New 2+2 program deploys students to mission field more quickly
Concurrently with the release of its new Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Southwestern Seminary has also unveiled changes to the 2+2 program, officially known as the M.Div. in international church planting. The flagship M.Div. degree for those called to serve in overseas missions, this modified program will enable students to reach their mission fields to fulfill the Great Commission more quickly.
The new 83-hour program still sees students taking on-campus courses followed by courses taken from the mission field, but now the number of hours for both on-campus and on-field courses has been reduced. This has been done without a sacrifice in quality, says John Massey, associate dean for master’s programs.
“While there is a reduction in overall hours of the program, the number of hours in missions-related courses has gone up significantly, making the revised 2+2 a tailor-made and unique degree for those preparing for missionary service,” Massey says.
He continues, “[Students] will take mission courses from faculty with a combined 60-plus years of experience serving as missionaries across the Asia-Pacific, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin American. The DFW area is internationally diverse and is a laboratory for cross-cultural missions. Your mission training will start when you arrive.”
Keith Eitel, dean of the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions, is the original architect of the 2+2 program, initially developed during his time at Southeastern Seminary. The original vision of deploying students to the mission field while continuing to equip them with theological training is not only upheld, but strengthened by the new program.
“When I designed the original 2+2 degree in 1995, International Mission Board (IMB) officials explained that they hoped, as it evolved, it could be done with a mentality that the students joining the IMB are not ‘students with a little bit of mission work to do for two years,’ but that they’re missionaries with a bit of ‘class work’ left to do. We’ve tried to maintain that shift in balance when they go from campus to field realities,” Eitel says.
“We found ourselves needing to refine the field portion in order to accommodate that goal even more efficiently today. So these recent changes were made to accentuate the field experience while still fostering both types of learning.”
The new 2+2 program is consistent with Southwestern’s effort to equip God-called men and women to take the Gospel to the ends of the world in fulfillment of the Great Commission. Other elements of this effort include annual mission trips and national and international church planting weeks, where focus is given to church planting in different contexts.
Current students may switch into the new program immediately by completing the online degree change form. Any questions can be answered by the Registrar’s Office at 817-923-1921, ext. 2000.