Intercultural Education, Ph.D.

Program Description

The purpose of the Doctor of Philosophy degree in the Cook School of Intercultural Studies (CSICS) is to equip scholars to be competent in research, writing, and reflective action from a holistically integrated Christian worldview in order to contribute to new understandings of cross-cultural and multicultural issues. The program prepares graduates for roles in higher education, cross-cultural leadership, and intercultural praxis.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Doctor of Philosophy in Intercultural Education, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a mastery of relevant theories in intercultural education and related disciplines associated with one’s research area and/or ministry context (ULO 1).
  2. Engage in and publish independent educational research (ULO 1).
  3. Generate new understandings and explanations (e.g., theoretical constructs) and apply them in culturally appropriate ways to the improvement of educational outcomes in diverse contexts (ULO 2).
  4. Discuss and analyze the integration of one's faith commitments, theological understandings, and pertinent educational convictions (ULO 3).
  5. Exemplify rigorous scholarship accompanied by Christ-honoring professionalism in all scholarly activities (ULO 3).

Each Program Learning Outcome (PLO) listed above references at least one of the University Learning Outcomes (ULO 1, 2, 3), which may be found in the General Information section of this catalog.

Program Requirements

The Cook School of Intercultural Studies offers two Ph.D. degrees. The Ph.D. in Intercultural Education, and the Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies. Each program requires a minimum of 60 credits past the appropriate master's degree, including a minimum of 48 semester hours of coursework and a maximum of 12 semester hours of dissertation research.

The Ph.D. programs include five foundational courses (13 credits), four specialized courses (12 credits), three electives or tutorials (9 credits), three Bible/theology courses (9 credits), and two research methods courses (6 credits). The dissertation portion of the program includes two taught courses (6 credits) and allows students to devote up to 5 additional dissertation credits to independent research and writing. There is wide latitude for students to pursue their individual interests in elective courses (or tutorials) and ultimately in research for their doctoral dissertations.

If a student has completed a master's degree, which does not contain the background necessary for the Ph.D. program, the total program will be longer than 60 credits, as determined by the program director. If a student enters the Ph.D. program having completed a graduate degree in a field similar to intercultural studies and has been involved in extensive experience work they may be eligible to receive up to 9 competency credits toward the Foundational Core classes. Additionally, students with advanced work in Bible and theology may also be eligible for up to 9 credits of Bible/theology reductions for work completed as part of a D.Min. or D.I.S. degree, and up to 6 credits of reduction for students with a Th.M. degree. Requests for course reductions from other students with extensive coursework in Bible and theology will be considered on a case by case basis and will not normally exceed 6 credits of course reductions. At the recommendation of the Ph.D. academic advisor and with the approval of the doctoral studies committee, students with a previous doctoral degree may be granted course reductions of up to 24 credits but must complete at least 36 additional credits at Biola University, of which 24 credits must be new coursework and up to 12 credits may be devoted to dissertation research and writing. A faculty advisor will guide students in planning a program of study that serves their vocational aspirations. The degree offers a concentration in either intercultural or multicultural education. Students are expected to choose the concentration most appropriate to their research interest.

Time Limit for Degree Completion

All course and academic requirements for the Ph.D. degree should be completed within seven years, beginning on the date of the student's first registration. Petitions for extension beyond seven years will be considered on a case-by-case basis for students. At times students may need to interrupt their programs for a semester or more for a variety of personal or work-related reasons. This may be done with the consent of their respective Ph.D. Program Director. Students must be continuously enrolled unless on an official Leave of Absence. Students who fail to register in any given semester without a Leave of Absence will be dropped from their respective doctoral program. Also, students on Leave of Absence beyond two consecutive semesters must reapply to their respective doctoral program.

Withdrawal and Re-Admission Procedures

A student who must drop out of school must go through the formal withdrawal process. To return to active status the student should contact the program director and file a readmission form with the Office of Admissions.

Leave of Absence

Inactive students are those who have requested and been granted Leave of Absence from the program. A Leave of Absence may be granted upon petition for change of status if there is deemed sufficient reason for interrupting the program and intention to return to the program.

A Leave of Absence must be renewed by petition each semester and may not exceed two consecutive semesters. A Leave of Absence longer than two semesters will require withdrawal from the program and a petition for readmission if the student later wishes to regain active status. Each leave of absence must receive the approval of the student's program advisor and the Dean of the school. Students on leave are required to register for ISCL 893 Leave of Absence each term.

A Leave of Absence may be granted upon petition for change of status if there is deemed sufficient reason for interrupting the program and intention to return to the program. Inactive students are those who have requested and been granted Leave of Absence from the program. A Leave of Absence must be renewed by petition each semester and may not exceed two consecutive semesters. A Leave of Absence longer than two semesters will require withdrawal from the program and a petition for readmission if the student later wishes to regain active status. Each Leave of Absence must receive the approval of the Program Advisor and the Dean of CSICS. Students on leave are required to register for ISCL 893 Leave of Absence each term.

Portfolios

CSICS has chosen to utilize a Portfolio Assessment System for its Ph.D. programs. This system is designed as a means to help monitor student progress toward one's development as a scholar. A variety of course materials will be collected periodically throughout the duration of the doctoral program. For further information, please consult the current Doctoral Programs Handbook.

