PhD - in Theology

Doctor of Philosophy - Theology

The PhD is the foundational degree program for teaching at a seminary, college, or university. The PhD in Theology prepares students for a vocation in theological teaching, pastoral ministry, and scholarship.

Students choose an area for major concentration:

  • New Testament
  • Old Testament
  • Practical Theology
  • Theology (Systematic Theology)

ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS

  • Masters Degree from an accredited college, university or seminary

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

  • Minimum of 60 Credit Hours
  • Required Courses: 48 Credit hours
  • Dissertation: 12 Credit hours

TUITION AND FEES

  • Onetime application fee: $50
  • Monthly Learning Assessment and Technology fee: $125
  • Dissertation guidance and defense: $750
  • The cost of Textbooks is not included
  • Students take 1 course every 8 weeks

Based on this, a PhD in Theology Degree program can be completed for $4500 or less.

PhD in Theology - Core Courses

PT890 GUIDE TO RESEARCH WRITING(6)

An introduction to English research writing style. At the end of the course the student will know the difference between academic writing, and other types of writings. The student will demonstrate compency in Research Writing by preparing an annotated bibliography of no less than 20 peer reviewed articles published in the last five years in their area of interest.

PT900 Introduction to Theological Research

A course preparing students to conduct upper-level graduate research and to write effectively. This course gives the proper foundation for writing the PhD in Theology dissertation.

PT901 Hermeneutical Frameworks

An exploration of the influence of paradigms underlying exegetical, theological, and interpretive approaches to Scripture. The course Includes discussion of the role of presuppositions and preunderstanding in biblical interpretation. Selected topics in philosophical hermeneutics, including the on-going debates concerning historical and literary analysis, epistemology, authorial intent and the relationship of exegesis to the theological disciplines will be covered.

PT902 Biblical-Theological Models and Methods

This course is designed to illuminate the major motifs of redemptive history by applying the methods of biblical theology to the Scriptures. Special attention is given to the foundational role of biblical theology and its reciprocal relationship with hermeneutics, exegesis, and systematic theology.

PT903 Christian Spirituality

This course will introduce students to the research field of Christian spirituality. It will also introduce some methodologies appropriate to this interdisciplinary field, and promote skills in research, organizing, and writing. Students will explore the implications of several current understandings of Christian spirituality as an academic field, and integrate readings from church history (classical texts on spirituality), theology, and contemporary spirituality.

PT904 The Dead Sea Scrolls

An intensive study of the Dead Sea Scrolls in relation to archaeology, scribal practices, paleography, “biblical” manuscripts, “apocrypha and pseudepigrapha”, the Greek manuscripts, biblical interpretation, history of the Yahad, sectarian compositions, sapiential texts, gender, magic and the demonic, prayer, liturgy, calendar, and halakah.

PT905 Foundations of Christian higher education

This required course for all Ph.D. students will address the following topics: philosophy of teaching and learning; educational aims and goals; roles of the teacher and learner; race, class, and gender in the classroom; diversity of learning styles; classroom management; assessment of student learning; and course design and development.

PT906 Preaching the Gospel in Diverse Cultures

An examination of the diverse cultural and subcultural worlds of congregations, introduction to methods for "exegeting" them, and exploration into their significance for the theology of sermons and for the many forms of verbal and non- verbal communication through which they are proclaimed. Includes critical analysis of alternative models for contextualizing theology in light of which readings in congregational studies and intercultural communication will be considered.

PT990 Methods of Theological Research I

This course provides an introduction to the approaches to research design and research methods employed in theological research. Attention will be given to each of the major components of an applied research project: problem formulation, review of the literature, research methodology, presentation of findings, and conclusions.

PT991 Methods of Theological Research II

Building on skills acquired in PT890, PT900 and PT990, the student is expected to complete chapter I of their dissertation.

PT992 Methods of Theological Research III

Building on skills acquired in PT890, PT900 and PT990, the student is expected to complete chapter II of their dissertation.

PT993 Methods of Theological Research IV

Building on skills acquired in PT890, PT900 and PT990, the student is expected to complete chapter III of their dissertation.

PT994 Methods of Theological Research V

Building on skills acquired in PT890, PT900 and PT990, the student is expected to complete chapter IV of their dissertation.

PT995 Methods of Theological Research VI

Building on skills acquired in PT890, PT900 and PT990, the student is expected to complete chapter V of their dissertation.

PhD in Theology - New Testament Concentration

PT930 New Testament Greek

A reading knowledge of New Testament Greek is a prerequisite for many of the New Testament courses in the MDiv and D.Min. programs. Reading knowledge means a knowledge of Greek vocabulary and grammar that is sufficient to begin exegetical work in the New Testament.

PT931 New Testament Studies: Research and Trends

The primary purpose of this course is to provide students with a review of the latest research related to the study and understanding of the New Testament.

PT935 History of New Testament interpretation and Criticism

A critical review of the history of interpretation of the New Testament, with emphasis on contemporary issues in New Testament theology and hermeneutics.

PT937 New Testament Research I

This course offers PhD students with opportunities to explore various aspects of New Testament exegesis and theology, with the goal of fostering scholarly research and discourse that are creative, rigorous, and collegial.

PT938 New Testament Research II

This course offers PhD students with opportunities to explore various aspects of New Testament exegesis and theology, with the goal of fostering scholarly research and discourse that are creative, rigorous, and collegial.

PhD in Theology - Old Testament Concentration

OT:940 History of Old Tesament interpretation and Criticism

A critical review of the history of interpretation of the Old Testament, with emphasis on contemporary issues in Old Testament theology and hermeneutics.

