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Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy equips scholars for teaching and research in colleges, theological seminaries and universities, as well as for general church leadership. Degrees are offered in systematic, historical, philosophical, and moral theology, with concentrations in Reformation studies, post-Reformation Protestant theology, and modern and contemporary theology.

Any person who possesses a theological degree from an accredited seminary, has a good academic record, and desires to take seminary graduate courses is eligible for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy program. A person holding a degree from an unaccredited seminary may be considered for admission on the basis of validation by work in residence.

Admission to the Ph.D. Program

To qualify for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy degree program, an applicant must be the graduate of an accredited college and must possess a Master of Theological Studies, Bachelor of Divinity, Master of Divinity, or Master of Theology degree from an accredited school or must possess the equivalents of such degrees. The applicant's previous record must show outstanding academic performance, with a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 3.3. The applicant must also present evidence by way of transcript or otherwise that he or she knows Hebrew, Greek, and a modern foreign language (preferably Dutch, French, German or Spanish). Under certain circumstances a waiver of part of this language requirement is possible.

Applicants must submit scores of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) as part of the application process. They must also submit a twenty- to forty-page research paper that in their estimation exhibits their best ability to do theological research and analysis. The paper may be one submitted for academic credit in a previous degree program, or it may be the result of independent research. Applicants for whom English is a second language must submit a score from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). An overall Internet-based test score of 80 with a 23 in the writing section is required on the TOEFL. Applicants should use the Calvin Theological Seminary institutional code 1096 on their TOEFL application request and test forms to ensure that ETS sends scores directly to our recruitment office. Official test results of the GRE and TOEFL must be sent directly from the testing agency to Calvin Theological Seminary.

For more information on the Ph.D. program, please view the Ph.D. handbook (pdf).