The purpose of the Ph.D. in Biblical Studies is to provide a quality program for the preparation of well trained, morally oriented, and ethically driven scholars in their chosen fields. Graduates will be able to realize careers in teaching, research, and diverse fields of ministerial occupations. The program is designed to provide its graduates with essential knowledge in the key areas of biblical studies with preparation for scholarly endeavors. Therefore, the goals of the program are as follows:
- To prepare graduates for entry-level teaching positions in public, private, and governmental sectors and for postdoctoral research.
- To provide general course work in biblical studies and specific course work in religious history, theology, biblical backgrounds, archaeology, biblical and related languages, and biblical interpretation.
- To provide graduates with specific and general knowledge and a range of skills in the key areas of reading, writing, speaking, researching, and analyzing which lead to excellence in various careers.
The Ph.D. in Biblical Studies consists of 54 semester hours of course work beyond the master’s degree. All students must take the foundational course, Biblical Scholarship and Christian Ministry, and a seven-course core which exposes all students to the breadth of academic experience in biblical studies. Students choose one of two major tracks—Old Testament or New Testament—to complete the remaining 15 semester hours of course requirements.
The major track consists of four advanced seminars in the primary biblical text (Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek). The non-major track consists of two advanced seminars in the primary biblical text (Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek) in order to facilitate an interdisciplinary exposure in biblical studies. Students must also pass language proficiency exams in the biblical languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek) before registering for textual seminars and an exam in one secondary research language (German, French, Spanish, Latin, etc.) before taking the comprehensive examination. A student must pass the comprehensive exams to advance to the dissertation modules.
Finally, the dissertation consists of twelve hours (four dissertation modules of three hours). All students must prepare and successfully defend (via conference call) their doctoral dissertation.
The program includes:
- A foundation course that examines the integration of scholarship and Christian ministry.
- Seven core courses providing an in-depth understanding of the complex issues related to biblical studies.
- Six textual courses in student’s area of concentration that explores the biblical text utilizing the primary languages of Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic.
- Two textual courses in students’ non-major area that provides a broader understanding of the biblical literature.
- Four dissertation modules that serve as the pinnacle of this academic program.
The Ph.D. program can typically be completed in 4–5 years.
- BI 7301 Biblical Scholarship and Christian Ministry
- BI 7310 Advanced Studies in Biblical Hermeneutics
- BI 7312 Advanced Studies Biblical Backgrounds
- BI 7314 Advanced Studies in Textual Criticism
- BI 7316 Advanced Studies in Biblical Theology
- BI 7318 Advanced Studies in Religious History
- BI 8311 Advanced Studies in Restoration Theology
- BI 8313 Advanced Studies in Biblical Languages
Textual Courses (12 hours in Major / 6 hours in Non-Major):
- OT 8320 Seminar in the Wisdom Literature or NT 8321 Seminar in the Epistle of Hebrews
- OT 8322 Seminar in the Historical Literature or NT 8323 Seminar in the Pauline Letters
- OT 8324 Seminar in the Major Prophets or NT 8325 Seminar in the Book of Acts
- OT 8326 Seminar in the Torah or NT 8327 Seminar in the Gospels
- OT 8328 Seminar in the Psalms or NT 8329 Seminar in the General Epistles and Johannine Literature
- OT 8330 Seminar in the Minor prophets or NT 8331 Seminar in the Book of Romans
- RD 9320 Dissertation I
- RD 9321 Dissertation II
- RD 9322 Dissertation III
- RD 9323 Dissertation IV
Prospective students who wish to enroll in the Doctor of Philosophy program must meet the following admission requirements:
- Hold a completed graduate degree in the field of biblical studies from a regionally accredited institution.
- Official transcripts from all schools previously attended.
- Hold a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0. If the student does not meet this requirement, the student may request conditional admission.
- Score 500 on TOEFL (required of all students for whom English is a second language).
- Submit three letters of recommendation with specific comments regarding the applicant’s academic work, any professional experience, and ability to complete successfully graduate study. These letters are usually from the applicant’s previous faculty members or supervisory personnel. At least one letter needs to come from a church leader.
- Submit a statement of approximately 1500 words specifying personal goals and stating ways in which the Ph.D. from the Kearley Graduate School of Theology will contribute to those goals.
- Submit a sample of a post graduate research paper or thesis in biblical studies.
- Participate in an interview with the dean, director of graduate studies, and graduate committee.
- Receive approval by the director of graduate studies.