A primarily online doctoral program for leaders with five or more years of mission or ministry experience, Fuller’s Doctor of Missiology helps students integrate theory and practical research to develop an individually tailored action plan to effect change in their service context. Guided by experienced faculty and studying with a consistent cohort of peers who encourage, sharpen, and support one another, DMiss students grow holistically as missional leaders and change agents.


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An Individually Tailored Program

Customize your research to accomplish concrete change in your specific context

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Collaborative Community

Be stretched, challenged, and supported by peers within your cohort community

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Holistic Formation

Access the guidance to grow as a leader academically, personally, socially, and spiritually

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An Accessible Format

Develop your ministry effectiveness without leaving your context of service

Upcoming Cohorts

DMiss students progress through the program with the same group—or “cohort”—of 8 to 12 students, led by cohort faculty mentors. Cohort members interact online and then meet face-to-face at annual on-campus intensives that many students count as a highlight of their year.

Fall 2018 - General Missiology Cohort

Fall 2018 General Missiology Cohort


Cohort Mentors:
Dr. Elizabeth (Betsy) Glanville and Dr. Donna Downes

Early Application Deadline:
May 4, 2018

Application Deadline:
August 3, 2018

Term Begins:
September 24, 2018


Cohort Face-to-Face Class Dates (Module 1):
November 26–December 7, 2018
Location: Pasadena, California

Admission Requirements
Four-Year Schedule

Spring 2019 - General Missiology Cohort

Spring 2019 General Missiology Cohort


Cohort Mentors:
Dr. Mark Hopkins and Dr. Andy Myers, with Dr. Alan Weaver, Dr. Charles Fleming

Early Application Deadline:
October 26, 2018

Application Deadline:
February 1, 2019

Term Begins:
April 1, 2019


Cohort Face-to-Face Class Dates (Module 1):
May 13 - 24, 2019
Location: Pasadena, California

Admission Requirements
Four-Year Schedule


When I joined the DMiss program I expected it to provide me with tools for greater effectiveness in my ministry. I did not realize it would be so much more, and would in fact become an academic and spiritual transition point to a place of increased influence and wider impact. I have seen this. I believe this is also true of the majority of my cohort members.

—Andrew Mkwaila, Pastor and Professor, Lilongwe, Malawi

In the DMiss program I have been able to blend my unique interests of mission with healthcare administration. I would encourage anyone interested to explore the options and follow their passion—Fuller’s faculty are so encouraging and work hard to help each student succeed. Starting a doctorate can seem overwhelming, but the cohort and faculty are there each step of the way.

—Elisa Blethen, Professor and Program Director, Yucaipa, California

The DMiss is designed to help you navigate a complex research process and lead you successfully to the finish line. The program quickly broadened my horizons and teased out some deep issues that became my primary research focus. I have found the process completely compatible with the contribution I want to make to the evangelical missions community.

—Jay Matenga Wood, Executive Officer of Missions Interlink, New Zealand


The following chart clarifies key differences between the DMiss and two other doctoral programs we offer: the PhD in Intercultural Studies and Doctor of Ministry degrees.

PhD in Intercultural Studies

Doctor of Missiology (DMiss)

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

Prepares scholars for research, writing, and teaching Equips leaders for research and missionally informed action Shapes leaders theologically and practically to engage ministry challenges
Research focus with emphasis on development of theory Applied research with emphasis on introducing positive change in your particular context of service Content focus with emphasis on providing theological insight and skills for ministry
Language requirement: Language proficiency appropriate to proposed research Language requirement: None Language requirement: Some Greek or Hebrew (requirement can be met within DMin program)
Program structured around tutorials and dissertation in a community of scholars Program structured around cohort-community based modules and an applied research dissertation Program structured around courses and ministry project (through either cohort or personalized tracks)
3–5 years to complete (full-time) 4 years to complete (part-time) 4–6 years to complete (part-time)
Residential with 18-month minimum requirement Non-residential with 4 on-campus intensives (3 are two-week and 1 is one-week) Non-residential with 3–5 one- to two-week intensives, as well as online courses
Program: 64 units Program: 48 units Program: 48, 60, or 64 units, depending on previous degree work

Note about degree nomenclature: Students in the DMiss degree program may elect to have their doctorate degree designated as a Doctor of Missiology (DMiss) or as a Doctor of Intercultural Studies (DIS). These are two different names for the same degree; the DIS is distinct from the PhD in Intercultural Studies referenced in the chart above.

For further information on this process, contact the DMiss Coordinator at


Alan Weaver Headshot

Alan Weaver

Affiliate Professor of Leadership

I see my role as a coach, helping students explore the issues they are facing, identify obstacles, and discuss how to move forward. My most treasured moments are when they come back from their field research with excitement about what they learned and a renewed hope and passion for their ministry. It's a joy when a student has an ‘aha moment’ in which new insight helps them to put the pieces together in a new way.

Betsy Glanville

Senior Assistant Professor of Leadership

It’s so rewarding to see how our DMiss students’ lives and ministries are changed as a result of doing field research, listening deeply to people in their context, and then working with these same people to find solutions and bring change in challenging situations. It is always amazing when God uses our content and lesson plans, along with the student’s hard work, to bring life transformation in the journey together.

Peter Lim

Headington Assistant Professor of Global Leadership Development

I was very impressed with how members of a recent cohort sharpened each other’s research through critical thinking and constructive interactions. The cohort-based model helps foster a strong sense of togetherness and encourages the forming of a consortium for paradigm-shift practices.


The DMiss is a four-year, part-time program, consisting of annual 9-month modules requiring an average time commitment of 12–16 hours per week. The program is primarily online, with just one on-campus visit each year (two-week visits in years 1–3 and one week in year 4) for face-to-face connecting, study, and rejuvenation. Students apply missiological and theological principles to a specific need for change in their context, engaging in research that culminates in a practical dissertation that includes a robust action plan.

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Admissions Deadlines


The DMiss is a 48-unit program (12 quarter units per year); please check the Tuition and Fees schedule for current per-unit tuition rates. Students should also consider the cost of books, as well as travel and lodging for the annual intensives. All students may apply for the need-based Charles E. Fuller scholarship, and returning students are eligible to apply annually for endowed scholarships.

Learn more about financial aid.

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If you have any questions or would like more information about the Doctor of Missiology degree, please contact us.

Our offices are open Monday to Thursday from 8 am to 5 pm, and 10 am to 5 pm on Friday (Pacific Time).