Missiology Th.D. in collaboration with Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Since 2007 the BU School of Theology and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary have collaborated to offer a joint Doctor of Theology program in Missiology. This program combines the Boston University School of Theology’s broad academic resources as a mainline theological institution with a respected, university-based doctoral degree; and Gordon-Conwell’s recognized faculty, research facilities and worldwide contacts as one of the largest evangelical seminaries in North America. Gordon-Conwell resources for doctoral students include faculty in missiology, apologetics, theology and church history. The extensive library holdings of its three campuses in South Hamilton and Boston, Massachusetts, and Charlotte, North Carolina, include the urbanology collection of its multicultural, multiethnic campus in inner city Boston, the Center for Urban Ministerial Education (CUME). The Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell, with the research strengths of internationally recognized statisticians Drs. David Barrett and Todd Johnson, editors of the World Christian Encyclopedia (Oxford University Press) serves as a resource for the study and understanding of Christianity internationally. The J. Christy Wilson, Jr. Center for World Missions offers lectures, events and overseas missions opportunities for students, and resources for missions scholars-in-residence.  For more information about the program, see its original Joint ThD Program Press Release

About the Program

The Missiology departments at Boston University School of Theology and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary enjoy a close working relationship.  This relationship benefits students who study Missiology in either school, as they can utilize the academic resources of both institutions.  A result of this collaboration is the Doctor of Theology program in Missiology offered jointly by the Boston University School of Theology and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.  Though the program is fully administered through the School of Theology, and offers a Boston University degree at its completion, students in the joint ThD program in Missiology may have doctoral advisers from either institution.  Library and classroom resources are also shared.

The following professors are approved core faculty for the program:

From Gordon-Conwell: Todd Johnson, Peter Kuzmič,  Garth Rosell, Jack Davis, and Kevin Xiyi Yao.

From Boston University: John Berthrong, Marthinus Daneel, Dana Robert, and Bryan Stone.

Application Procedures:

All applications for the joint-Th.D. program should be made through Boston University School of Theology, which handles all aspects of the application process.  See the “Application” section of this website to access the STH online application.  The description for the Th.D. found in the School of Theology’s online Bulletin is also the basic description for the Joint Doctoral program, so applicants should apply answering the requirements for that program.  In addition, there is one additional essay required for the application to the Joint Doctoral program:

  • What are your specific interests in the proposed degree program?  Applicants should include a request for both a major and a minor discipline, with a description of what you wish to study in each discipline and how you see the relationship between the two.

Applicants can get to know the approved professors from Gordon-Conwell via the GCTS website.  Applicants should consider their research interests and, in their additional essay question, express a preference for the Gordon-Conwell professor with whom they would like to work.  As part of the application process, applicants may be requested to have an admissions interview with one of the designated faculty from Boston University.  This interview may be conducted in person, by Skype, or by telephone (though in-person or Skype interviews are preferred).  Faculty from both institutions must approve an application before that person is offered admission to the program.  However, applicants need only to apply once, to the Boston University School of Theology, and its Admissions Office will coordinate the process between the two schools.


There are twelve courses in the joint Th.D. curriculum.  The six required courses as follows:

  • History of Christian Mission: This course will cover the chronology and historiography of Christian mission, as well as introduce students to methods and primary sources for historical research.
  • History of Missiology: This course surveys the history of the Protestant mission thought from the pietists and the Puritans through the mid-twentieth century.
  • Contemporary Missiology: This course covers key texts by major missiologists from the mid-twentieth century to the present.
  • Anthropology and Missions: This course introduces students to the methodologies of applied anthropology and case studies of missions in social context
  • Theology of Mission: This course proceeds systematically through theological perspectives on mission studies.
  • Theologies of Dialogue: This course introduces students to theological perspectives on the encounter of Christianity with other religions.

The other six courses will be selected by the student according to his/her plan of study, in consultation with the faculty advisors.  At least four must be taken from each institution.

For more information about the Th.D. program in general, please see:

ThD section of the STH Bulletin (click here for information about ThD curriculum and plans of study)

ThD Handbook (From the Advanced Studies Committee)