Ph.D. in World Arts
First Doctoral Program at Dallas Int’l
In fall 2019, Dallas Int’l is launching its first ever doctoral program: a Ph.D. in World Arts! “As the worlds of Bible translation and missions change, there is an increasing need for people with the highest level of credentials (a Ph.D.) who can contribute to the theory and practice of the discipline and who can train others,” explained Dr. Doug Tiffin, Dallas Int’l president. “The mission of Dallas Int’l is to provide training and research opportunities leading to degrees in applied linguistics, culture studies, and development of languages. This new Ph.D. fits our mission and will allow us to pour even more experts into these areas.”
Applicants must hold an M.A. in World Arts or a related program such as intercultural studies, anthropology, ethnomusicology, linguistics, or music or arts programs, among others. The World Arts Ph.D. comprises three phases: 1) a qualifying exam, 2) a candidacy oral exam, and 3) a dissertation defense.
“The candidate will have a mentor and must do significant field work, connect theory to practice, and extend theory,” said Dr. Scott Berthiaume, Dallas Int’l academic dean. “We envision most of our students finding employment with organizations that focus on applying this knowledge to the use of cultural art forms to help meet community goals in areas such as cultural identity, community development, worship, arts transmission and vitality, and translation of arts-based texts. At the same time, because this Ph.D. is centered in an emerging discipline—i.e., World Arts—we consider it a priority to have our students well-grounded in developing its theory, both from empirical and cross-disciplinary research.”
The idea for this program began in May 2014, when Dr. Brian Schrag (founder of the World Arts program), Dr. Robin Harris (current director of the World Arts program), and Katie Hoogerheide (dean of students at the time) discussed the need to develop the emerging discipline of World Arts by starting a Ph.D. program. During the next few years, Dr. Neil R. Coulter (World Arts professor), Dr. Schrag, and Dr. Harris wrote a Ph.D. proposal, which the Dallas Int’l Academic Affairs Committee and Board of Trustees approved. Dr. Berthiaume refined it and applied to SACSCOC for accreditation in August 2018. “We waited with anticipation and prayers until we heard back on December 10, 2018: ‘Approved with no changes [required]!’” Dr. Harris recalled.
“Nothing was done without significant prayer and a clear sense of God’s leading,” Dr. Tiffin said. “We are thrilled that [this application] was granted the first time we applied. That is clearly God answering.”
Join us in asking and trusting God to supply all the funding and resources needed for this new Ph.D. program and its scholarships. Also, please pray with us for our new World Arts professors: for a long-term visa for Dr. Dora Kung and full financial support for Dr. Beth Argot. Finally, let’s ask the Father to work powerfully through the future Dallas Int’l Ph.D. graduates to transform people worldwide for His glory using His Word and their “heart arts”!
One Step Closer
*Joy’s undergraduate classmate and friend, noticing her talent for learning Greek, urged her to check out the Bible translation exhibit at an Urbana missions conference. There, Joy applied for a translation internship and decided to work in that field long-term. Next, she received further training at Dallas International, where she graduated in 2010 with her M.A. in Applied Linguistics with a Bible Translation concentration. Next, she joined Pioneer Bible Translators and served in Papua New Guinea (PNG) for five years as a translation specialist. In 2016, God enabled Joy and her fellow translators to complete the Mborena Kam New Testament. “We faced a lot of hardship and opposition, but God renewed our strength each day,” Joy shared.
Joy has also trained thirty different mother tongue translators (MTTs) how to use computers, especially how to use Paratext, an invaluable translation software. “Seeing these translators using computers and doing translation work in Paratext is really cool,” she said.
Currently, Joy serves as a Bible translator consultant in training on a remote assignment with the Papua New Guinea branch. She has also done some short-term translation consulting in Ukraine and Vanuatu.
“Oral Tradition and Literature and Cross-Cultural Teaching Seminar gave me the opportunity to dig into Melanesian learning styles,” Joy said about her Dallas Int’l classes. “I used what I learned about teaching in high context cultures to create the materials and run two computer training workshops. I also used the content from these courses in coordinating a literacy workshop.” Semantics and Pragmatics and Culture, Language, and Mind helped Joy understand the worldviews of others, while Field Methods and Discourse Analysis prepared her for language learning and better comprehending the biblical text. “Phonetics gave me the skills to discover a ‘lost phoneme’ that helped a partner organization,” she added. “They were starting work in that language and didn’t hear the glottal stop that was causing some confusion. Phonology helped me as I worked with a couple of different languages on their spelling.”
This year, Joy plans to complete her translation consultant training and continue to help minority language groups in Papua New Guinea to get one step closer to publishing scripture in their heart language.
Let’s ask the Father to provide financially for Joy and to bless her physical, spiritual, and emotional health to enable her to keep walking in the work He has given her.
Help Train Trainers
Most students entering the new Ph.D. in World Arts program will already be serving cross-culturally. These folks usually live on a shoe-string budget. Even though we will keep tuition as low as possible, there will be deserving students needing financial help to pursue this next level of preparation. You Can Help! When you make a gift to “Ph.D. Scholarships” or the “Alekseyev Scholarship” you will be investing in training those who will multiply their efforts by training others.
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