Christian Missions

The Ph.D. in Christian Missions prepares students to be great commission scholars who are thoroughly equipped to take the gospel to the nations. This degree is offered in a modular format and focuses on the theological, historical, and methodological aspects of Christian missions.


Incoming Ph.D. students are matched with a supervisor from our world-class faculty who shares their research interests. The professor who can supervise students in this area are:
Dr. John Klaasseem headshot

John Klaassen

Research Interests:

  • Contextualization
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Bible Translation
  • Marketplace Ministries
Dr. J. Keith McKinley headshot

J. Keith McKinley

Research Interests:

  • Theology Philosophy and Practice of Missions
  • Church Planting
  • Leadership
Dr. George Martin headshot

George H. Martin

Seminars provide students the opportunity to engage in focused study on key subjects in their academic discipline.  Below are a few examples of Christian Missions courses:

86105 History of MIssions and Evangelism

This course studies the missionary expansion of Christianity with particular emphasis on the development of evangelistic methods and missionary strategies in various periods and regions.

86150 Leadership in Missions and Evangelism

This course is an introduction to the theory, theology, and practice of leadership as it pertains to Christian missions and evangelism.

86110 Ethnographic Research and Worldview Identification

Ethnographic qualitative research focuses on understanding and describing, rather than predicting or controlling, human cultures and intercultural interaction.  Most missionary anthropologists find that these qualitative research methods are more appropriate to the study of human life and cultures in context.  This course will study the various methods, resources, and tools for ethnographic research and worldview identification to fulfill the Great Commission.

88630 Spiritual Warfare in Evangelism and Missions

This course examines spiritual warfare, with a particular emphasis on the relationship between warfare and evangelism and missions

88010 World Religions Survey

This course focuses on the traditions of Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Animism.  Specific attention is given to religious thought, sacred literature, rituals, social and cultural practices, and various expressions of traditions in the modern West. It will also evaluate practical implementation of missiological issues.

86160 Contemporary Issues in Missions

This course is a forum for doctoral students and faculty to explore theological, philosophical, historical, and social scientific assumptions and issues in missions and evangelism.


If you are interested in applying for the Ph.D. in this area of study, learn more about the Admissions Process. To prepare for the field essay in this area of study, consult the study guide.


Next Steps

Advance your theological education while your love for God grows.

Visit Campus

Visiting Southern will give you an opportunity to explore our beautiful campus and get all of your questions answered.  Schedule an individual visit or visit with a group.



Attend Preview Day

Southern Seminary hosts a Preview Day each spring and fall.  During this event, doctoral students additionally meet with a panel of doctoral studies faculty.



Request Information

If you would like to receive more information about any of our programs at Southern, please feel free to reach out to the admissions office!