Master of Divinity with a Concentration in International Church Planting


The Master of Divinity with a concentration in International Church Planting provides a solid foundation of classical studies and an international missions focus on church planting. This concentration equips students to start and develop churches abroad. The uniqueness of this degree allows students to complete their course of study while serving off-campus. The church planting experience occurs under the auspices of the Southern Baptist Convention International Mission Board's Journeyman program, International Service Corps program, or Career Apprentice program. The first-hand ministry experience acquired off-campus fulfills requirements for missionary candidates with SBC mission boards.

Entrance Requirements

The student must fulfill the requirements for admission in the Master of Divinity degree. Successful completion of the degree presupposes successful appointment by the International Mission Board to do the field portion of the degree.

Educational Method

This concentration combines a strong theoretical emphasis with practical field-based learning. After completing basic Master of Divinity courses on campus, students complete the field-based portion of the degree, while serving on a two or three-year off-campus field assignment abroad under the supervision of a veteran missionary or church planter.

Students will complete a maximum of 24 hours of field based study during the two or three-year field assignment.

Church Planting Experience

Students must meet the requirements for missionary appointment and be appointed by the IMB. The appointment must involve a minimum of two years of service. The placement in most cases must include: (1) direct involvement with starting new congregations, developing a strategy for a people group, or promoting a church planting movement of multiple congregations, and (2) a carefully monitored supervisory relationship with a veteran church planter or missionary. Students should apply for appointment at least two years before the proposed beginning date of missionary service and should carefully plan the sequence of courses in order to coordinate with the proposed beginning date of missionary service.

Modular Courses

During the student's field assignment under the auspices of the International Mission Board of the SBC, they are required to take four modular courses taught in the midst of the field learning experience and crafted to be directly relevant to the student's field ministry.  Modular courses are offered as a set of two courses each year in rotation at a selected site overseas.

The four field-based modular classes emphasize the cross-cultural applications of ethical decision making, nurturing the home in cross-cultural settings and modeling the home in host cultural settings where the Christian home is a new concept, and understanding the religio-social context(s) where students are living.

"Jump Start 2+2/3"

This option allows graduating students from the College at Southwestern or other approved institutions to “Jump Start” into the M.Div. International Church Planting program at the beginning of their two to three year appointment with the International Mission Board. These students will complete the field-based portion of the degree before the campus based portion. At the end of the two to three years on the field, students will transition to the Southwestern campus to finalize their M.Div. requirements.  Click here for more information on the "Jump Start 2+2/3".  Please contact the Dean of the Fish School of Evangelism and Missions for further information regarding the pre-requisites for "Jump Start" at (817)-923-1921 extension 6400.


Course Title Course Number Hours

Biblical Studies

Biblical Hermeneutics BIBST 3203 3
Basic Old Testament I OLDTS 3313 3
Basic Old Testament II OLDTS 3323 3
Basic New Testament I NEWTS 3313 3
Basic New Testament II NEWTS 3323 3
Biblical Greek I GREEK 3313 3
Biblical Greek II GREEK 3323 3
Biblical Hebrew I HEBRW 4313 3
Biblical Hebrew II HEBRW 4323 3

Theological Studies

Church History I CHAHT 3103 3
Church History II CHAHT 3113 3
Baptist Heritage BPTST 3203 3
Systematic Theology I SYSTH 3003 3
Systematic Theology II SYSTH 3013 3

Evangelism and Missions Studies

Contemporary Evangelism1 EVANG 3303 3
Personal Evangelism Practicum2 EVANG 3000 0
Introduction to Missiology MISSN 3363 3
Missions Practicum2 MISSN 3100 0

Preaching and Pastoral Studies

Introduction to Expository Preaching3 PRCHG 3313 3
Spiritual Formation I SPFEV 3101 1
Spiritual Formation II SPFEV 3111 1
Free Elective Free Elective 3

Missions Courses

Globalization & Missions Strategies4 MISSN 3373 3
Introduction to International Church Planting MISSN 4503 3
World Religions: A Missionary Approach MISSN 4333 3
Cross-Cultural Witness to the Gospel and Ministry or MISSN 5373 or 3
Chronological Bible Storying MISSN 4633  

Courses to be taken on the Field

First Set of Modular Courses
Missionary Anthropology MISSN 4373 3
The Christian Home5 ETHIC 4303 3
Second Set of Modular Courses
Christian Apologetics6 PHILO 4373 3
Development of Christian Character and Decision Making7 ETHIC 4333 3

Field Based Mentorship & Language Courses

Mission Mentorship I MISSN 5643 3
Mission Mentorship II MISSN 5653 3
Field Language Acquisition I MISSN 3613 3
Field Language Acquisition II MISSN 3623 3
  Total 92

1Female students may take WOMST 4053 Contemporary Evangelism for Women.

2Students will be enrolled in these practicums automatically when registering for the parent course above them in the degree plan.

3Female students take WOMST 4043 Expository Communication of Biblical Truth.

4A Regional Study course that is specific to the area in which the student will live & work may be taken in lieu of MISSN 3373.

5A field-based modular class that emphasizes nurture and development of healthy Christian homes in cross-cultural settings so that home will also be a helpful witness.

6A field-based modular course focused on the religio-social context(s) where students are living.

7A field-based modular class that emphasizes the cross-cultural applications of ethical decision making.

Additional Resources

Students interested in more complete information regarding the program should contact the Fish School of Evangelism and Missions Dean's Office at 817-923-1921 extension 6400 or in the World Mission Center.  Students may also contact the Office of the Registrar at 817-923-1921 extension 2000 or in Scarborough 104.

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