News Release

John Plake receives his Ph.D.

March 11, 2015 | Paul K. Logsdon

SPRINGFIELD, MO — John Plake, coordinator of Global Connections at Evangel University, recently received his Ph.D. in intercultural studies, with a concentration in missiology, from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.

Plake conducted a major study examining how missionaries adjust to foreign cultural environments.

His research examined data from 949 AG World Missions missionaries living in 127 nations. It was the largest study of its kind ever done.

As a result, his research will help shape coursework and cross cultural training programs for both current and future missionaries.

Plake’s dissertation was titled “The Development and Validation of a Theory of Missionary Expatriate Effectiveness among Assemblies of God World Missions Personnel.”

“I found that while personality and even divine calling play important roles in what we call ‘missionary expatriate effectiveness,’ the data show that learned skills are the key to successfully crossing cultures as a missionary,” said Plake, associate professor of intercultural studies.

Plake defended his dissertation on Sept. 20, 2014. He will participate in the AGTS Doctoral Investiture Ceremony on May 1, 2015, and AGTS Commencement on May 2.

In addition to his Ph.D., Plake also holds a bachelor’s degree from North Central University and a master’s degree from Wheaton College.

Plake came to Evangel to serve as missionary-in-residence in 2007. He served as campus pastor and director of spiritual life for five years (2009-2014). Last fall, he returned to the intercultural studies department as Global Connections coordinator and resumed teaching there.

In addition to his Ph.D., Plake also holds a bachelor’s degree from North Central University and a master’s degree from Wheaton College.

Global Connections

The purpose of Global Connections at Evangel University is to allow each student to explore another culture in a supervised setting with mentors who guide the process.

“By participating in the Global Connections experience, students will experience global cultures, learn about other perspectives and worldviews, and actively participate in service projects,” said Plake.

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