Doctor of Theology
The ideals of our 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 three year program leading to the Doctor of Theology degree (Th.D.) consists of sixty credits (including a Dissertation) and is designed to prepare persons for vocations of teaching and research and for the scholarly enhancement of Christian ministry. The curriculum is thus structured around these primary components. It is our conviction that a strong curriculum must be based on the inerrancy, sufficiency, unity, and perspicuity of the scripture.
The Th.D. program admits students who show evidence that they are of proven Christian character, endowed with appropriate spiritual gifts, and adhere to the following doctrines: the authority and inerrancy of Scripture, the Trinity, the full deity and humanity of Christ, the spiritual lostness of the human race, the substitutionary atonement and bodily resurrection of Christ, salvation by faith alone in Christ alone, and the physical return of Christ.
Applicants must hold the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree or its equivalent have an academic record that demonstrates scholarship and research ability satisfactorily complete an interview on their Christian experience, scholarship, theology, achievement, and purpose. All applicants must have passed satisfactorily at least Hebrew 1-2 and Greek 1-2 (or equivalents). Language requirements also include at least three credits (from another institution), or some fluency, of a modern, second language for reading (e.g., German/French/Modern Hebrew/Dutch/Latin/Korean, etc.). Ideally, such language preparation is best when oriented towards the Dissertation subject and its research needs. Therefore, language requirements may be completed in the course of one’s doctoral studies and the formulation of a dissertation proposal.
Th.D. Transfer of Credit
Transfer of up to twelve hours of graduate-level credit may be applied toward the Th.D. degree if those hours constitute equivalent work. Ordinarily, only courses taken after receiving a M.Div. or equivalent degree can be credited toward the Th.D. degree. Requests for transfer of credit should be directed to the Director of Admissions. Plans to take other courses for transfer credit must be approved by the Director of the Doctoral Program prior to taking the course.
To enable students 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 international Christian community and the international 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 international academic community.
To enable students to manifest a maturing and Spirit-filled character and life of ministry and service.
To enable students to:
- demonstrate ability and acceptability in Christian ministry
- 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 Requirements: An Academic, Scholarly 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 (Academic Dean, Director of the Doctoral Program, Primary Supervisor) 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 (determined by the Dissertation Committee and consisting of at least one external, credentialed scholar) 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).