Printer Friendly

Doctoral dissertations on mission: ten-year update, 2002-2011.

Every ten years the INTERNATIONAL BULLETIN OF MISSIONARY RESEARCH (IBMR) commissions a review of Englishlanguage dissertations related to Christian mission. (1) As in the past, the focus in this update is on research doctorates (such as the Ph.D. or Th.D.), not on professional doctorates (such as the D.Min. or D.Miss.). The first two IBMR reviews, for the years 1945-81 (by E. Theodore Bachmann) and 1982-91 (by William A. Smalley), focused exclusively on dissertations from North America. By contrast, the next review, 1992-2001 (by Stanley H. Skreslet), considered English-language dissertations from around the world, as indeed the present update does. While previous reviews were accompanied by a subject index and a complete list of dissertation titles, the current availability of electronic databases and search engines makes inclusion of such a listing and index of less strategic value. However, as in the past, we provide an overview of patterns and trends in research related to missiology and Christian mission.

Establishing Criteria for Inclusion

As a first step in preparing this review, it was essential to articulate criteria for selecting dissertations that fit the parameters of this assignment. If we think in terms of concentric circles, the inner circle of dissertations to be included was relatively easy to identify. Missiology itself constitutes an academic discipline with its own history of ideas and debates, its own journals, professional societies, departments and chairs, and leading scholars. With reference to this inner circle of dissertations, rather than imposing a conceptual grid for what was allowed to count as missiology, we simply included all dissertations formally emerging from, or linked to, recognized missiological institutions. In practical terms, this meant that if a dissertation was produced for a school or faculty of missiology/mission studies, then we included it in our list. Alternatively, if a dissertation explicitly self-identified as missiological or interacted substantively with missiological thought, we included it as well. All dissertation titles submitted to the IBMR, but not including those involving professional degrees (such as the D.Min. or D.Miss.), were included.

If we consider the scope of missiology to include whatever it is that dissertations focus on within missiology programs, one finds a wide variety of foci. These include research oriented toward church planting and church growth, Bible translation, church-to-church partnerships or parish twinning, mission theology, business and mission, human trafficking, children at risk, development and poverty alleviation, as well as research focused on younger churches and their relations with culture, society, and other religions, and research with a missional focus on Europe and North America.

The very breadth of missiology makes it difficult to establish formal criteria on what counts as missiological. Many noted missiologists did doctoral work in missiology proper, such as Douglas McConnell, Scott Moreau, Roger Schroeder, and Tite Tienou. But missiology is also interdisciplinary and thus has porous boundaries. It draws from a variety of cognate disciplines, with leading missiologists bringing strengths from other disciplines to missiology. One thinks of Miriam Adeney, Paul Hiebert, Louis Luzbetak, Alan Tippett, Darrell Whiteman, and Steve Ybarrola from anthropology; Duane Elmer and James Plueddemann from education; Steve Offut from sociology; Jehu Hanciles, Bonnie Sue Lewis, Dana Robert, Wilbert Shenk, and Andrew Walls from history; David Bosch from New Testament; Frances Adeney, Stephen Bevans, Darrell Guder, Robert Schreiter, and Charles Van Engen from theology; Charles Kraft, Eugene Nida, and Dan Shaw from linguistics/linguistic anthropology; and Robert Hunt, Terry Muck, Harold Netland, and J. Dudley Woodberry from comparative religions/philosophy of religion. What distinguishes these scholars as missiologists, in comparison to many others in these cognate disciplines, is that they participate in missiological conversations and professional meetings, they ground their work theologically, and they direct their writing and teaching in the service of Christian mission.

But much of the subject matter of interest to missiology is also of interest in other disciplines. Thus hundreds of historians around the world share a research interest in the history of Christian missions, although only a minority of these historians would wish to self-identify as missiologists or to ground their work in an explicit commitment to Christian mission. On a smaller scale, the "anthropology of Christianity" has recently emerged as an exciting new arena of anthropological research, with a focus on the same societies and churches that missiologists have historically studied. Only a minority of anthropologists of Christianity, however, would self-identify as Christian, and even fewer as missiologists.

