Doctor of Theology Program Key

The ThD program is a 48 credit hour dissertation-only degree program. There are four components to this program: A  dissertation proposal, dissertation submission, dissertation review, and defense. Students must update their program supervisor of their progress once every four weeks. 

I. Constructing a Dissertation Proposal


Utilize the materials from Scholarly Research and Writing and the information available on this web page to develop your dissertation proposal. The ThD is a research degree that requires the student to orient their dissertation toward an element of primary theological research (e.g., theology, biblical studies, exegesis, church history).


Submit your proposal to your academic adviser. Upon approval, you may begin constructing your dissertation.

II. Construct and Submit a Dissertation

The construction of a dissertation affords you the opportunity to conduct scholarly research into the area of your choice, albeit limited to theological disciplines. Your thesis must be no less than 200 pages and be in accordance with Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, esp. 371-408. A dissertation must interact significantly with primary sources, resulting in credible and helpful research, critique, and evaluation. Every eight weeks you must submit your progress to your academic adviser for review. Your academic adviser will offer a constructive critique of your work throughout the program, helping to prepare your work for committee review. Upon completion and approval from your academic adviser, submit your dissertation in either .doc or .docx format.

III. Dissertation Review

The Thesis/Dissertation review committee will thoroughly review your paper. The committee will either issue a submission approval and accept your thesis as the fulfillment of the requirements of the degree program, or the dissertation will be returned for further clarification or correction. 

         IV. Defense

Upon acceptance, you will construct a sixty to ninety-minute presentation explaining your research process, conclusions, and how your contribution will serve the church. After a period of review, completion of your defense is the last phase of the program. 

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