ThM in Intercultural Studies

Alum Shane McNary reflects on the beginnings of his work with the Roma people of Slovakia and an unusual church wedding.

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Program Overview

The Master of Theology in Intercultural Studies (ThM ICS) degree, offered through Fuller's Center for Missiological Research (CMR), equips pastors, mission and denominational leaders to meet the challenge of ministering in an increasingly complex, multiethnic, multinational world. The ThM in Intercultural Studies provides students, who have already earned the Master of Divinity degree (or its educational equivalent), with the missiological framework for research and reflection by building on the biblical, theological, and historical studies gained through their previous work. The program enables practitioners to pursue concentrated coursework in one area of missiological study, culminating in a reflective and research-based thesis.

Graduates from the ThM in Intercultural Studies should:

  • demonstrate the ability to do academic research in intercultural studies
  • demonstrate capacity in one discipline associated with the research area
  • demonstrate the ability to think missiologically


The ThM ICS requires the successful completion of 48 units of coursework:

  • Missiology as a Discipline sequence (8 800-level units)
  • Research courses (8 800-level units)
  • Specialization/elective courses (24 500-level units)
  • Thesis (8 800-level units)

This program can be completed in one calendar year, but can be extended by students desiring to attend part-time. The Missiology as a Discipline sequence (MI804 A, B, and C) begins in the Summer quarter each year, and continues during Fall and Winter quarters. Students may begin this sequence once they have completed at least 12 units of missiology, either as part of the ThM program or in prior master's-level coursework. Students must pass a comprehensive exam in Missiology before registering for the thesis. The requirements for the ThM degree must be completed within six years, dated from the first quarter of enrollment with the program.

ThM Curriculum Sheet

ThM Course Sequence


The ThM thesis (normally 50-100 pages of double-spaced text, inclusive of notes and bibliography) is designed to demonstrate the student's competence in his or her area of specialization. The guidelines and expectations for the thesis will be covered in the Thesis Design Course, which must be completed prior to beginning the thesis.

Relationship to PhD ICS

Aspects of the ThM ICS coursework are designed to mirror the first year of the PhD ICS program. As a result, the ThM can provide an excellent means of preparing an application for the PhD. Students who are admitted to the PhD prior to completing the ThM may be permitted to use some of their coursework toward the PhD. Please contact the admissions office for more details on this.

Residency Requirement

The Missiology as a Discipline sequence must be completed on the Pasadena campus (Summer, Fall, Winter). While in residence students are also expected to attend all Colloquia offered by the Center for Missiological Research (currently held four times per quarter).