Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Description

Offered only at the Northern California Campus

The PhD is a four-year program requiring the completion of 42 credit hours of academic work including a dissertation. The PhD is the highest academic research degree offered by the Seminary, intended primarily to equip persons for vocations of teaching and research in theological schools, colleges, and universities, or for the scholarly enhancement of ministerial practice. The program design focuses on 1) seminars, 2) research, and 3) writing. Seminars are discussion-based but faculty- led, allowing faculty to direct students into the appropriate seminar subjects. Students are required to do advanced research, first under the supervision of PhD faculty, then on their own. As they progress through the program, they become professionals in their fields. This is demonstrated primarily by the ability to research, write, and defend a doctoral dissertation.

Objectives

Building upon the knowledge and skills acquired through the prerequisite MDIV or equivalent, the following goals are primary for the PhD:

Bibilcal Studies Major:
  • The student will understand and employ effectively proper tools for advanced academic research in primary sources related to Biblical Studies, including the use of Hebrew, Greek, and cognate languages as needed.
  • The student will understand the history of Biblical Studies, with a particular emphasis on either Old Testament or New Testament, depending on the specific major chosen.
  • The student will demonstrate awareness of the primary issues, both historical and current, related to his or her major discipline (OT or NT).
  • The student will demonstrate knowledge of the primary contributors to biblical studies, both historical and current, and the nature of their contributions, utilizing appropriate research languages, normally German and French, in addition to Hebrew and Greek.
  • The student will be able to do creative, contemporary research that assumes, and is founded on, knowledge of the historical, philosophical, theological, and methodological issues of the chosen major area of study.
  • The student will demonstrate an awareness of areas within the chosen field where viable academic research is needed and will make a fresh and significant contribution addressing at least one of those areas through the written dissertation.
  • The student will demonstrate a graduate-level understanding of at least one field of study complementary to the major through the completion of additional minor area seminars.
  • The student will be able to communicate the results of academic research in an organized, relevant manner.
  • The student will evidence the ability to understand and engage in biblical studies within the broader context of theological method and worldview.
Theology Major
  • The student will understand and employ effectively proper tools for advanced academic research in primary sources related to Biblical Studies, including the use of Hebrew, Greek, and cognate languages as needed.
  • The student will understand the history of Biblical Studies, with a particular emphasis on either Old Testament or New Testament, depending on the specific major chosen.
  • The student will demonstrate awareness of the primary issues, both historical and current, related to his or her major discipline (OT or NT).
  • The student will demonstrate knowledge of the primary contributors to biblical studies, both historical and current, and the nature of their contributions, utilizing appropriate research languages, normally German and French, in addition to Hebrew and Greek.
  • The student will be able to do creative, contemporary research that assumes, and is founded on, knowledge of the historical, philosophical, theological, and methodological issues of the chosen major area of study.
  • The student will demonstrate an awareness of areas within the chosen field where viable academic research is needed and will make a fresh and significant contribution addressing at least one of those areas through the written dissertation.
  • The student will demonstrate a graduate-level understanding of at least one field of study complementary to the major through the completion of additional minor area seminars.
  • The student will be able to communicate the results of academic research in an organized, relevant manner.
  • The student will evidence the ability to understand and engage in biblical studies within the broader context of theological method and worldview.

Entrance Requirements

Applicants not currently enrolled in GGBTS must apply for admission to the Seminary. Current students need only complete the application process for admission to the PhD program. Applicants who complete the application process by February 1st will be given first consideration. Other applicants will be considered up until April 15th. Application forms and individual guidance are available from the Seminary Enrollment Services Office and/or the Academic Graduate Studies Program Office. Entrance requirements include:
  • Demonstrated Christian character
  • A Bachelor's degree and a Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent from  accredited institutions
  • For the Biblical Studies Major: Completion of 16 graduate semester hours of Greek and Hebrew, at least nine in either Hebrew or Greek (necessary to have completed before enrollment but not necessary before applying)
  • For the Theology Major:
    • - Completion of 24 graduate semester hours of theology and church history, at least eight of these in advanced theology and church history courses
    • - Completion of 12 graduate semester hours of Greek and Hebrew
  • One modern research language required before entering into the program (though not necessary before applying)
  • GPA no lower than 3.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • A sample research paper that demonstrates PhD level research capability
  • Acceptable GRE score
  • Rationale for PhD study (typewritten)
  • Official TOEFL score, if applicable, of 600 (paper based) or 100 (iBT)

Application Process

The following is a checklist of items required to complete the application process:
  • Completed admission application form (do not leave anything blank)
  • $50.00 application fee
  • One copy of final, official transcripts from all colleges, universities, and seminaries attended (Golden Gate Seminary graduates do not need to submit any transcripts which were previously submitted for application to other degree programs)
  • Four recommendations (three from professors, one must be from the expected field of study). References must fill out "Additional Comment" section.
  • Church endorsement form
  • Two passport-type photographs
  • Statement of rationale for PhD study (typewritten)
  • A copy of a research paper demonstrating PhD research capability
  • G.R.E. exam results 
  • Interview by the Academic Graduate Studies Committee if requested
  • Official TOEFL score, if applicable, of 600 (paper based) or 100 (iBT)

Length of Time Allowed

Normally two years seminar work; two years dissertation. Only with permission will students be allowed to exceed six years of study.

