Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Years to Complete
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program is designed to equip you for teaching and research in colleges, theological seminaries, and universities, and for advanced church leadership.
The depth of study and the breadth of research to reach the heights of your calling.
Learning in the Reformed tradition: Calvin Seminary is committed to the confessional and theological standards of the Christian Reformed Church, but students from all Christian traditions are welcome to apply. The academic freedom to probe the foundations of Reformed theology and to explore the validity of other approaches is a fundamental assumption of the PhD program.
Concentrations: PhD students can focus their studies in one of the following areas
- History of Christianity
- Moral Theology (Ethics)
- New Testament
- Philosophical Theology
- Systematic Theology
Resources for Supporting Your PhD Studies
Calvin Seminary offers access to a variety of resources to supplement your PhD studies.
Centers and Institutes
The Hekman Library
The Hekman Library is home to more than 520,000 books, including an entire floor of resources devoted to theology, biblical scholarship, and ministry practices. As a PhD student you will receive a dedicated library study carrel.
Calvin Seminary Supports Students
Calvin Seminary offers a wide range of scholarships and other financial assistance.
Calvin Seminary offers a wide range of scholarships and other financial assistance. In fact, in recent years, nearly $1.5 million in scholarship funds were awarded annually. Doctoral Fellowships, Doctoral Assistantships, and Doctoral Tuition Scholarships are available to students in the PhD program at Calvin Theological Seminary. In addition, modest PhD living stipends are available on the basis of financial need.
Course Work and Outcomes
The PhD Program
Courses focus on areas of current faculty interest and research. They are designed to introduce students to proper research methods and their application as well as to important theological issues and developments.
Students are required to complete a total of twelve PhD courses for credit. Full-time students take six courses per year (typically three per semester) for two years. Part-time students take either four courses per year for three years or three courses per year for four years. At least three courses must be taken in the student’s discipline of specialization and at least two courses in each of the other three areas.
In addition to the twelve required PhD courses, students in the program must take seminar 903P, “Teaching Seminar,” during the first two years in the program and are expected to take seminar 902P, “Dissertation Seminar,” if they have completed the required PhD courses and reside in the Grand Rapids area. Students ordinarily will take the dissertation seminar during more than one semester. These seminars are offered on a credit/no credit basis and do not count toward the twelve required courses in the program.
Outcomes: Program graduates will leave the program with the following skills and competencies:
Called to Serve
Past graduates have applied their learning to a variety of ministry-based opportunities. Here are some of their stories:
Application Requirements and Deadlines
For the ThM Program
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program has some specific admissions requirements, unique to the program. Below are some of the specifics. If you have any questions, the admissions office is here to help.
Ready to Start?
Click on the button below to begin the application process.