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The Doctor of Missiology program at GMU Graduate School is designed to serve experienced Christian leaders who wish to enhance their professional competence, to seek personal renewal and growth, and to develop an advanced understanding of preaching, missions, or church music. The program is a minimum of three years in length and requires the completion of 43 semester hours of course work, including an eight-units dissertation project. It takes normally 3 years to complete the program.



The purpose of Grace Mission University Graduate School Doctor of Missiology is to advance theologically competent leadership in a global context by equipping students with advanced knowledge and skill sets that integrate the study of theology, history, social sciences, and missiology with a variety of cognate disciplines that enhance advanced ministerial practice. Furthermore, GMU’s DMiss provides the education to complete the doctoral project, thesis, or culminating dissertation research project.


Program Learning Objectives

The Program Learning Objectives (PLO) of GMU DMiss Degree demonstrates an advanced competency in the practice of ministry; give evidence of being informed by analytic, ministerial, and disciplinary research; and show the integration of these areas of advanced knowledge with opportunities for growth in one’s ministerial capacity and spiritual maturity. The following are the Program Learning Objectives of GMU DMiss Program:

PLO1. To equip leaders in the mission field to be competent in cross-cultural ministries through a balanced training of academic reflections and practical applications.

PLO2. To improve the students’ research methods and skills for the in-depth research that can practically and immediately affect the missional and pastoral ministries.

PLO3. To activate and maximize the potential of leaders in relevant organizations or institutions with academically and spiritually enhanced skills.


Admission Requirements of Doctoral Program

Applicants must have completed the Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent with at least a 3.0 GPA from an accredited school. In addition, applicants must have at least three years of ministry or missional experience and be currently involved in a ministry.


Hours of Instruction for Doctoral program

The instructions of DMiss program are given in intensive forms. All students must take the intensive instructions every semester. The total hours of instruction are 40 hours per course, 8 hours per day, one week instruction (5 days). Students can take 1-3 courses per semester. The regular course weights 4 units and one unit for Dissertation Writing Skills (8 instruction hours). Full-time student must take 9 units per semester. Therefore the full-time student must take two regular courses (8 units) and the Dissertation Writing Skills (1 unit) course every semester. The total instruction for a semester takes 88 instruction hours (11 days). Full-time student is required to take at least 9 units per semester.

  • Total hours of instruction per course: 40 hours (complete a “4 units-course” in a week)
  • Total hours of instruction per week: 40 hours
  • The total instruction hours per semester: 9 unit hours
  • The total instruction days per semester: 11 days in intensive form
  • Total hours to complete DMiss program: 43 unit hours (3 years, 6 semesters)

The classes of Spring Semester start on the second Monday in January. After taking the intensive instruction in January, student must complete assignment until April 30.

The classes of Fall Semester start on the second Monday in June. After taking the intensive instruction in June, student must complete assignment until November 30.

Graduation Requirements

The Doctor of Missiology curriculum consists of 3 core seminars (12 units); 5 seminars (20 units) in preaching, missions or church biblical study concentration; dissertation writing skills (3 units) and an acceptable dissertation-project (8 units) within six years. All students must achieve at least a 3.3 GPA. Total requirements: 43 semester hours

Core Requirements: 12 Semester Hours

  • Cross-cultural Counseling (4)
  • Theology of Ministry (4)
  • Theology of Mission (4)

Concentration Requirements: 20 Semester Hours

Preaching Concentration Requirements

  • Communication and Preaching (4 Units)
  • Theology of Preaching (4)
  • Biblical Preaching (4)
  • Preaching the Literary Forms of the Bible (4)
  • Issues in Contemporary Preaching (4)

Missions Concentration Requirements

  • Biblical Foundations of Mission (4 Units)
  • Local Congregation as Mission (4)
  • World Mission History (4)
  • Doing Theology in Context (4)
  • Church Growth in the Korean Context (4)

Dissertation Project

The final stage of the Doctor of Missiology program consists of the preparation of a dissertation. The subject matter of the dissertation must be examined and approved by the DMiss Committee. The dissertation project is considered an applied research and the topic may be the expansion of one of the course projects.

  • The student must establish a clear relationship of the chosen subject with preaching, missions, or church music.
  • The student must prepare a dissertation proposal in consultation with the advisor.
  • The dissertation proposal must include: the proposed title, a statement of the importance of the proposed research, a provisional outline and overall plan of the project, a statement of research methodology, and a preliminary bibliography.
  • The final dissertation should be 150-200 pages in length.

Course Format

Incorporating the theoretical, practical, and collegial aspects of the learning experience, each doctoral course is structured to include the following three components.

Preliminary Reading

The reading assignment must be completed prior to the classroom experience, fulfilling a requirement of 2,400-2,500 pages for a four-units course. The reading provides the theoretical basis for analysis and integration of the course topic.

Classroom Experience

Classroom experience is in concentrated sessions during one-week residency periods held in January, July, and August. The residency periods involve interaction with a faculty instructor in a peer learning, seminar format. The faculty instructor serves as a facilitator of discussion in a collegial atmosphere, using his or her academic and practical experience to bring in-depth analysis, critical thinking, integration, and application to the topic.

