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Top Schools with Theology PhD Programs: List of Schools

Learn what schools offer doctoral degree programs in theology. Get details about the top two of these schools, including their theology degree programs and options.

School Overviews

There are two types of doctoral programs offered in theology: the Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Theology. Both programs are generally designed to prepare doctoral students for research or teaching in religious studies; either title also provides credibility to those who wish to become published in the field. This article profiles two schools with significant credentials in religious studies and theology - Boston University was the first of its kind to be established in North America, and Fuller Theological Seminary is the largest of its kind in existence. Both schools offer theology degree programs with multiple areas of concentration.

1. Boston University in Massachusetts

The Boston University School of Theology, part of the private, 4-year Boston University (BU), was the first Methodist theological seminary on the continent and the founding academic department at BU. In addition to a Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) program, BU offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Practical Theology. Students in this theology Ph.D. program can choose from at least ten concentrations, including liturgical studies, mission and evangelism, church and society, congregational studies and religion education.

2. Fuller Theological Seminary in California at Pasadena

Established by radio evangelist Charles E. Fuller in 1947, this interdenominational theological seminary is one of the largest in the world. In addition to a Master of Theology, Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.), the School of Theology at Fuller offers a Ph.D. in Theology. The Ph.D. in Theology is the highest degree awarded by the school and is designed to prepare graduates to teach at a college, university or seminary. Ph.D. students can choose from among 11 concentrations, such as worship and culture, historical theology, theology and culture and philosophical theology.

Good Schools in the U.S. with Ph.D. Programs in Theology

School NameDistinctionLocation
Boston University Boston University was ranked #41 among all National Universities by U.S. News & World Report in 2014. Boston, MA
Catholic University of America The school's Theological College prepares men to enter the Catholic priesthood. Washington, D.C.
Dallas Theological Seminary The student body is made up of individuals from over 70 denomination. Dallas, TX
Duke University Students have access to several affiliated centers, including the Divinity School, the Center for Jewish Studies, and the Duke Islamic Studies Center.Durham, NC
Emory UniversityThe doctoral program in religion is the second-largest offered at the school, and it has been named by the National Research Council as a premier PhD program. Atlanta, GA 30322
Fuller Theological Seminary in California Students have access to the world's largest theological seminary and can attend lectures and events with real-world scholars. Pasadena, CA
Harvard University The Harvard Divinity school was the first nonsectarian theological institution to be established in the U.S. Cambridge, MA
Trinity International University Students have access to the Center for Theological Understanding, the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity and the Jonathan Edwards Center of ministry. Deerfield, IL
University of Notre Dame All graduate programs in the university's Department of Theology are accredited by the Association of Theological Schools. Notre Dame, IN
Yale University Yale has its own Divinity Library with a Day Missions Collection and a Ministry Resource Center. New Haven, CT

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