Fields of Study

The PhD is offered in Biblical Studies, with majors in Old Testament or New Testament. Minor areas include Theology and Church History. The primary evaluative instrument is the research dissertation that must be defended before the PhD faculty and an outside reader selected by the Academic Graduate Studies Director. It must make a unique contribution to the specific field of the student's choice.

Curriculum Plan

1. Seminar Credit Hours
BIBLICAL STUDIES MAJOR
Research Foundations
  Research and Writing    2 hrs
  Major Discipline Research    6 hrs
   Advanced Hebrew/Greek  3 hrs  
  Models of Discipline 3 hrs  
Required Methodology Seminars (hours repeated in the Major and Minor Seminars below)
  Historiography 3 hrs  
  Hermeneutics 3 hrs  
Major Seminars    15 hrs
  Hermeneutics 3 hrs  
  Internal Seminars 9 hrs  
  External Seminars 3 hrs  
Minor Seminars    9 hrs
  Historiography 3 hrs  
  Other 6 hrs  
Teaching Adults    2 hrs
Dissertation     8 hrs
 
Total Credit hours    42 hrs
 
THEOLOGY MAJOR
Research Foundations
  Research and Writing    2 hrs
  Major Discipline Research    6 hrs
  Patristic, Medieval, and Reformation 3 hrs  
  Theological Method 3 hrs  
Required Methodology Seminars (hours repeated in the Major and Minor Seminars below)
  Hermeneutics 3 hrs  
Major Seminars    15 hrs
  Internal Seminars 12 hrs  
  External Seminars 3 hrs  
Minor Seminars    9 hrs
  Hermeneutics 3 hrs  
  Other 6 hrs  
Teaching Adults    2 hrs
Dissertation     8 hrs
 
Total Credit hours    42 hrs

2. Research Language
Two Research Languages, normally German and French, one completed before enrollment and the other before the second year

3. Professional Competency: Teaching
A minimum of one course taught successfully at the post high school level

4. Examinations
Doctoral Candidacy Examinations after completing all seminars
Research Language Examinations, one before enrollment and the other before enrolling for the second year
Dissertation Defense Examination before PhD faculty and an outside reader

Seminars

Students must consult the PhD manual for other requirements and program guidelines.

Course Title Course # Hours
PHD Seminars
dissertation P5111 8
Research Methods P5141 2

Biblical Studies Major Seminars
Old Testament Studies S5100 3
Old Testament Theology S5111 or L5212 3
Old Testament History S5112 or L5113 3
New Testament Studies S5300 3
Pauline Theology S5315 or L5213 3
Theology of the Synoptic Gospels S5319 or L5214 3
The Search for the Historical Jesus S5361 3
Hermeneutics S5511 3

Historical/Theological Studies
Historical Studies L5100 3
The Early Church L5110 3
The Lutheran Reformation L5111 3
Old Testament History L5113 or S5112 3
The Radical Reformation L5115 3
Historiography L5141 3
Theological Studies L5200 3
Old Testament Theology L5212 or S5111 3
Pauline Theology L5213 or S5315 3
Theology of the Synoptic Gospels L5214 or S5319 3
Contemporary Theology L5241 3
Theology of Christian Leadership: A Case Study Approach L5246 3
The Theology of the Christian Mission I5213 3

Theology Major Seminars

The Doctrine of God
The Doctrine of Christ
The Doctrine of the Church
The Doctrine of the Spirit
History of Baptist Theology
History of Evangelical Theology
Selected Topics in Christian Theology
Selected Figures in Christian Theology

For full-time student verification, students must be registered for 6 semester hours in any given semester and 14 hours for the year. VA students, please see Registrar for full-time student verification and additional information.

Seminar & course format
A one-week seminar is held prior to the beginning of each semester. Courses are taught in an intensive three-day format once each month during the semester.

Housing
Housing is available for full-time (defined as 15 credit-hours or more per year) PhD students. For more information contact the Admissions Office.

Financial Information
Consult the GGBTS website for current pricing.

PhD Faculty 
Gary Arbino, PhD
Professor of Old Testament and Archaeology
Curator: Marion Eakins Archaeological Collection

David Dockery, PhD
President, Union University
Professor of Christian Studies
(Affiliated)

Rodrick Durst, PhD
Professor of Historical Theology

George Guthrie, PhD
Benjamin W. Perry Professor of Bible
Union University
(Affiliated)

David M. Howard, PhD
Professor of Old Testament
Bethel Seminary
(Affiliated)

Mike Kuykendall, PhD
Professor of New Testament

V. Philips Long, PhD
Professor of Old Testament
Regent-College
(Affiliated)

Michael Martin, PhD
Professor of New Testament
Vice President for Academic Affairs 

Richard R. Melick, Jr. PhD
Distinguished Professor of New Testament
Director of Academic Graduate Studies Programs (ThM/PhD)

Chris Morgan, PhD
Dean of the School of Christian Ministries
California Baptist University 
(Affiliated)

John Shouse, PhD
Professor of Christian Theology 

Paul Wegner, PhD
Professor of New Testament 

Timothy Wiarda, PhD
Professor of New Testament


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