That is, there are clearly many dissertations in a variety of disciplines whose subject matter is directly related to topics treated within missiology, although the authors would not wish to be considered missiologists. We wanted also to include these dissertations in the outer concentric ring, though written by authors not explicitly missiological and thus involving somewhat more subjective judgments as to their inclusion. The following is a summary of criteria for inclusion that were employed:

1. Dissertations completed within departments of missiology or mission studies.

2. Dissertations reported to the IBMR.

3. Dissertations that explicitly self-identify as missiological or that include sustained interaction with missiology or with notable missiologists.

4. Dissertations that focus on Christian missionaries, missionary institutions, mission-related practices, or mission theology.

5. Dissertations that focus on Christianity within North America or Europe (included only if they met one of the first four criteria above).

6. Dissertations that focus on Christianity in regions of the world besides North America or Europe, whether or not they met any of the first four criteria.

Resources for Compiling Our Data Set

As never before, dissertation information is available through online databases. Academic libraries, research organizations, and universities have collaborated to provide a research environment that is completely online and affords almost complete accessibility to scholarly dissertations worldwide. We began with the "Dissertation Notices" in the quarterly issues of the IBMR for the years 2002-11, which included 698 academic doctoral dissertations. Then we consulted Proquest Dissertations and Theses: UK & Ireland and Proquest Dissertations and Theses: A&I (an international database), which provided the largest and most comprehensive databases. These were less than complete, however, for regions outside of North America, Europe, and South Africa. So we extended the international scope of the data set by searching national databases from Australia (Council of Australian University Librarians), (2) Hong Kong (HKLIS Dissertations and Theses Collections and the HKU Scholars Hub), (3) India (Online Union Catalogue of Indian Universities and Shodhganga: A Reservoir of Indian Theses), (4) New Zealand (, (5) and the Philippines (National Library of the Philippines), (6) plus those available through WorldCatDissertations. (7)

We carried out keyword, phrase, and subject searches of these databases, using several dozen mission-related search terms, and then screened results in accord with the criteria summarized above. When some of the databases provided less than complete abstracts or lacked other information, Internet searches were conducted to assess whether the dissertation fit our criteria, and if so, to collect information relevant to the analysis provided in this article. In many cases, open access to the dissertation or its abstract was available through university library sites, Google Books, institutional web pages and/or social media, as well as personal websites. Eventually we arrived at our final list of 1,492 dissertations and entered the basic information upon which this analysis rests into our database.

Dissertations by Country

Altogether we collected information on 1,492 mission-related dissertations, a 61 percent increase from the 925 recorded for the previous decade. These dissertations were produced in institutions located in twenty-three different countries, as shown in table 1.

A 62 percent majority of the dissertations were from the United States, which represents a slight drop from 67 percent the previous decade. The United Kingdom produced 15.4 percent of these dissertations, virtually unchanged from the previous decade's 15.2 percent. Australia went from just 1.5 percent of the total to 6.6 percent, and the Philippines went from no dissertations at all to 1.3 percent of the total. Altogether, Asia expanded to 4.0 percent, from 1.2 percent in the previous decade. With the recent addition of a significant number of seminary-based, English-language Ph.D. programs in Africa and Asia, it is likely that accelerated shifts from these areas will be evident in the next ten years.

Dissertations by Ethnicity of Author

The fact that no English-language dissertations were produced within South Korea does not tell us anything about what percentage of the total dissertations were produced by Koreans. Unfortunately, dissertation databases provide no explicit or consistent information on the nationality or ethnic identity of the authors. But author names provide one clue. And so, in consultation with several missiologists with relevant expertise, (8) it was possible to achieve a consensus in the majority of cases on the ethnic identity of Korean and Chinese authors in our list based on their names. The dissertation focus often provided confirmatory support for this assessment of ethnic ancestry. The individuals whose names were understood as capable of being either Korean or Chinese, or whose identity was in doubt on other grounds, were investigated online, and in most cases we were able to learn the ethnic origins of the authors through information on the Internet, either correctly identifying them as Korean or Chinese or eliminating them as neither. Following this procedure--with a warning to readers that these numbers should be understood as approximate only--we calculate that 9.6 percent of these dissertations were written by individuals with Korean ancestry, and 4.4 percent were written by individuals with Chinese ancestry.

