Top Schools with Theology PhD Programs: List of Schools

Jul 20, 2018

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

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  • 0:04 School Overviews
  • 0:42 Boston University
  • 1:26 Fuller Theological Seminary
  • 1:53 Catholic University of America
  • 2:32 Top Theology Ph.D. Programs

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School Overviews

Ph.D. in Theology programs consist of advanced coursework in religious studies and intensive, inquiry-based research. These programs can be found at top traditional universities and faith-based institutions. Three of the best schools at which to earn a Ph.D. in theology include Boston University, Catholic Univeristy of America, and Fuller Theological Seminary. Boston University and the Catholic University of America were both nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 2017, while Fuller Theological Seminary is distinguished for being the biggest multidenominational seminary in the world.

Boston University in Boston, MA

Boston University's Ph.D. program in Theology differs from other programs of its kind due to the approach given to the subject, focusing on history, practice, belief, and community, with respect to the Church. The Boston University School of Theology offers a Doctor of Ministry in Transformational Leadership program and a Doctor of Philosophy in 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. For 2017, Boston University was ranked #39 among national universities by U.S. News & World Report.

Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA

In addition to a Master of Theology, the School of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary 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. The school offers seven concentrations within the Ph.D. program. Fuller is the largest theological school in the world, serving over 4,000 students of 110 religious denominations and hailing from 90 countries.

The Catholic University of America in DC

The School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America offers a Ph.D. program for students who have already earned a Master of Arts in Theology or Religious Studies. Students must take the comprehensive exams in three separate areas of study and, from there, they research and write a dissertation based on their particular interests in the field of theology. Theology and religious studies courses focus on a wide range of topics, such as key historical periods in church history, literary analysis of the Bible, and the relationships between different religious groups. The school's theological college is notable for preparing men to enter into the Catholic priesthood.

Top Theology Ph.D. Programs

Students can also earn a Ph.D. in Theology at several other top institutions.

School Name Distinction Location
Dallas Theological Seminary The student body is made up of individuals from over 70 denominations 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 University The student-faculty ratio at the Candler School of Theology is 9:1 Atlanta, GA
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 Department of Theology are accredited by the Association of Theological Schools Notre Dame, IN
Yale University Has its own Divinity Library with a Day Missions Collection and a Ministry Resource Center New Haven, CT

Students who want to pursue advanced studies and academic research in theology can enroll in a Ph.D. theology program, which can be found at top-ranked universities, such as Boston University, as well as religious seminaries such as Fuller Theological Seminary.

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