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Center for Great Commission Studies 

Field Experience Credit

A Word from a Graduate

“I could not imagine pastoring without having experienced what I did through the International Church Planting program at Southeastern. Through my time overseas God gave me a vision for the world that I can never forget. When I say to our people that we must give and go, there is a validity to what I say that comes from having gone myself. I believe God is raising up churches in America to complete the Great Commission, and I believe there is NO better training for that than the International Church Planting program at SEBTS!”

J.D. Greear, Ph. D.
Lead Pastor, the Summit Church
Durham, North Carolina

Thank-you for your recent inquiry about the requirements for earning academic credit for your service with the IMB. We value your service with the IMB and we have developed creative ways for you to earn academic credits that are validated by field experience and academic work. However, we need to remind you that this is not simply granting academic credit for your time of service with the IMB.

The first important matter to know is that you must be admitted to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. We recognize that you may have questions that relate to the application process, cost and available scholarships. Please, see the following links:

So, what type of credits can you earn through SEBTS that relate to your IMB experience? Continue reading below for a brief overview with links to more information.

All IMB personnel attend Field Personnel Orientation (FPO).  You have the opportunity to earn up to six hours of credit related to FPO. Here’s some more good news: SEBTS is offering these six hours to you for FREE. You are able to earn three hours of credit for MIS5000 Great Commission Studies or MIS5100 Christian Missions by attending FPO, completing your FPO assignments, and completing additional academic requirements. The additional requirements are provided in the links in the previous sentence. The second course is MIS6970 Current Topics in International Missions: Life and Work of the Cross Cultural Worker. Here’s the link to the MIS6970 Syllabus. The easiest way to enroll in this class is to do so during your FPO. If you have already completed FPO, we can still process this for you but it will be on an individual basis. Please, contact my secretary, BreAnna Lewis (, regarding enrollment in this course. Please, include your full name and SEBTS ID number.

We recognize the importance of learning the language and culture of your focus group. You are able to earn three hours of credit MIS7511 for this valuable experience. Here’s a link explaining what is needed for these credits: MIS7511. You might be eligible to earn an additional three of credit hours needed for MIS7611, but this would only be for M.Div. students who have already exceeded the hours needed for a MAIS degree from SEBTS, which totals 54 credit hours. Please, contact my secretary, BreAnna Lewis (, regarding enrollment in this course. Please, include your full name and SEBTS ID number.

Your time on the field provided or continues to provide a wonderful opportunity of both serving and learning. MIS6901 Missions Practicum and MIS6902 Missions Practicum may be taken separately or concurrently. For information related to these courses go to MIS6901 and MIS6902 link. Please, contact my secretary, BreAnna Lewis (, regarding enrollment in this course or courses. Please, include your full name and SEBTS ID number.

If you enroll in a course and you are not able to complete the work during the semester, you will receive an Incomplete. An Incomplete will automatically change to a F after 30 days. However, we are able to process a change of grade at any time in the future when the work is completed.

We hope the potential hours through these special offerings for IMB personnel will be one step in your educational process at SEBTS. We hope you will prayerfully consider attending classes on campus during your Stateside Assignment. You may also want to pursue a portion of your education through our Distance Learning program. For more information contact Distance Learning:

We trust this information has answered your questions; however, if you have additional questions, please, do not hesitate to contact my secretary, BreAnna Lewis (

We look forward to assisting you in your educational needs as you continue to serve our Lord and Savior.

In His Steps,


Al James 


Al James
Associate Dean for Proclamation Studies
Professor of Missions
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

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  • Phone: (919) 761 - 2100
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  • Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary seeks to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the Church and fulfill the Great Commission.
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