Again, while no English-language dissertations on our topic came from a Latin American country, and only two came from African countries other than South Africa, this tells us nothing about what percentage of authors were African or of Hispanic/ Latino ancestry. Since many people of European ancestry are citizens of African countries, their names provide no clue as to their citizenship. But if we provisionally limit ourselves to dissertations with an Africa-related focus whose authors have names that are not European, Korean, or Chinese--for example, names such as Nzuzi Mukuwa or Godfrey Ndubuisi--we calculate that roughly 12.9 percent of all our dissertations were written by Africans with African ancestry. By a similar process, we estimate that 4.7 percent of our total count were written by those of Indian ancestry, and roughly 2.5 percent by individuals with Hispanic/ Latino ancestry. Clearly evident in these dissertations is the trend for people from around the world to be researching and writing about the church and mission in their own contexts, with writers of European ancestry no longer having a near monopoly on the representation of others.

Most dissertations (73.4 percent) had a stated geographic or culture-region focus. Table 2 shows the breakdown in terms of geographic focus in comparison with that of the previous decade. The largest increase was in dissertations focused on Africa. Half of these Africa-focused dissertations appear to have been written by scholars themselves originally from Africa. And roughly half of the Africa-focused dissertations centered on five English-speaking countries: Nigeria (40), Kenya (35), South Africa (35), Ghana (27), and Uganda (25). By contrast, 80 percent of all African countries appeared on the list only once or twice, or not at all.

Dissertations focused on Asia continued to compose over a third of all geographically focused dissertations. Roughly 60 percent of these dissertations were written by scholars who by nationality or ethnicity were Burmese, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Thai, or Vietnamese. And over two-thirds (71 percent) were concentrated on five countries: South Korea (101), India (91), China (53), the Philippines (27), and Japan (23). The significant increase in dissertations focused on Oceania is largely due to work being done in the universities of Australia and New Zealand, which is where 85 percent of these dissertations were written. The relatively low proportion of dissertations focused on Europe and North America is partially because we required a higher threshold of inclusion to our database for dissertations focused here, as mentioned earlier. The decline in proportional attention to Latin America and the Caribbean merits attention.

Leading Degree-Granting Institutions

Table 3 shows the thirty institutions that granted ten or more academic doctorates in missiology in the decade. These institutions produced 51 percent of all dissertations on mission-related topics, while the other 49 percent were produced at another 296 institutions. The majority of these leading institutions are either in the United States or in the United Kingdom. As in the previous decade, Fuller Theological Seminary alone accounts for over 10 percent of all dissertations in our list.

It is worth considering historical trends in relation to leading institutions. Because the first two dissertation reviews included data only on North American institutions, and since nearly two-thirds of all dissertations are done in North America, a closer look at trends in North America merits our attention. Table 4 lists the top ten schools in North America for each period of time as a way of examining trends. The top school, measured purely by number of academic dissertations produced, is listed as 1, the second as 2, and so on.

Several observations are worth making. First, many of the leading schools of an earlier era subsequently dropped off the map. For example, the Kennedy School of Missions of the Hartford Seminary Foundation, where many notable missiologists earned their doctorates (including Dean Gilliland, Charles Kraft, and Charles Taber), showed up as number 7 on the earliest list, despite having closed its doors in the 1960s. Columbia University, where

Donald McGavran did his doctoral work, was number 3 on the early list but ceased to be a significant center for mission-related research in the 1980s. Indeed, with nine of the top ten schools currently seminaries, the only major university left in the top ten is Boston University, which is the only remaining "ranked top 'global' university that has missiology as a degree," including a doctoral program in mission studies. (9) While the growing focus on "world Christianity" at some universities (such as Emory and Baylor) may well place others on this list ten years from now, world Christianity is a somewhat different focus from missiology or mission studies, and the divergence will need to be carefully plotted.

