Doctorate Degree In Theology Studies
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Degree ATS
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Transfer Credits
Transfer in up to 50% of the degree total
Next Start Date
Aug 19, 2024
ATS Commission on Accrediting

Join the Ranks of Major Thinkers from Throughout Church History with Liberty’s PhD in Theological Studies Degree

Liberty University’s Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Theological Studies is designed to help you become a leader in the discipline of theology as you analyze the ideas of important thinkers – both Christian and non-Christian – throughout church history. In this program, you’ll study a variety of influential texts and analyze the movements, presuppositions, and major ideas of the field. Additionally, you’ll have opportunities to engage in open research and inquiry, allowing you to strengthen your faith and follow your calling to reach the highest levels of scholarship and Christian service.

The doctorate degree in theology studies is a research PhD, which means you’ll conduct independent research through the entirety of the program, culminating in the completion of a dissertation that aims to make a significant contribution to the field. Not only that, but you’ll also dive deep into the skills and methodologies of teaching pedagogy, which can help open you up to collegiate teaching roles.

While this degree primarily focuses on helping you pursue a career in research or academia, the skills you learn may also prove valuable as you seek to serve through nonprofits, Christian agencies, and the local church. Partner with us and prepare to join the ranks of leaders in the church who are impacting culture for Christ.


Your seminary degree is approved by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and has met rigorous accreditation standards. You can feel confident that your degree is both academically excellent and well-respected among churches, ministries, and nonprofit organizations.

ATS Accreditation

Why Choose Liberty’s Doctoral Theological Degree?

As a residential Liberty student, you’ll have access to numerous valuable resources and facilities on campus. Our 17-story Freedom Tower, which houses our School of Divinity, comes equipped with a 7-projector immersive classroom, an interactive classroom that utilizes teleconferencing capabilities, and a state-of-the-art homiletics teaching lab. Additionally, our Scriptorium holds over $1 million in rare books and Bibles – including a 111-foot-long Torah scroll dating back to the 16th century and a functioning Gutenberg Printing Press replica.

At Liberty, you’ll have the benefit of studying under professors who are leaders and experts in theology, ministry, apologetics, biblical studies, and many other fields. With their guidance and mentorship, you can prepare to reach the pinnacle of your career and contribute your own original research to the current body of knowledge in the field. Our faculty are committed to Training Champions for Christ and to helping you grow spiritually, academically, and professionally.

Furthermore, because Liberty is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), you can be confident that you’re receiving an education of the highest quality. Whether you hope to work in a church, parachurch organization, higher education, or other related setting, our Doctor of Philosophy in theology studies can help you get where you want to go.

Award-Winning Campus

At Liberty, you’ll find an affordable, high-quality education that equips students like you for the real world. Our commitment to excellence helped us rank among’s Top 3 college campuses in America. Earning your degree from a nonprofit university with state-of-the-art resources like ours can help set you apart from your peers.

Niche Best Colleges

What Will You Learn in Our PhD Degree in Theology Studies?

To help equip you for roles in scholarship and academia, this program includes courses in research methods as well as teaching and learning processes. Additionally, you’ll take classes and seminars in core aspects of theological studies, including resurrection, miracles, theological methods, Christian thought, and modern theological movements and theologians.

You can also customize your degree by selecting a major area of focus from the following options: apologetics, biblical theology, Christian thought, and public theology. That way, you can tailor the program to match your unique interests and career goals as you explore a specific aspect of theology.

For instance, the apologetics area of focus lets you study topics such as natural theology and the problem of evil, pain, and suffering. Biblical theology provides a gateway to exploring the theology of the Old Testament, New Testament, and the Gospel. Christian thought focuses on bibliology, the doctrine of God, and Christology. Public theology dives into areas such as Christian ethics, current issues in theology, and Christianity and politics. No matter which area of focus you select, you’ll receive a well-rounded education designed to help you thrive.

All of your courses will build up to your final dissertation sequence, where you’ll research, write, and defend your own findings. This can serve as a valuable launching point for contributing to modern discussions surrounding various theological issues and challenges – so you can make your mark on church history.

View the Degree Completion Plan and check out our featured courses below for more information!

Featured Courses

APOL 920 – Resurrection and Miracles

RTCH 900 – Research Methods

RTCH 901 – Teaching in Higher Education

THEO 903 – Historical Development of Christian Thought

Degree Information
Admission Requirements

Highlights of Our Doctorate in Theology Studies

  • Our School of Divinity Freedom Tower houses facilities such as a 7-projector immersive classroom, a state-of-the-art homiletics teaching lab, and much more!
  • In this program, you will study under theologians, missionaries, and ministry leaders who have years of real-world experience and who have reached the highest levels of scholarship in their field.
  • Customize your doctoral degree in theology studies by selecting a major area of focus, so you can hone in on the specific knowledge and skill set you need for your career.
  • Our Scriptorium houses the Rawlings Foundation rare books collection valued at over $1 million, a 111-foot-long Torah scroll that dates to the 16th century, and a functioning replica of the Gutenberg Printing Press.
  • Contribute to the current body of knowledge in your field by conducting original research for your dissertation.
  • Benefit from the teaching and professor involvement of a small Bible college combined with the experience and amenities of a world-class university.
  • Our divinity professors are active in the classroom as well as in research and publishing original works.

Doctor of Philosophy in Theology Studies Degree Information

Potential Career Opportunities for Graduates of Our Doctoral Degree in Theology Studies

  • Ministry director
  • Professional Christian scholar
  • Senior pastor
  • University or K-12 Christian school administrator
  • University professor

Admission Requirements for Our Doctorate Degree in Theology Studies

Every application is reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and all applicants must submit the following documents and meet the minimum requirements for admission:

  • Admission application
  • Official transcripts showing a Master of Divinity or a Master of Arts with a thesis in a related field (i.e., Theological Studies, Apologetics, Religious Studies, Christian Thought, Historical Theology, Biblical Theology, Biblical Studies, Christian Studies, Public Theology, Philosophical Theology, Christian Ethics, Philosophy of Religion)
  • 3.0 GPA in all previous graduate coursework
  • Writing sample
    • 10-12 page paper
    • May be a writing sample submitted for the applicant’s master’s degree or recent research
  • PhD Questionnaire
  • 3 references
    • 2 academic contacts from graduate degree faculty
    • 1 pastoral contact
    • Reference letter may be requested if needed during applicant review process (personal recommendation letters will not suffice)
  • Letter of Intent
    • 300-word minimum
    • Must specify the applicant’s purpose and goals for entering the program
  • Professional vita
  • Department approval
  • Proof of English proficiency

Please note: German language competency is not required for admission but is a graduation requirement within the program.