Union Theological Seminary Academics


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) primarily prepares persons for vocations of teaching and research in college or universities and seminaries, or holding positions of leadership in churches or social service and social justice agencies. The program also includes work for the intermediate degree of Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.), which also must be earned at the Seminary.

Learn more about admission to the Doctor of Philosophy program.

Union's Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree has five programs, some of which are divided into different disciplines:

    • History (Late Antique and Byzantine Studies, Medieval and Reformation Studies, Modern and U.S. Christianities)
    • Bible (Old Testament and New Testament)
    • Theology (Systematics, Ethics and Ecumenics/Interreligious)
    • Practical Theology (Worship & Preaching/Theology and Arts, Psychiatry and Religion, Religion & Education, Church and Society)
    • Interreligious Engagement

Each Ph.D. program is staffed and taught by two full-time faculty members of the Union faculty, whether within the discipline itself or through interdisciplinary collaboration within the Union faculty. Each doctoral student works with two faculty advisers, one of whom is the primary adviser (normally a tenured, full-time member of the Union faculty) and the other is the secondary adviser (normally a tenured faculty member, who may, in appropriate cases, be adjunct Union faculty). Depending on the student’s focus, the two advisers may be from the same discipline (e.g., Systematics), across programs (e.g., Psychiatry and Religion and Old Testament; Preaching and New Testament), or within programs (e.g., Ethics and Systematics).


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