The Doctor of Philosophy with a major in religion provides an opportunity for qualified students to do graduate work in this discipline at the highest level and in the university setting. It provides preparation for research and teaching in the college and university setting where religion is taught as one of the liberal arts and in relation to other such disciplines, particularly the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences.
Admission to doctoral study requires a masters degree or its equivalent. The degree must be an accredited degree in religion. By “equivalent” is meant approximately thirty semester hours of accredited graduate work in religion at the degree level of M.A., B.D., or M.Div. International students must also demonstrate that they meet the minimum University requirements for English proficiency to be admitted into the graduate program.
Before enrollment for doctoral study, each student’s total record will be reviewed by the graduate faculty of the Department of Religion through its graduate admissions committee. Approval will be based on each student’s record including:
- B.A. work (both quality and content).
- M.A. or equivalent (both quality and content). The applicant must submit a GPA predictive of success in the program.
- Scores for the Graduate Record Examination General Test (GRE) will be accepted but not required.
- Academic letters of reference.
- Writing samples.
- An autobiographical essay.
- An interview.
Admission to doctoral study presupposes a broad foundation in biblical, historical, and theological disciplines. Upon application for admission to doctoral study, students must specify a major area of concentration: Old Testament Studies, New Testament Studies, Historical Studies, or Theological Studies. In the review of their record, special attention will be given to their foundation in that area. Applicants in Old Testament or New Testament studies must have completed a minimum of twelve (12) semester hours of one biblical language (Greek or Hebrew) and (6) semester hours in the other, with a grade of B or above in the last semester of each language.
The deadline for the completion of applications for doctoral admission and for financial assistance is December 15. Those admitted typically begin language courses in the summer and doctoral course work in the fall semester.
For the Ph.D. in religion, forty-five hours are required, which includes nine hours of dissertation credits and thirty-six hours of course work. The course work includes a minimum of twenty-four semester hours in a field of concentration (Old Testament, New Testament, Historical Studies, Theological Studies); nine hours of electives, and a three-hour seminar on theories of religion.
Concentration: The Ph.D. program requires thirty-three semester hours (minimum) in one of the four fields declared as the concentration field. All courses in the field of concentration must be at the 5000 level.
Elective Courses: A minimum of nine semester hours of graduate courses appearing in the graduate catalog.
Theories of Religion: A seminar for all first-year students concerning theories of the academic study of religion.
Coursework (36 Hours)
|Religion Concentration: Eight, three-hour, 5000-level seminars||24|
|Electives: Outside or inside the Religion Department, but not in the Concentration||9|
|Required Course: Theories of Religion Seminar||3|
The requirement of foreign languages as research tools is related to the student’s concentration and to research needs. The basic requirement is intermediate proficiency in two foreign languages. Methods for achieving the proficiency are described earlier in this catalog under Specific Degree Requirements for the Ph.D. The following statements indicate the policy for each area:
Old Testament Studies, New Testament Studies: The requirement is German and French. The area faculty may approve the substitution of another language for French if the student’s research needs justify the substitution.
Historical Studies: Students will achieve intermediate proficiency in two languages, other than English, necessary for their chosen field of research. The two languages will be negotiated with Historical Studies Faculty and conveyed to the Office of Graduate Studies.
Theological Studies: The requirement is German and French. The area faculty may approve the substitution of another language for French if the student’s research needs justify the substitution.
Additional language study may be required in relation to research needs.
One language must be completed before the beginning of course work, and the faculty recommends that all language work be completed in summer sessions. All foreign language requirements must be completed before students begin the last eighteen semester hours of course work.
The preliminary examinations will come at the completion of course work (see the General Information section of this catalog). The examinations are described in a program guide that is provided to each student by the Department of Religion.
Admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. with a major in religion will follow the policy related to passing the foreign language examinations, the preliminary examinations, submission of an approved prospectus and certification by the Dean of the Graduate School.
The final stage in the doctoral work is the satisfactory completion of a dissertation. Nine semester hours of dissertation credit are required along with a final oral examination on the dissertation.