The PhD is the foundational degree program for teaching at a seminary, college or university. The PhD in Theology, the highest degree offered by the School of Theology, prepares students for a vocation in theological teaching and scholarship by:
- equipping them with the essential tools for high-level scholarship,
- guiding them in a major research project in the area of their major concentration, and
- supporting the development of teaching skills.
Students choose an area for major concentration:
Old Testament, New Testament, Church History, Historical Theology, Theology, Christian Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophical Theology, Practical Theology, Theology and Culture, and Worship and Culture.
Graduates of the PhD in theology program should evidence:
- a comprehensive knowledge of the discipline of their study;
- research skills appropriate to their area of study, sufficient to engage in original research and writing that advances theological understanding in the service of the church, academy, and society; and
- critical reflection on the vocation of theological scholarship, particularly with regard to teaching and learning, and research.
Prerequisites for the PhD:
- Applicants must have an MDiv or equivalent, or an MA degree similar to Fuller’s MA in Theology with a Biblical Studies emphasis, from an institution accredited by the Association of Theological Schools, with an overall GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.
- Applicants must have achieved the level of competency required by Fuller’s MDiv program in both Hebrew and Greek before the start of the PhD program. If applicants have not yet reached this level, they must demonstrate competence within the first year of the PhD program.
- During the PhD program, students will need to acquire skills in up to three research languages, as needed for their concentration. It is highly recommended that applicants begin their study of research languages prior to beginning the program.
- Applicants to the PhD program must have taken the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) up to five years preceding the application date. Minimum entrance requirements are a verbal score of 600 and a writing score of 5.0.
- Applicants whose first language is not English must provide an official record of scores earned on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test. Only test scores earned within two years preceding the submission date of the applicant's current application will be acceptable. TOEFL overall scores of at least 100 (internet-based) or 600 (paper), or IELTS overall scores of 7.0 meet the minimum English language entrance
- Admissions and the allocation of fellowship money is determined in part on the basis of the applicant's submission of a major writing sample, ca. 7000-10,000 words, completed within three years of the time of making application, in the field of proposed study. This essay will be evaluated in terms of clarity of its thesis, ability to sustain an argument, critical engagement with pertinent primary and secondary sources, and professional presentation.
- Applicants wishing to have their transcripts evaluated officially should contact the Office of Admissions for details.
- Applications and all required documentation must be received by Fuller’s Office of Admissions by January 2.