Doctor of Philosophy (CBS)
Purpose and Objectives:
The Doctor of Philosophy degree prepares students to teach in post-secondary theological higher education both nationally and internationally. It provides students with the advanced knowledge and skills needed to research, write, and make a scholarly contribution to the fields of Biblical Studies and Theological Studies.
The objectives of the Ph.D. degree will enable students to:
- Research and write at an advanced level of scholarship under the functional authority of Scripture.
- Make a scholarly contribution to the field of Biblical Studies or Theological Studies.
- Present research results in a professional, organized, coherent, and structured manner in both written and oral form.
- Function responsibly in the context of a supervisory relationship while exhibiting CIU’s core value of victorious Christian living.
Achievement of these objectives will be evaluated through the production and defense of the student’s original work of academic research (90,000-110,000 words), which will be directed by a faculty specialist in the student’s chosen field of study. Students may focus their research in any of the areas of biblical or theological studies.
Admission Requirements ***Requirements revised 4/15/2019***
In addition to the general graduate application requirements of the university (see the Admissions section for details), applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Proficiency in graduate-level theological studies, demonstrated by completion of an accredited Master of Arts (MA), Master of Divinity (MDiv), or Master of Theology (ThM) degree with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5.
- Two academic references.
- Students applying for Old Testament must have completed 4 semesters of Hebrew and 2 semesters of Greek. Students applying for New Testament must have completed 4 semesters of Greek and 2 semesters of Hebrew. Students applying for Theological Studies must have completed 4 semesters of either/both biblical languages. Biblical Studies students will take a language assessment exam during their first seminar to ensure that they are adequately prepared to handle the text in the original languages.
- Proficiency in conducting research and writing at the graduate level, demonstrated by completion of a Master’s thesis or a major research paper (approximately 5,000-6,000 words).
- Submission of a research proposal (approximately 500 words plus a bibliography) that meets the following parameters:
- Preliminary title and short statement of the topic.
- Brief overview of the general area of study, including the current state of knowledge and recent debates on the topic.
- Research questions that will guide the study and research methods that will be used.
- Anticipated contribution of the study.
- Preliminary bibliography of relevant and recent works.
- Interview with admissions committee considering academic readiness, dissertation aim, personal maturity, and career goals. Students with deficiencies in any area must address those deficiencies to the satisfaction of the committee; beginning the program might be dependent upon fully addressing the deficiencies.
- Because of the non-residential delivery of the program, students must demonstrate access to adequate and reliable online service, as well as to a theological library and professional level biblical software.
Applicants who are deficient in one or more of the above areas may choose to address those deficiencies by completing the CBS Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Biblical and Theological Studies or other necessary courses with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. If students are not making sufficient academic progress after the first 30 hours of the program, the doctoral mentor and PhD program director may award the students an M.A., and they will not complete the dissertation.
Residency and Transfer Policies:
The program is non-residential, and students are not required to study in residence. The initial three seminars are delivered online, and the dissertation process is an independent research and writing experience with a specialist in the student’s field of study.
A student may transfer in up to 6 hours, if he/she can demonstrate completion of the equivalent of BIB 9200 Issues and Methods in Biblical Studies and BIB 9400 Principles of Teaching, Learning, and Course Design.
The time limit for completing the program is ten years, dating from the student’s first seminar and concluding with dissertation defense and graduation.
The program is designed so that students who study on a full-time basis should be able to complete their degree in three years. If a full-time student does not defend the dissertation by the end of the third year, the student will pay a continuation fee for each semester he/she remains in the program.
Students who study on a part-time basis should be able to complete their degree in five years. If a part-time student does not defend the dissertation by the end of the fifth year, the student will pay a continuation fee for each semester he/she remains in the program.
- Successful completion of all seminars with a grade of B or higher.
- Successful completion of proficiency examinations in concentration-specific modern research languages as noted below.
- Successful completion of a dissertation proposal prepared under the supervision of a faculty mentor.
- Successful oral defense of a dissertation that is an original work of academic research (90,000-110,000 words) before a committee of at least three internal and/or external faculty readers.
- Affirmation of the CIU doctrinal statement.