In the earlier years, the majority of leading institutions that produced doctoral dissertations related to Christian mission were mainline Protestant. In the most recent decade the majority are evangelical Protestant. Two mainline Protestant schools, however, have consistently remained in the top ten: Princeton Theological Seminary and Boston University. Luther Seminary is the one additional mainline Protestant seminary in the most recent top ten listing, a newcomer to the list. Thus three of the top ten are mainline Protestant schools representing Presbyterian, Methodist, and Lutheran bodies. The other seven are evangelical Protestant, reflecting in part the current stronger support for the Christian missionary enterprise within evangelical circles. Apart from Boston University and Princeton Theological Seminary, only Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has consistently been on the list during all four periods. Only one Catholic institution (Catholic University of America) has periodically appeared on the top ten list. It failed to make the list this time, with seventeen other American institutions ahead of it.

Research Methods Employed

Dissertation abstracts often, though not always, provide information on the research methods employed. The majority of abstracts would have benefited from a clearer summary of method. In some cases, even abstracts were not available. But for 74 percent of the dissertations, enough information was available to code for the methodology employed, using a fairly basic coding system. Since abstracts did not consistently or clearly differentiate between purely interview-based methods and participant-observation methods, and indeed since many combined the two, these are coded together. Table 5 provides a breakdown in the percentages of dissertations using each method, including only the dissertations where it was possible to determine the methodology employed.

A variety of observations are possible here. First, it is worth noting that over 80 percent of the dissertations are empirically oriented, and not purely abstract or theological. Stanley Skreslet has suggested that many leading mission theologians are "prone to a preference for the abstract over the particular" and thus formulate definitions of missiology that "tend to obscure the broad scope of contemporary research on missiology." (10) That is, if one looks at the subjects of missiologists' dissertations, there is a mismatch between many of the textbook definitions of missiology and what actually happens at the cutting edge of dissertation research. Even if we limit ourselves to looking only at the inner circle of dissertations that are explicitly missiological, this conclusion appears to hold true. For example, if we examine dissertations written at schools accredited by the American Association of Theological Schools (ATS), only 24 percent are purely library based--that is, limited to exegetical, theoretical, and theological treatments. This is admittedly higher than the 12 percent of dissertations in other American institutions that are purely library based. But the majority are clearly focused on empirical research of historical or contemporary realities related to the ways in which Christians attempt to live out Christian mission, which is not to say that many of these do not also include theological considerations.

Only 4.3 percent of dissertations involve a primary focus on questionnaire-based research, although an additional 11.5 percent use mixed methods that include at least some questionnaire-based data. Overall, the amount and quality of the quantitative research coming out of missiological schools appears to be low. If one adds the mixed-methods dissertations that include interviewing or participant observation and the subset of historically oriented dissertations that make use of oral history interviews (4.3 percent) to the dissertations using only interviews and/or participant observation, fully 34.7 percent make use of interviewing and/or participant observation in their dissertations. And if we limit ourselves to ATS-accredited schools, this usage of interviews and/or participant observation comes to 48.4 percent of the total. A majority of these, in addition to the 6.2 percent from ATS schools that use primarily survey data, seem to have at least some instrumental focus on missiologically applied aspects of the research. That is, a high proportion of the more missiological dissertations seem to be framed intentionally as being in service to the doing of mission.

Historiographical dissertations are the largest group of dissertations. While they compose only 24.6 percent of dissertations from ATS-accredited schools, they constitute 61 percent of the dissertations from other schools. Many such dissertations focus on the subject matter of Christian missions, but without any theological framing or expressed commitment to instrumentally serve Christian mission. That is, many of these are written by secular scholars or by Christian scholars without an interest in formally linking their work to missiology as a field. The Yale-Edinburgh Group on the History of the Missionary Movement and World Christianity, for example, would include many such scholars doing research centrally focused on topics of relevance to this review, but explicitly framing their work as nonmissiological. Clearly, much of this is high quality scholarly work of great value to missiologists more broadly.

