Doctor of Missiology

The Doctor of Missiology program is designed for Missionaries, Church Planters, Sending Pastors, and Administrators/Teachers providing advanced formal education, guided reading in pertinent missiological literature, field experience, mentoring, and supervision.

Strong cohort-based study combined with a variety of research and practice emphases allow students to combine academic excellence with ministry application.

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Program Goals


Students will demonstrate a mastery of the philosophical, historical, biblical, and anthropological disciplines rooted in a graduate-level understanding of the missiological disciplines.


Students will demonstrate the capacity to serve as field experts through classroom, research, and practical experience teaching pastors in a variety of settings.


Students will apply ethnographic research and missiological principles to identify effective strategies for reaching and teaching peoples of other worldviews in culturally appropriate ways.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to conduct cross-cultural ministry at an advanced level.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to use standard research tools and methods in the chosen field of study.
  • Students will be able to plan and conduct research in the area of specialization and to communicate its results effectively.


Total Program Hours




Unreached People Groups

Program of Study
Guided Mentorship 6
Thesis 6
Missiological Research Seminars 4
Foundational SeminarsCoursework covers topics such as:


  • Intercultural Evangelism
  • Church Planting
  • Sending Church
  • World Religions
  • Theological Education
  • Business as Mission
Total Program Requirements 64

Language Requirement

A working knowledge of one modern language (other than English) is required. The faculty supervisor must approve the language. The decision as to the language to be learned will take into consideration the student’s area of specialization, the field language that is appropriate to his or her missions work, and particular needs. Students for whom English is a second language may substitute English for the modern language.

A student demonstrates a working knowledge of a language by earning a passing grade either in a non-credit course offered under faculty supervision or on a doctoral language proficiency examination.

Comprehensive Examinations

Comprehensive examinations are written examinations that correspond to the student’s doctoral study. Although doctoral seminars help to develop the student’s knowledge, they are not sufficient to acquire the breadth of knowledge that competency in a field mandates. Thus, preparation for comprehensive exams will begin immediately upon acceptance into the doctoral program and continue until the time that comprehensive examinations are taken. Guidance toward developing a plan of preparation for the exams will be offered by the student’s faculty supervisor.

A student may not be on Interrupted Status during the semester he or she takes the comprehensive examination. A notice of intention to take the comprehensive examination should be submitted to the Director of the Doctor of Missiology Program at the beginning of the semester when the examination will be taken.

In order to pass the comprehensive examination, the student must earn a score of “B” (3.0 on a 4.0 scale). If the student receives a grade lower than a “B”, his performance will be reviewed. Permission for a second examination may be granted. A second failure on the comprehensive examinations will result in forfeiture of Doctor of Missiology candidacy status.


Request More Information About Doctoral Studies at Southern

“My studies at Southern have not only broadened my understanding concerning the mission of God and the urgency of the mandate of the Great Commission, but have also deepened and renewed my vision and passion for the Christian mission.”

Isaiah Olatoyan
Assistant Lecturer at the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary
D.Miss., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary


Thank you for your interest in the doctoral program at Southern Seminary. The following information is designed to give you insight into the D.Miss. application process. The D.Miss. application process occurs in three phases, which are described below. You can also look at the D.Miss. Program Process for a checklist of the steps that need to be taken.

Phase One

Interested students should first examine the Admissions Requirements for the D.Miss. program to ensure that they meet the minimum standards to apply and understand what they have to include with the application.

Second, students will submit an application for the D.Miss. program to our Admissions office. Because the application includes several parts, we recommend that you submit as many parts as you can, as soon as you can. It normally takes a minimum of 1-2 months to turn in all the parts to the application. Please be aware that it can take up to a month for GRE scores to be sent to us after taking the exam. Your application must be fully complete in the Admissions Office prior to the stated application deadline to be considered.

The application deadline for summer matriculation is January 15.

The application deadline for winter matriculation is August 1.

Phase Two

After the application deadline, qualified students will progress to the second phase of the application process. In this phase, students will be given a D.Miss. Entrance Examination and will compose a 2000 word essay using the D.Miss. Entrance Exam Reader.

Once the applicant has completed the D.Miss. Entrance Exam a faculty interview will be scheduled. Faculty interviews provide our professors the opportunity to interact with applicants and allow applicants the chance to get to know the faculty. Students should prepare to discuss not only their research interests but also their personal interests.

Admission Prerequisites

  • Students desiring admission to the D.Miss. program must have earned a regionally-accredited Master of Divinity, a Master of Arts in Missiology, or its equivalent from a regionally accredited or ATS accredited seminary.
  • Students having earned a Master’s degree but lacking required hours may complete the additional hours through online or on-campus study at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
  • The student must have completed his or her Master’s degree with a minimum grade point average of B+ (3.3 on a 4.0 scale).
  • In most cases, a minimum of two years of appropriate field experience in cross-cultural ministry.

Actions Required for Admission

  • TOEFL: Non-native English speakers, including those who have graduated from any U.S. school, must submit an official score report of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). TOEFL scores must meet a minimum of 95 for internet-based test (iBT), 233 for computer-based test (CBT) or 575 for paper-based test (PBT).
  • D.Miss. Entrance Exam: Successful completion of a written qualifying exam. The essay will help determine the applicants quality and style of writing.
  • GRE: All students must submit an official copy of the GRE score. All test scores must be less than three years old and must be officially submitted to the Admissions Office by December 1 in order to be considered for admission into the following Winter term.
  • Interview: The faculty from the D.Miss. program will schedule an interview with each applicant.
  • Research paper: A graduate-level research paper in a field related to leadership, education, or ministry be submitted with the application.
  • Vita: Students should also include with the application a personal vita, no more than two pages in length, which includes previous academic studies, rationale for doctoral studies, personal goals, area of research interest, and description of current and past missions experience.
$1,000 down payment, balance due equally over 36 months.
Total cost for SBC students $19,580
Total cost for non-SBC students $32,697

Students should allow at least three years of study to complete their program. Students who take longer than three years will be assessed an additional $2,000 fee for each semester of extension beyond the three-year limit. Under no circumstances shall a student extend the time of completion beyond six years.

An exception to these time limitations may be granted to students who are international missionaries and who study only during their periods of stateside assignment.

Next Steps

Be equipped to reach the nations.

Schedule a Doctoral Campus Visit

Visiting Southern will give you an opportunity to explore our beautiful campus and to get all of your important questions answered.

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Attend Preview Day

Southern Seminary hosts a Preview Day each Spring and Fall – attendees are automatically entered to win a $1000 scholarship.

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Request Information

Learn more about Southern. Discover how you can learn in Louisville so that you can advance the gospel to the ends of the earth.

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