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 in international settings. The church planting experience occurs under the direction 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 in international contexts fulfills the requirements for missionary candidates with SBC mission boards.

Degree Program Goals

Students who complete the Master of Divinity degree will:

  1. Have a solid foundation of knowledge in the classical biblical/theological disciplines for the effective practice of ministry, especially in local churches.
  2. Value and acquire ministry skills in the areas of evangelism, discipleship, missions, and pastoral ministry.
  3. Interpret accurately and communicate effectively the Word of God through preaching, teaching, and writing.
  4. Think and behave Christianly and practice both personal and corporate spiritual disciplines.

Entrance Requirements

The student must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. One year of elementary Greek is pre-requisite for the degree, but can be completed concurrently with other degree requirements.

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 international field assignment abroad under the supervision of a veteran missionary or church planter.

Church Planting Experience

Students must meet the requirements for missionary appointment and be appointed by the IMB. The appointment must involve a minimum of one year 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.

Field Courses

During the student's field assignment under the auspices of the International Mission Board of the SBC, they are required to take two modular courses taught on a rotating basis in either Chiang Mai, Thailand or Prague, Czech Republic. The two field-based modular classes emphasize the cross-cultural applications of ethical decision making and nurturing the home in cross-cultural settings.

The other 18 hours of field courses are completed in the church planting setting through either online or mentoring methods.

"Jump Start 2+2/3"

This option allows graduating students from Scarborough College 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
Old Testament I OLDTS 3313 3
Old Testament II OLDTS 3323 3
New Testament I NEWTS 3313 3
New Testament II NEWTS 3323 3
Biblical Greek I and II or GREEK 3313 and 3323 6
Biblical Hebrew I and II HEBRW 4313 and 4323  

Theological Studies

Church History I CHAHT 3103 3
Church History II CHAHT 3113 3
Baptist Heritage BPTST 3203 3
Systematic Theology I SYSTH 3053 3
Systematic Theology II SYSTH 3063 3
Systematic Theology III SYSTH 3073 3

Evangelism and Missions Studies

Contemporary Evangelism EVANG 3303 3
Introduction to Missiology MISSN 3363 3

Preaching and Pastoral Studies

Introduction to Expository Preaching* PRCHG 3313 3
Spiritual Formation I SPFEV 3101 1
Spiritual Formation II SPFEV 3111 1

International Church Planting Concentration

Globalization and Missions Strategies MISSN 3373 3
World Religions: A Missionary Approach MISSN 4333 3
Cross-Cultural Witness to the Gospel and Ministry MISSN 5373 3
Electives or Selectives   6

Courses to be taken on the Field

FPO Courses
FPO Course in lieu of Church Admin MISSN 5523 3
Modular Courses
Animistic Folk Religions MISSN 3473 3
Anthropology for Church Planting MISSN 4653 3
Online Field Courses
Cross-Cultural Ethics MISSN 5393 3
Field-Based Mentorship & Language Courses
Mission Mentorship MISSN 5643 3
Field Language Acquisition MISSN 3613 3
  Total 83

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

Additional Resources

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