Considering only historically oriented dissertations, table 6 presents a breakdown in the periods of time being studied. The results are largely unchanged from the previous decade, when Stanley Skreslet extended a challenge for missiologists to redirect research efforts toward earlier eras of mission history.11 This is not to say that these periods do not receive a great deal of attention by historians and biblical scholars, but only that relatively little of this research explicitly focuses on missiological themes or missionary dynamics.

Departments/Disciplines by Degrees Earned

While many of the dissertation records provided no information on the discipline or department within which the doctoral degree was granted, 64 percent did provide this information. Doctoral degrees were earned in a wide variety of fields, from art history to economics, folklore to geography, journalism to comparative literature, women's studies to world Christianity, and French to music. Table 7 shows the disciplines or departments most frequently listed.

Most degrees (97 percent) in Intercultural Studies (ICS) were granted by ATS-accredited seminaries (such as Asbury Theological Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), with the remainder by Biola University. Each of these institutions has a strong focus on culture, often including anthropologists on their faculty. But despite the intentionally neutral nomenclature, they clearly intend their programs to be missiological. Doctorates are also granted in missiology or mission studies or world missions at a wide variety of institutions. But roughly twice as many doctorates were received in ICS as in mission studies, world mission, and missiology together. The dominance of the ICS nomenclature reflects the desire that graduates be accredited in settings that are not exclusively Christian. And yet these are, in part, theological degrees. Each of the ATS-accredited schools offering the ICS Ph.D. requires a prior theological degree for admission to its program and includes theological coursework in its ICS curriculum. As a group, they remain explicitly missiological. A similar rationale in nomenclature may partly underlie the split between degrees offered in religion or religious studies as against theology or theological studies. All of these departments or disciplines, as well as educational studies and psychology, were solidly present in ATS-accredited institutions, as well as in other institutions. By contrast, 100 percent of dissertations in anthropology, sociology, and English, along with 96.6 percent of dissertations done in disciplines or departments of history, were in non-ATS-accredited schools. Historically oriented dissertations at seminaries and divinity schools typically were located within disciplines or departments that were not exclusively historical. With history coming in second after ICS, we again see the centrality of history in current research related to Christian mission and world Christianity.

The 35 dissertations in anthropology reflect a new trend in a discipline that formerly discouraged research related to Christianity and Christian missions, but where the "anthropology of Christianity" is now a fertile and expanding new subfield of research, meriting careful attention by missiologists more broadly.

Gender and Missiology

We spent a good deal of time working to identify the gender of dissertation authors. We estimate that we were able to code with reasonable confidence the gender of 97.5 percent of the authors. (12) Of these, 26.3 percent were women, and 73.7 percent men. And while 32.4 percent of authors at non-ATS-accredited schools were women, only 17.3 percent of dissertation authors at ATS-accredited schools were women, with 82.7 percent men. In the top five ATS-accredited mainline Protestant institutions (Boston, Drew, GTU, Luther, Princeton), 26.5 percent of dissertations were by women, while at the five top evangelical Protestant institutions (Asbury, Concordia, Fuller, Southern, TEDS), only 14.3 percent of dissertations were by women. Women composed roughly 27 percent of the Chinese authors, 18 percent of the Korean authors, and 12 percent of the African authors. Since more than half of all missionaries are women, and more than half of all church members around the world are women, these figures show a significant underrepresentation of women in missiology. Gender, we noticed, matters significantly in the way in which missiology is conducted. Only 2 percent of all male authors included a central focus in their dissertations on gender and/or on the lives of women, while 24 percent of female authors included such a central focus.

