Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Studies


The PhD (Biblical Studies) program is for those who want to teach in post-secondary theological higher education both nationally and internationally. If you want a program that offers you the advanced knowledge and skills needed to research, write, and make a scholarly contribution to the fields of Old Testament or New Testament Studies, the PhD (Biblical Studies) program is for you.

What You'll Learn 

  • Research and write at an advanced level of biblical scholarship under the functional authority of Scripture.
  • Make a scholarly contribution to the field of Old Testament or New Testament 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.

Admission Requirements

  • Online application
  • Official transcripts of all graduate-level coursework
  • TOEFL score (if an international student)
  • Two faculty references
  • Copy of master's thesis or major research paper
  • Research proposal
  • Proficiency in graduate-level theological studies, demonstrated by completion of an accredited Master of Divinity (MDiv) or Master of Theology (ThM) degree with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5.
  • Proficiency in the use of the biblical languages, demonstrated by successfully passing qualifying examinations in both Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Greek.
  • Proficiency in conducting research and writing at the graduate level, demonstrated by completion of a Master’s thesis or a major research paper (at least 10,000 words).
  • Submission of a research proposal no longer than 2,500 words 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 before they are fully admitted to the program.
  • 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.

Note: Applicants who are deficient in one or more of the above areas may address those deficiencies by completing the CBS Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Biblical and Theological Studies or equivalent with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. 

Program Length 

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

Full-Time Study Schedule:

Year Fall Spring Summer
Issues and Methods in Biblical Studies (3)


Principles of Teaching for Biblical Studies (3) BIB
Biblical Studies Dissertation Proposal 
Biblical Studies Dissertation Research 1-2 (6) BIB
Biblical Studies Dissertation Research 3-4 (6) BIB
Biblical Studies Dissertation Research  5-6 (6)
Biblical Studies Dissertation Writing 1-2 (6) BIB
Biblcal Studies Dissertation Writing 3-4 (6) BIB
Biblical Studies Dissertation Defense 1-2 (6)

Part-Time Study Schedule:

Year Fall Spring Summer
Issues and Methods in Biblical Studies (3) BIB 9xxx Principles of Teaching for Biblical Studies (3) BIB 9900 Biblical Studies Dissertation Proposal 


Biblical Studies Dissertation Research 1 (3) BIB
Biblical Studies Dissertation Research 2 (3) BIB 9903 Biblical Studies Dissertation Research 3 (3) 
Biblical Studies Research 4 (3) BIB 9905 Biblcal Studies Dissertation Research 5 (3) BIB 9906 Biblical Studies Dissertation Research 6 (3)
4 BIB 9907 Biblical Studies Dissertation Writing 1 (3) BIB 9908 Biblical Studies Dissertation Writing 2 (3) BIB 9909 Biblical Studies Dissertation Writing 3 (3)
5 BIB 9910 Biblical Studies Dissertation Writing 4 (3) BIB 9911 Biblical Studies Disseration Defense 1 (3) BIB 9912 Biblical Studies Dissertation Defense 2 (3)

Career and Ministry Opportunities With This Degree 

Graduates with a Ph.D. (Biblical 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 Study Biblical 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 Associate of Biblical Higher Education.