Doctor of Theology Program Key
The ThD program is a 48 credit hour thesis-only degree program. There are four components to this program: Completion of Scholarly Research and Writing, dissertation proposal, dissertation submission, and dissertation review. Students must update their academic adviser of their progress once every eight weeks.
I. Scholarly Research and Writing
Scholarly Research and Writing is the only formal course required in the ThD program. Students who have completed a previous graduate level degree program with FTS may opt out of taking this course. All other students must complete this course before moving on to a dissertation proposal.
For this course, read the following:
Richard A. Holland Jr., Benjamin K. Forest, Good Arguments: Making Your Case in Writing and Public Speaking, (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2017).
C. H. Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students, (Peabody: Hendrickson, 2016).
Brian Rosner, Andrew Cameron, The Trials of Theology: Becoming a 'Proven Worker' in a Dangerous Business, (Ross-shire: Christian Focus, 2010).
John Piper, Mark A. Knoll, Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God, (Wheaton: Crossway, 2001).
Ben Witherington III, Is there a Doctor in the House?: An Insider’s Story and Advice on becoming a Bible Scholar, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011).
Todd Wilson, Gerald L. Hiestand, The Pastor Theologian: Resurrecting an Ancient Vision, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2015).
Complete a research paper of no less than 15 pages on prayer or a topic of your choice. Be sure to utilize Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 7th-9th Ed., (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 2018) in terms of format and footnotes. Refrain from relying upon secondary or internet sources. Submit your paper in either .doc or .docx format to your academic adviser.
II. Constructing a Dissertation Proposal
Utilize the materials from Scholarly Research and Writing and the information available at this web page to develop your dissertation proposal. The ThD is a research degree which 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.
III. 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. Utilize the resources used in Scholarly Research/Writing for questions of grammar or syntax. Every eight weeks you must submit your progress to your academic adviser for review. Your academic adviser will offer 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.
IV. 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 fulfillment of the requirements of the degree program, or the thesis will be returned for further clarification or correction. Once approved, FTS will issue your degree and make your dissertation available in our open source format.