Missiology, Mission Studies, and World Christianity

Missiology has historically had a close connection with the missionary movement and indeed has centrally focused on studying and serving this movement, not least by training those serving as missionaries. And missionaries have been understood as traveling to "mission fields'--geographic regions and/or ethnolinguistic groups that were clearly differentiated from "home" spaces and people, which were often presumed to be Christian.

This central concern to communicate the Gospel to unevangelized people continues to be one thrust within missiology today. Reflecting this concern, the World Christian Database employs a typology to categorize countries of the world as follows:

World A: countries where less than 50 percent of the people have been evangelized

World B: countries where at least 50 percent have been evangelized but where less than 60 percent are Christian

World C: countries that are at least 60 percent Christian (13)

The countries of World A include 13 percent of the world's population; those of World B, 56 percent; and those of World C, 30 percent.

One purpose of this typology is clearly to highlight the importance of attending to World A. But if we examine country-specific dissertations in the light of this typology, we discover that 54 percent of dissertations focus on the 30 percent of people living in World C. That is, over half of dissertations focus on the 30 percent of the world that is most Christian, with 43 percent of dissertations focused on the 56 percent living in World B, and less than 3 percent of dissertations focused on the 13 percent living in World A. Even if we consider only dissertations from ATS-accredited seminaries or from the three largest producers of dissertations in our list (Fuller, TEDS, and Asbury), only 3 percent of dissertations have a focus on World A. That is, these dissertations focus far more research on majority-Christian countries from World C, such as Ghana, Guatemala, Kenya, Philippines, or Uganda than on countries from World A, such as Algeria, Bangladesh, Nepal, or Senegal.

The following patterns appear to be present in the dissertations we examined:

* Much of the research focuses on world Christianity, with missionaries only partially in view, if at all. Especially in universities, a shift from mission studies to world Christianity is clearly evident.

* Within seminaries and formal missiology programs in North America, many doctoral students are internationals whose research is focused on the engagement of their own Christian communities with social, cultural, and pastoral matters.

* Even where dissertations focus on relatively unevangelized people, these people often are part of diaspora communities in regions where Christianity is stronger. Thus a dissertation may focus on the evangelism of North Africans living in France, or of Mongolians living in South Korea.

* With Christian mission increasingly conceptualized as being "from everywhere to everywhere," an increasing number of dissertations in formal missiology programs focus on settings within Europe or North America. That is, missional engagement with Western settings appears to be a growing focus. The same tool kit of cultural analysis formerly applied by missionaries to distant places is now applied close to home. And the agents of mission in such settings increasingly include recent immigrants from abroad.

* Conceptions of Christian mission have broadened to include a wider variety of social concerns, with the "whole gospel for the whole person" increasingly central. Dissertations from the ICS program at Fuller Theological Seminary, for example, no longer focus almost exclusively on church growth but on everything from children at risk to human trafficking, racial reconciliation, or poverty alleviation. Similar trends are present across other seminaries.

In our increasingly globalized and diverse world, it appears that doctoral students find missiology programs well suited to helping them engage a diverse world across a wide variety of social settings, and with a wide variety of ministries and commitments in view. Would-be theological educators in India, Malawi, or the Philippines may find much of theological doctoral education in North America to be rather Eurocentric, with missiology or intercultural studies programs better suited to helping them research pastoral and theological realities related to witch accusations, polygamy, caste, reconciliation, Hinduism, or poverty and wealth. American ethnic or racial minorities with an interest in racial reconciliation are apparently finding intercultural studies programs suited to help them pursue their interests and callings.

In short, the fields of missiology, of mission studies, and of world Christianity are in transition. While there are continuities here, there is also change. But the story, at least as told through dissertations, is less a story of demise or retrenchment than one of expansion, revision, and reinvention.


