Doctor of Philosophy in Theological Studies

The Theological Studies concentration encompasses the broad areas of Historical Theology, Systematic Theology, and Apologetics. In this concentration, you may choose to focus your research in any of the major areas of theological studies. If you want to make an original and significant contribution to your area of study and, as a result, contribute to the understanding of a theologically-informed biblical worldview, the Theological Studies concentration is for you.

What You'll Learn 

  • Research and write at an advanced level of theological scholarship under the functional authority of Scripture.
  • Make a scholarly contribution to the field of Historical Theology, Systematic Theology, or Apologetics.
  • 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.

Program Length 

Three years of full-time study or five years of part-time study.


Graduates with a Ph.D. (Theologicall Studies) degree can go on to become:

  • Instructors and leaders in global theological education
  • Seminary and University instructors in North America
  • Academic deans
  • Consultants on theological education
  • Authors and editors

Why Earn a PhD in Theological Studies at CIU Online?

  • Program design allows you to focus on research and writing from the beginning of your studies.
  • Non-residential modality allows you to pursue your degree without relocating.
  • Experienced faculty mentors provide individualized guidance in areas of their particular expertise.
  • Accredited regionally by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and nationally by the Association of Biblical Higher Education.

Program Details

Course of Study (45 hours)

Foundation   9
THE 9200 Issues and Methods in Theological Studies 3
THE 90xx Principles of Teaching, Learning and Course Design 3
THE 90xx Dissertation Proposal 3
Dissertation   36
THE 9901-9903 Biblical Studies Dissertation Research 1-3 18
THE 9904-9905 Biblical Studies Dissertation Writing 1-2 12
THE 9906 Biblical Studies Disseration Defense 6



Doctor of Philosophy in Theological Studies Admission Requirements

  • Application
  • Application Fee
  • Official transcript from accredited institution (all graduate level work)
  • Completed MA, MDiv, or ThM with 3.5 GPA
  • Submit Master’s thesis or major research paper, approximately 5,000-6,000 words (20-24 pages)
  • Submit research proposal (approximately 500 words)
  • Biblical languages: 4 semesters of either/both biblical languages
  • 2 Academic References
  • Interview with admissions committee
  • *International requirements when appropriate