Preparing believers in Jesus Christ for Christian ministry since 1937

Doctor of Theology

Three year program: 54 credits and Dissertation
Thirteen Core courses: 39 credits
Five Elective courses: 15 credits
All Th.D. courses are 3 semester hours



The three year program leading to the Doctor of Theology degree (Th.D.) is designed to prepare men and women for vocations of teaching and research and for the scholarly enhancement of Christian ministry. The ideals of the Th.D. encompass the view that the best tools for such vocations develop through training in Biblical Hermeneutics, Biblical Theology, Biblical History, and Biblical Exegesis. The curriculum is thus structured around these primary components based on the inerrancy, sufficiency, unity, and perspicuity of the scripture.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  • do in-depth research in both primary and secondary sources related to theological studies.
  • understand and critique the major issues in theological scholarship and the main views on those issues.
  • complete a significant, scholarly dissertation that has practical value for the Christian community and the academic community.
  • develop and employ a fully-formed Biblical Theology and Biblical Hermeneutics in all scholarly research.
  • clearly articulate conservative Evangelical hermeneutics and theology in the dissertation and demonstrate skill in communicating that to the academic community.
  • communicate effectively through one or more of the following: preaching, teaching, evangelism, and writing.
  • develop scholarly research practices that are compatible with the objectives of the academy of professional scholars.
  • develop skills and knowledge that will contribute to the vitality and strength of Evangelical scholarship and thus the Christian church.
  • faithfully and honestly represent and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ in all scholarly endeavors and contexts.

Dissertation Research Project

Students should give thought to the choice of the dissertation topic early in their program. Students must register for and complete a dissertation on an approved subject. The dissertation project should be on a subject giving evidence of the student’s ability to do independent research and to think and write creatively.

An optimum research dissertation length is 70,000 and 75,000 words. The dissertation proposal should state a thesis: what, exactly, does the dissertation propose to demonstrate or express? The dissertation proposal should then indicate the problem this demonstration would solve. The proposal should also provide schematic guidelines for developing and defending the principle thesis claims by chapters, anticipate methodological or other problems in the dissertation project, and provide a select bibliography of primary and secondary sources.

Three complete draft-copies of the research dissertation must be submitted to the Director of the Doctoral Program by January 30th (for May graduation). The Dissertation Committee will decide whether the dissertation is ready for defense, and if it is, they will determine before February 30th the time for the oral defense. The dissertation must be successfully presented and defended in a face-to-face oral examination (viva voce) before the Examination Committee at least thirty days prior to the anticipated graduation.

The dissertation must conform to the format and bibliographical style requirement in A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, by Kate L. Turabian (5th Edition, 1987).