OT941 THE HISTORY AND HISTORIOGRAPHY OF ANCIENT ISRAEL

This course is intended to ground the PhD student in the scholarly conversation about the history of Israel, which is the foundation for every other critical method in Old Testament scholarship. The course begins with a consideration of the sources of data for writing the history of Israel, and continues with reflections on methodology. The final weeks are case studies on specific historical periods and moments, as well as special topics such as social history, and philosophies of historiography.

PT942 God, Humanity, and Creation in the Old Testament

This course examines key Old Testament texts in order to reflect theologically on how God relates to humanity and other parts of creation (including animals other than human beings); how human beings relate to other animals within creation; and how human beings relate to creation as a whole. Texts examined will include Genesis, Leviticus, Job, and Psalms, and topics will include violence, food, animal welfare, and environmental sustainability. Secondary readings may include Bauckham, Feldmeier and Spieckermann, and Linzey, among others.

PT943 Old Testament Studies: Research and Trends

The primary purpose of this course is to provide students with a review of the latest research related to the study and understanding of the Old Testament.

PT944 Old Testament Research I

This course will provide PhD students with opportunities to explore various aspects of Old Testament exegesis and theology, with The goal of fostering scholarly research and discourse that are creative, rigorous, and collegial.

PT945 Old Testament Research II

This course will provide PhD students with opportunities to explore various aspects of Old Testament exegesis and theology, with The goal of fostering scholarly research and discourse that are creative, rigorous, and collegial.

PhD in Theology - Practical Theology Concentration

PT960 Spirituality and Missional Formation

This course explores the potential contribution of traditions of Christian spirituality to missional formation in contemporary congregations. Special attention is given to the upbuilding of congregations in prayer and biblical formation and their sending in evangelism and social action.

PT961 Baptism, Eucharist, and Discipleship: Research and Traditions

This course examines Eastern, Western, and Post Reformation views about the nature and purpose of Baptism and the Eucharist Liturgy.

PT962 Church Planting and Revitalization

This course focuses on knowledge and skills in leadership, relational evangelism, team-building, and resource development in starting or revitalizing congregations. Students will engage selected New Testament texts and utilize these texts as resources for discipleship models and for building community. Emphasis given to the integration of experience, theory, and practice.

PT963 Church Leadership and the Practice of Ministry

This course will explore the biblical and theological foundations for pastoral ministry. It will engage the distinctive approaches to Christian leadership, which have characterized the church through the centuries as well as challenge leaders in the future. Students will become more effective in dealing with the specific responsibilities of ministry, including administration, by learning to think theologically about those responsibilities. Time will also be spent on the meaning and content of the call to be a pastor.

PT964 Ecclesiology: Research and Trends

The primary purpose of this course is to provide students with a review of the latest research related to the study and understanding of Ecclesiology.

PT965 Family Stories and Ministry

This course explores family loss and major tragedies (abandonment, rape, incest, accidental death, suicide, alcoholism, mental illness, homicide, adoption, sexual identity disclosure, extra-marital affair, non-ID MSM, racial identity conflict, and physical disability). In addition, such experiences of the suffering will be reflected in light of family systems theory.

PT966 Pastoral Care with Older Adults

This course gives attention to pastoral, ethical,sociological, biblical and theological understandings of mature adulthood in light of the physical, intergenerational and other relational effects of aging. Special attention will be given to end -of- life issues. The latest in medical research on aging, especially Alzheimer’s, will also be discussed. In light of the fact that 25% of the membership of churches in nearly every denomination is over 65, models of older adult ministry and new approaches to pastoral care will be presented.

PT967 The Liturgical Shape of Christian Life

Each aspect of a worship service will be used to discuss corresponding Christian doctrines, how these doctrines give shape to Christian identity, and how they inform Christian moral reflection and action. The course will be grounded in the Reformed tradition, while encouraging students to examine theology, worship, and ethics in light of their own denominational stance and personal commitments. Specifically, though not exclusively, offered for students with little background in the academic study of theology.

PT968 Practical Theology Research I

This course will provide PhD students with opportunities to explore various aspects of Old Testament exegesis and theology, with The goal of fostering scholarly research and discourse that are creative, rigorous, and collegial.

PT969 Ppractical Theology Research II

This course will provide PhD students with opportunities to explore various aspects of Old Testament exegesis and theology, with The goal of fostering scholarly research and discourse that are creative, rigorous, and collegial.

PhD in Theology - Systematic Theology Concentration

PT970 Contemporary Christian Theology: Research and Trends

The primary purpose of this course is to provide students with a review of the latest research related to the study and understanding of Christian Theology.

PT971 Christian Ethics and Modern Times

This course gives attention to Christian moral norms, virtues, and practices, to the social ideals that Christians confess, and to modern disputes over the substance of those ideals. How shall we love our neighbors, show hospitality to strangers, bear the burdens of sinners and enemies, and speak truth to power in these modern times? Are the ideals of neighbor-love and prophetic justice compatible with the norms of liberal democracy, with individual freedoms and equal rights, or not? Special attention will be given to Christian attitudes toward sexuality, punishment, racial and gender bias, war and nonviolence, economic inequality, and environmental decay.

PT972 Christianity and globalization

Despite its ancient claims of universality, in many ways Christianity has been perceived, and taught from a Western perspective. Its propagation has been predominantly portrayed as a movement from the center to the peripheries, from the Global North to the Global South. Now Christianity’s current center of gravity is located in Africa. Not only a demographic but also a cultural shift: new expressions of faith & new emphases have emerged in the study of Christianity in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. This course offers an overview of the development of these world Christianities to familiarize students with these new voices (Global South & its diaspora), their contexts, and the challenges for Western churches, academia and the wider society.