Qualifying Examinations

Doctoral students are required to demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of their field of study by examination. The content of the written qualifying exam includes material from the core areas of the curriculum and the student's particular specialization. These exams are normally taken at the conclusion of all the coursework.

Admission to Candidacy

Official Ph.D. candidacy indicates that students have completed all of the preliminary requirements and are now qualified to undertake original research contributing to scholarship in their respective fields through their doctoral dissertations.

To achieve candidacy, students must successfully complete the following:

  1. Required coursework and the Graduation Procedures Check (or grad check);
  2. Portfolio, approved by the doctoral committee;
  3. Qualifying examinations; and
  4. Defense of the dissertation proposal.

It is the responsibility of students to contact their advisors in order to ensure all candidacy requirements have been met. Upon completion of the requirements, students will be notified of their acceptance to candidacy. Candidates will select a chairperson from the graduate faculty to guide their dissertation research. Upon achieving candidacy, students may implement their proposed research plans under the supervision of the approved doctoral chairperson.

Students enrolled in ISCL 890 or ISCL 891 are considered full-time students. However, during the dissertation phase, doctoral students are considered full time for a maximum of two years. If doctoral candidates have not defended their dissertations by the time all required dissertation credits are completed, they must enroll continuously in ISCL 890 for 0 credits each semester until the successful defense of the dissertation. This enrollment carries no academic credit but maintains the students' continuous registration.

Students who fail to achieve candidacy may be offered a terminal M.A. degree and dropped from the Ph.D. program.

Dissertation

The dissertation process officially begins with the successful defense of a candidate's proposal before one's doctoral committee prior to beginning the student's field research.

The doctoral dissertation contributes theory relevant to the candidate's concentration and conducted in some aspect of intercultural studies or education.

Dissertation Defense

The final examination is an oral defense of the dissertation before the doctoral committee and other invited professionals. Successful defense of the dissertation completes the candidate's responsibilities for the degree, which is conferred in the scheduled graduation ceremony immediately following the defense.

Graduation Requirements

All students must present an acceptable dissertation, have satisfactorily passed their qualifying exam and completed all required course work with a minimum 3.3 GPA to qualify for graduation. Students must meet with their department advisor and contact a Graduate Graduation Counselor in the Office of the Registrar one year prior to graduation to declare intent to graduate. (See Graduate Graduation Check description in the Admission, Enrollment and Graduation Requirements section).

Residency Requirement

CSICS Ph.D. students taking coursework at Biola's CSICS extension centers must take at least 50% (24 credits) of the coursework at Biola's main campus.

Program Specific Objectives

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Intercultural Education equips Christians for professional careers in the field of formal, non-formal, and informal arenas of education. Our chief goal in the program is to produce graduates who can think Christianly about their field, and engage in research and writing, which helps contribute to new understandings of cross-cultural issues in education. The skills gained in pursuit of the degree involve teaching, academic mentoring, research, and writing. The Ph.D. in Intercultural Education allows the student to pursue knowledge and understanding of the cultural components of the educational process in diverse contexts.

Ph.D. in Intercultural Education

Prerequisites: M.A. degree with a strong education background. Minimum of 3 years of cross-cultural or multicultural educational experience.

Requirements: The program consists of at a total of 60 credits, of which 12 may be devoted to dissertation research, including ISCL 872 and ISCL 891.

Curriculum Requirements

Foundational Courses
ISCL 700Orientation to Graduate Intercultural Studies1
ISAN 761Culture and Transformation3
ISCL 709Intercultural Communication3
Select two courses from the following:6
History of the World Christian Movement
Cross-Cultural Leadership
Curriculum Design for Intercultural Contexts
Educational Program Courses
ISCL 816Education Theory3
ISCL 823Cross-Cultural Teaching and Learning Strategies3
ISCL 825Comparative Human Development3
ISCL 815Educational Philosophies of Global Religious Traditions3
or ISCL 885 Multicultural Education
Specialization Courses
A total of 9 credits must be taken in:
Education/ICS electives3
Education/ICS electives or Tutorial3
ISCL 873Tutorial3
Research Courses
ISCL 803Qualitative Research3
ISCL 879Research Design3
Bible/Theology Courses
Students may select Bible/Theology courses from a wide range of courses taught by the faculty at Talbot School of Theology or from among the theological integration courses offered by qualified faculty within the Cook School of Intercultural Studies. Students with no formal biblical/theological training prior to entering the program must have the selection approved by the program director. Students may also select:9
Contemporary Theology of Mission
Theology of Culture
Spiritual Conflicts in Cross-Cultural Context
Issues in Spiritual Warfare
Narrative in Scripture and Teaching
Issues in Contextualization/Cross-Cultural Theology
Theology of Mission
Acts: Biblical and Missiological
Topics in Biblical Theology from a Missiological Perspective
Dissertation Writing
ISCL 872Foundations of Doctoral Research3
ISCL 890Ph.D. Dissertation Field Research5
ISCL 891Ph.D. Dissertation Proposal3
Total Credits60