical Missiological Society and the National Ministerium of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches. Stallter and his wife, Sharon, have three grown children and one granddaughter.
B.S. in Psychology, The Ohio State University; M.Div., Grace Theological Seminary; D.Min. in Pastoral Studies, Denver Seminary
Jeffrey Gill was the senior pastor of the Delaware, Ohio Grace Brethren Church for 20 years (1982 to 2002). He started at the church when it was little more than a church plant. It experienced substantial growth over the years and is now well-known in the FGBC as a healthy and influential church body. He assumed the role of dean of Grace Theological Seminary in July, 2002. In 2008, he was named dean of the School of Ministry Studies, which includes both the Seminary and the undergraduate Biblical Studies Department at Grace. He was the National Moderator of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches in 2002. He and his wife, Kathy, have two grown daughters.
Some of the positions you can obtain:
Immersion within and forming relationships with the people of another culture with the purpose of sharing Christ in word and in deed. Oftentimes, missionaries will form relationships through the application of their gifts and talents, meeting the needs of the people within the culture. Those talents may be in the areas of construction, agriculture, literacy, teaching or business, to name a few.