6.11 Doctor of Philosophy

PhD 201A student who holds a baccalaureate degree and a first theological degree from approved institutions receives the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) on the completion of the prescribed program of study. A minimum of two years of full-time residence study and a dissertation are required.

To satisfy the biblical language requirement for the Ph.D. programs, the applicant must have the equivalent of the Greek and Hebrew requirements for the M.Div. or M.A.R. programs at Westminster.

The purpose of the program is to develop in a limited number of advanced students of high intellectual ability the capacity for independent inquiry and criticism required for doing original research in a particular area of theological study, teaching in a theological seminary or a college, or providing specialized leadership in the church. 

The degree of Ph.D. is offered in two fields: (1) Historical and Theological Studies and (2) Hermeneutics and Biblical Interpretation. Faculty Field Committees bear general responsibility for the direction of the program, admitting students, supervising the curriculum, setting area examinations, and recommending candidates for the degree.

6.11.a Student Learning Goals

Upon graduation, the student will:

  1. Demonstrate a breadth of knowledge in their chosen field of study and cognate fields.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to produce a scholarly work which makes an original contribution to the student’s chosen discipline.
  3. Demonstrate a sense of and commitment to the vocation of theological education.
  4. Demonstrate, in addition to the Greek and Hebrew prerequisites, a working knowledge of two modern languages to assist the student in scholarly competence and research.