(1.) This article is the fourth such review to appear in the IBMR, following E. Theodore Bachrnann, "North American Doctoral Dissertations on Mission: 1945-1981," vol. 7, no. 3 (July 1983): 98-134; William A. Smalley, "Doctoral Dissertations on Mission: Ten-Year Update, 1982-1991," vol. 17, no. 3 (July 1993): 97-125; and Stanley H. Skreslet, "Doctoral Dissertations on Mission: Ten-Year Update, 1992-2001," vol. 27, no. 3 (July 2003): 98-133. For providing invaluable feedback on an earlier version of this article, we wish to thank Steve Bevans, Darrell Guder, Nelson Jennings, Harold Netland, Dana Robert, Wilbert Shenk, Stanley Skreslet, and Steve Ybarrola. Any weaknesses remaining are our own.

(2.) gital-theses / finding-theses.

(3.) =609665; also

(4.) http: //; also http: / /


(6.) http:/ /

(7.) Accessed through the database subscription of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

(8.) We thank John Cheong, Clive Chin, Ethan Christofferson, Richard Cook, Minhee Jyun, Myunghee Lee, James Park, and Yi-Chin Swingle for special help in this matter.

(9.) Personal email from Dana Robert to Robert Priest, June 13, 2013.

(10.) Stanley Skreslet, Comprehending Mission: The Questions, Methods, Themes, Problems, and Prospects of Missiology (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2012), 10, 9.

(11.) Ibid., 100.

(12.) In addition to considering each name itself, a variety of other sources proved helpful. It was often possible to find the author name linked to the dissertation title with a picture and brief bio (including use of gender pronouns) on church/ministry organization websites, graduate university and student web pages, and faculty websites. This search was helped by the fact that ProQuest often had links that identified authors' current or past institutional affiliations. Facebook/LinkedIn searches also proved helpful for explicitly identifying gender, as did book/dissertation reviews. Abstracts and dissertation excerpts often provided an "acknowledgment" section where the name of a husband or wife was mentioned, thus providing a supplemental clue. Clearly, none of this secondary research gives complete certainty; when it seemed to us uncertain, we left the gender variable blank.

(13.) David B. Barrett and Todd M. Johnson, World Christian Trends, A.n. 30--A.D. 2200: Interpreting the Annual Christian Megacensus (Pasadena, Calif.: William Carey Library, 2001), 761-69.

Robert J. Priest is G. W. Aldeen Professor of International Studies and Professor of Mission and Anthropology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois. He currently serves as President of the American Society of Missiology.

Robert DeGeorge, a Ph.D. student in historical theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois, previously served as a senior pastor with the Salvation Army and as an instructor of biblical and theological studies at the Salvation Army College for Officer Training, Chicago, Illinois.
Table 1. Mission-Related Degrees Granted, by Country

                        2002-    1992-
Country                  2011     2001

United States             923      618
United Kingdom            230      141
Australia                  99       14
South Africa               41       19
Italy                      39       28
Canada                     36       40
India                      34        9
New Zealand                23        8
Philippines                19       --
Netherlands                12       18
Sweden                      8        9
China/Hong Kong             5        2
Finland                     5        8
Norway                      4        1
Czech Republic              3       --
Germany                     3        2
Belgium                     2        5
Denmark                     2       --
Nigeria                     1       --
Poland                      1        1
Taiwan                      1       --
Uganda                      1       --
Ireland                    --        1
Spain                      --        1

TOTAL                   1,492      925

Table 2. Geographic Focus of Mission-Related

Dissertations by Continent, by Percentage

Continent                          2002-2011   1992-2001

Africa                                  28.9        23.7
Asia                                    36.1        35.9
Europe                                   8.1         7.2
Latin America and the Caribbean          7.5        10.2
North America                           12.3        19.5
Oceania                                  7.2         3.5

Table 3. Institutions Granting Ten or More Mission-
Related Doctoral Degrees, 2002-2011

United States
Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Ky.                 46
Biola University, La Mirada, Calif.                       12
Boston University, Boston, Mass.                          35
Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.          10
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind.          33
Drew University, Madison, N.J.                            12
Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, Calif.            151
Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, Calif.              15
Luther Seminary, Minneapolis, Minn.                       18
Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary,
  Memphis, Tenn.                                          11
Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, N.J.           19
Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Miss.             16
Regent University, Virginia Beach, Va.                    13
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary,
  Wake Forest, N.C.                                       12
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky.    31
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary,
  Fort Worth, Tex.                                        27
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Ill.      82
University of California, Los Angeles, Calif.             13