Course Project

An extensive post-classroom project provides an opportunity to synthesize the reading and the classroom discussions and apply them to a practical situation. The results of this reflection are then submitted in a paper with a minimum length of 5,000 words (20 pages).


Concentrations for the Doctor of Missiology degree are:

  • Preaching
  • Missions

Preaching Concentration


The preaching concentration seeks to:

  • foster in experienced preachers a deeper theological understanding of preaching rooted in God’s communicative act in the Scriptures;
  • equip preachers to enhance their professional skills as communicators of the Bible; and
  • equip preachers to develop a deeper understanding of their congregation’s spiritual, social, psychological, and other needs;
Learning Outcomes

Upon completing this concentration, students will be able to:

  • demonstrate various professional communicative skills and strategies in preaching;
  • articulate a deeper view of preaching rooted in God’s communicative action in the Scriptures;
  • consider the literary features and rhetorical dynamics of various biblical genres in hermeneutical and homiletical processes;
  • identify and appropriate creative developments contemporary American preaching; and
  • value the importance of spiritual formation in both its personal and communal dimensions.

Missions Concentration


The missions concentration seeks to:

  • foster in missional leaders a deeper theological understanding of mission rooted in the mission of God revealed in the Scriptures;
  • enhance missional leaders’ professional skills vital for cross-cultural ministries; and
  • equip missional leaders to develop missional theology and strategy for a local church.
Learning Outcomes

Upon completing this concentration, students will be able to:

  • articulate a clear understanding of the mission of God and of the church from an evangelical missiological perspective;
  • identify historical processes and key figures in major missionary movements and research principal mission theories and strategies;
  • demonstrate professional skills in building networks of relationships with sensitivity to cultural and ethnic diversity;
  • demonstrate critical reasoning and other vital skills for communicating the gospel cross-culturally; and
  • value the importance of spiritual formation in both its personal and communal dimensions.

All applicants to the DMiss degree program must have a MDiv degree or its equivalent and at least three years of professional ministry experience. However, those who do not have a MDiv degree but have a Master’s degree from an accredited school may fulfill the requirement by completing 12 units of master’s-level theological work at GMU Graduate School prior to their admission. Other prerequisites for the church music concentration include:


Core Courses

Theology of Ministry (4)

This course seeks to equip students with theological foundations for church ministry. It offers students an opportunity to pursue theological inquiry in view of a ministry-specific need, problem or challenge they are facing. It serves as a research tool related to the student’s dissertation project, informing the theological/biblical foundations component.

Thesis Workshop (4)

This course provides an overview of the major components of a DMiss dissertation, teaches how to develop a dissertation proposal, and equips students to develop research and writing skills.

Preaching Courses

Communication and Preaching (4)

This course is designed to enhance communication skills of preachers. Specifically, it seeks to equip them to be sensitive to the nature and needs of the postmodern audience, to apply effective communication principles and methods, and to use diverse sermonic forms.

Theology of Preaching (4)

This course focuses on a theological understanding of the practice of preaching rooted in God’s communicative action revealed in the Scriptures. How is Christian preaching related to God’s revelation?  This course also considers the function of theology in preaching. How do our claims about God inform and give substance to our sermons?

Biblical Preaching (4)

This course is an advanced study of the theological and homiletical dimensions of preaching. It focuses on contemporary methods of effective communication of the message of the Bible to modern audience. It deals with such issues as sermonic form and language, hermeneutical and homiletical tasks, and the relationship between the preacher and the congregation.

Preaching the Literary Forms of the Bible (4)

This course is stresses the importance of the literary genres in interpreting the text and shaping the sermon. It offers the student an opportunity to study the unique literary and rhetorical features of biblical narratives, epistles, apocalyptic literature, poems, and proverbs with a view to incorporating them into sermons.

Issues in Contemporary Preaching (4)

This course is designed to help student research a variety of issues and developments in contemporary American and Korean homiletics. This course offers students an opportunity to assess Korean preaching from historical and homiletical perspectives and to interact with new creative preaching styles that have been advanced in recent years by American homileticians.

Missions Courses

Biblical Foundations of Mission (4)

An advanced examination of the biblical and theological foundations of mission, encompassing the mission of God expressed in his relationship with his people, the mission of Jesus Christ, and the mission of the Church from Pentecost onward. This course also examines various modern theologies of mission from the evangelical perspective.

The Local Church as Mission (4)

This course enables students to develop a missiological understanding of the local church. It also develops a wide range of skills related to equipping a local congregation to be open to ministry in the world. It deals with issues related to creating and implementing mission strategy for a local church.

World Mission History (4)

This course studies the historical developments of Christianity in different regions of the world. It focuses on assessing the formation, structure and socio-cultural effects of modern missionary movements. Students will become familiar with key figures and thinkers and their strategies and impact.

Doing Theology in Context (4)

This is an advanced study of contemporary attempts to interpret and express the Christian faith with specific considerations of different socio-political contexts. It will enable students to be sensitive to and critically interact with social, cultural realities and to critically assess contemporary models of theological contextualization.

Church Growth in the Korean Context (4)

An advance understanding of church growth concepts and principles as related to the local congregation, with due emphasis on the Korean context. It encompasses the history of the Church Growth Movement and a wide range of current theological and practical issues related to growth of a local congregation.