Doctor of Philosophy

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Union Theological Seminary offers the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Theology for students who want to teach in colleges, universities, and seminaries, or to hold positions of leadership in churches or social service and social justice agencies. Students can finish the Ph.D. program in four to five years and are expected to finish within seven years.

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The program offers advanced study in the disciplines of theology with major specialization in one of the areas listed below. Additionally, students select a minor concentration in one of these areas or in an allied academic discipline such as philosophy, sociology, psychology, or religious studies.

  • Bible
  • History
  • Theology/Ethics
  • Interreligious Engagement
  • Practical Theology

The major-minor structure in Union’s Ph.D. program enables interdisciplinary cross-fertilization and “mutual illumination” that is intended to generate original scholarship. This structure also equips graduates with academic versatility and expanded teaching competency that will serve to optimize their employability in a competitive market.

The interdisciplinary nature of the Union Ph.D. program is further enhanced by the doctoral seminar in which all students participate. By attending to the interplay between the methods of the theological disciplines and those of religious studies, the program cultivates in graduates a sense of the ongoing dialogue between Theology and Religious Studies that marks contemporary religious education; it prepares graduates to teach and to lead in the diverse, multi-religious, and multicultural contexts of today’s world.

Applying to Union’s Ph.D. Program Information Session

This information session, moderated by Dr. Jan Rehmann, Director of the Ph.D. Program, allowed prospective students to ask questions and gain more information about applying to Union Theological Seminary’s Ph.D. program. Panelists included:

    • Olusola Adegbite, PhD student, New Testament
    • Pamela Cooper-White, Academic Dean, Professor of Psychology & Religion
    • Vanessa Hutchinson, Vice President of Admissions and Financial Aid
    • Aliou Niang, Professor of New Testament
    • John Thatamanil, Professor of Theology & World Religions

If you have any questions about Union’s Ph.D. Program, email Dr. Jan Rehmann at [email protected].

Review the Application Procedures and Deadlines before you apply.