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ThM in Intercultural Studies

School of Mission and Theology

The Master of Theology in Intercultural Studies (ThM ICS) equips pastors, mission and denominational leaders to meet the challenge of ministering in an increasingly complex, multiethnic, multinational world. Fuller’s ThM in Intercultural Studies also provides students who already have a master’s degree in a theological discipline with a missiological framework for further research and reflection. The program enables practitioners to pursue concentrated coursework in one area of missiological study, culminating in a reflective and research-based thesis. The ThM is designed as a one-year, self-contained degree, though it may be studied more slowly and can also act as a possible transition to the PhD in Intercultural Studies program.

1 year

Includes thesis

Professional development

Equips for global complexity


Prepares for PhD

Study with faculty like these:

David H. Scott

Assistant Professor of Intercultural Studies and Children at Risk and Associate Dean of the School of Mission and Theology

Kirsteen Kim

Paul E. Pierson Chair in World Christianity and Associate Dean for the Center for Missiological Research

Johnny Ramirez-Johnson

Professor of Anthropology, Profesor del Centro Latino

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To be considered for a ThM in Intercultural Studies, applicants will normally have earned a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree or its educational equivalent. This program can be completed in one calendar year, but can be extended by students desiring to attend part-time. Students begin in the Fall Quarter when they join the incoming PhD ICS students for classes. Application is through an online form, including transcripts and references, together with a writing sample and a statement of the proposed area of research for the thesis.

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 program. 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.)

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"I am incredibly grateful for my time at Fuller’s School of Intercultural Studies. My experience with world-class faculty and students from across the globe prepared me for a life of intercultural ministry, scholarly inquiry, and ultimately, to equip my students for a life service for Christ and his kingdom in diverse cities throughout the world."
– Craig Hendrickson, Program Head, BA in Evangelism and Discipleship, Moody Bible Institute (ThM ICS ’07)

Johnny Ramirez Johnson teaching


The ThM in Intercultural Studies degree, offered through Fuller's Center for Missiological Research (CMR), requires the successful completion of 36 units of coursework and the successful passing of a missiology comprehensive exam and a ThM thesis.

The ThM ICS program is designed for students who have already earned a Master of Divinity degree (or its educational equivalent). Candidates may be pastors, or mission and denominational leaders, who wish to be equipped with a missiological framework to meet the challenge of ministering in an increasingly complex, multiethnic, multinational world. The ThM ICS builds on the student’s prior biblical, theological, and historical studies and enables practitioners to pursue concentrated coursework culminating in a reflective and research-based thesis.

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Fuller's annual Missiology Lectures bring in the top scholars from around the world to interact with the Fuller academic community.

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Students admitted to the ThM in Intercultural Studies join a cohort of PhD and ThM students learning together in a diverse community of scholars. This collegiality is lived in important ways through the Center for Missiological Research (CMR), which is made up of PhD and ThM students in all years of the program (totalling more than 50), plus faculty, and visiting scholars through the Global Research Institute. As befits missiology, PhD and ThM ICS students come from all continents, and students and faculty share intercultural and transnational research interests. The CMR administers the ThM program, connects students together across different year groups, and arranges shared activities for all members of CMR. The center’s activities include regular academic colloquia, informal fellowship, spiritual formation events, and special lectures, such as the annual Missiology Lectures.

Amos Yong in Office

Residence and Study Process

ThM ICS courses are taken as a cohort together with PhD ICS students and also selected from masters' level offerings.

The program requires three quarters of residence in Pasadena, California. Classes are held both on campus and online.

In the Spring and Summer, with an advisor, students will design and write a thesis in a topic that interests them.

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FULLER dialogues: Migration in Missiological Perspective

Leading scholars take a deep dive into Los Angeles’s unique history and culture to explore wider issues of migration, transnationalism, and interfaith engagement through a missiological perspective.

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Get to know your admissions counselor | Joel Short

I came to study at Fuller in 2004 and have worked on Fuller’s admissions team since I graduated in 2007. I am inspired by the many people I meet who are seeking to change the world by changing hearts and minds. I am privileged to listen to so many wonderful stories and to help pour light on the path. I love history and enjoy books, podcasts, museums, maps, antiques and anything else that helps me understand how the past relates to the present and the future.

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