United Kingdom

Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, (a) Oxford, England    41
University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England             45
University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England               10
University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland              33
University of Leeds, Leeds, England                       12
University of London, London, England                     19
University of Oxford, Oxford, England                     12
University of Wales, Cardiff, Wales (b)                   34

South Africa

University of Pretoria, Pretoria                          10
University of South Africa, Pretoria                      25


Pontifical Urban University, Rome                         21


Utrecht University, Utrecht                               10

(a) Doctorates at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS)
were granted through the Open University, the University
of Wales, and the University of Leeds. Thus, in this table,
doctorates listed for the OCMS are also listed with their
respective degree-granting university.

(b) The high number of dissertations from the University of
Wales is somewhat misleading. With over 100,000 students, the
University of Wales was recently the focus of controversy over
its validation of "schemes of study" at roughly 130 centers and
colleges around the world. In 2011 it announced it would close
its validation programs, requiring institutions like the OCMS to
forge other partnerships for accrediting their programs.

Table 4. Top Ten North American Schools in Granting
Mission-Related Doctorates, by Time Period

                                         2002-   1992-   1982-   1945-
Institution                               2011    2001    1991    1981

Fuller Theological Seminary                  1       1       1      --
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School          2       2      --      --
Asbury Theological Seminary                  3      --      --      --
Boston University                            4       6       7       1
Concordia Theological Seminary,
  Fort Wayne                                 5      --      --      --
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary        6       5      --       4
Southwestern Baptist Theological
  Seminary                                   7       3       8       5
Princeton Theological Seminary               8       4       3       6
Luther Seminary                              9      --      --      --
Reformed Theological Seminary 10                    --      --      --
University of Chicago                       --       7       9       2
Yale University                             --       8      --      --
Harvard University                          --       9      --      10
Catholic University of America              --      10      10      --
Drew University                             --      --       2      --
Graduate Theological Union                  --      --       4      --
Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago        --      --       5      --
Union Theological Seminary, New York        --      --       6       8
Columbia University, New York               --      --      --       3
Kennedy School of Missions,
  Hartford, Conn.                           --      --      --       7
New York University                         --      --      --      10

Table 5. Methodology Employed in Mission-Related
Dissertations, by Percentage

Library based (exegetical, theological, theoretical)         19.4 (a)
Historiographical (archival, library based, and/or
  oral-history interview)                                    45.0
Qualitative field methods (interview and/or
  participant observation)                                   19.9
Survey questionnaires                                         4.3
Mixed methods (both qualitative and quantitative
  methods)                                                   11.5

(a) Column total exceeds 100% due to rounding.

Table 6. Time Focus of Historically Oriented

Mission-Related Dissertations, by Percentage

Time period                         2002-2011 (a)    1992-2001

Postapostolic church (to 600)                1.3          0.2
Medieval (600-1500)                          1.8          1.7
Early modern (1500-1800)                    10.9         13.2
Modern (1800-1945)                          56.2         55.4
Late modern (after 1945)                    29.7         29.4

(a) Column totals less than 100% due to rounding.

Table 7. Top Ten Departments or Disciplines in
Which Mission-Related Doctorates Were Earned

Intercultural studies                         262
History /historical studies                   148
Mission studies/world mission/ missiology     135
Theology /theological studies                 110
Religion/ religious studies                    48
Education/ educational studies                 37
Anthropology                                   35
Psychology                                     13
Sociology                                      12
English                                        11
COPYRIGHT 2013 Overseas Ministries Study Center
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2013 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Priest, Robert J.; DeGeorge, Robert
Publication:International Bulletin of Missionary Research
Date:Oct 1, 2013
Previous Article:Surprises, sagacity, and service.
Next Article:Hendrik Kraemer's Christian Message in a non-Christian world: a magnum opus after seventy-five years.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters