Certificate for Mission Studies

The certificate in mission studies is an interdisciplinary program with an experiential component to train students in analytical skills relevant for global missions today.

The category of "mission" is changing rapidly. From the tens of thousands of church workers going out from countries in the global south, to the growth of so-called short term missions, while the call of the Great Commission has not changed, the ways people engage it has. It has never been more important for the church to be able to understand the changing work of Christian mission in the world.

The Certificate in Mission Studies would be particularly relevant for students considering a career in mission work.  In particular, students planning to go on to graduate school or seminary, whether in pastoral ministry, mission work, or other cross-cultural Christian work, would find benefit in the CMS. As a research focused degree, the CMS would also prove advantageous for students planning to pursue a career in Christian academia.

The Certificate in Mission Studies is a research focused, interdisciplinary program designed to produce the next generation of missiologists.  Missiology is an inherently interdisciplinary field of study focused on the historic and contemporary work of serving the church around the world. The primary disciplines that have long contributed to this field of study are cultural anthropology, history, and theology. The Certificate of Mission Studies at Wheaton brings together these fields, along with several others, to help students develop the analytical skills relevant to understand global missions work today.

The core of the program is in Anthropology (ANTH 116) and Christian Formation and Ministry (CFM 322/CFM 332), with options for research methods (SOC 482, ANTH 482INTR 572), elective credits chosen from a variety of areas, an experiential component through a summer practicum in conjunction with the Office of Ministry and Evangelism, and a final research project to be conducted as an independent study under the guidance of a faculty mentor in the field of the student's primary interest.

Requirements for a Mission Studies Certificate and Courses Offered


Choose twelve credits from the following courses.

ANTH 116 Introduction to Anthropology (freshman or sophomore year) 4
CFM 322/332 Historical Foundations/Theological Foundations (sophomore or junior year) 4
XXX 495 Independent Study (In department of student's choice during fall and/or spring of senior year.) 1 to 4

Research Courses

Choose one of the following courses (4 credits)

ANTH 482 Ethnographic Theory and Method 4
SOC 482 Social Research 4
INTR 572 Cross-Cultural Research 2 or 4

Social/Historical Perspectives

Choose a total of four credits from these courses.

HIST 305 Introduction to the History of Christianity 2
HIST 483 History of Christianity in North America 4
ANTH 324 Anthropology of Global Christianity 2
ANTH 353 Biculturalism 4
ANTH 354 Culture in the Contemporary World 4
SOC 366 Sociology of Religion 4
INTR 563 Cross-Cultural Teaching and Learning 2
INTR 622 Cross-Cultural Human Development 2
INTR 623 Families in International Settings 2
URBN 362 Global Cities: Cities and the World 4
URBN 383 Cities in the Global South 2
URBN 371 Race, Poverty, and Reconciliation 4

Theological Perspectives

Choose a total of four credits from these courses.

BITH 342 Majority World Theology 4
BITH 376 Theologies of Transformation 4
BITH 563 Apologetics 2
BITH 577 World Christianity 4
INTR 532 Contextualization in Global Settings 4
INTR 534 Mission in Acts 4
INTR 535 Holy Spirit and Mission 2 or 4
INTR 548 Discipleship 2

Mission Practicum

  Approved through the Office of Ministry and Evangelism
(i.e., Summer programs such as SMP/GUP/YHM.)

Total Credits: 24