Doctorado en Teología | Doctor of Theology

Doctor of Theology

The Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) degree program is designed to provide advanced study and research for persons in pastoral, ministerial, educational, and/or church leadership in the specific area of Practical Theology.  The Th.D. program provides opportunities for in-depth exploration, study, research, and analysis regarding the Church, her practices, and ministry in selected interdisciplinary fields (i.e., biblical, theological, historical, and philosophical -- a component consistent with all graduate programs that CTCM offers), and in courses focused on selected practices of the Church and ministry.

The program will be offered utilizing a cohort model. 

The program will consist of 53 semester credits and will take a minimum of four and a half years to complete. The program will consist of an established curriculum of 10 courses (39 credits), to be followed by written comprehensive examinations and a dissertation (minimum of 14 credits). The program will utilize a cohort model for course offerings and will be mostly online in format, offered synchronously, with all four-credit online courses being eight weeks in length.  The coursework opens with a face-to-face course of three credits, focusing on research methods.  One course will be offered after the last semester through a summer, one-week, face-to-face intensive format with required assignments of readings, papers, etc. before and after the course convenes.

A three-credit course will provide the students with the skills related to research methods and theological research at the beginning of the program. The remaining 9 courses will consist of four-credit courses; thus, there are:

  • Five courses in the Foundational Curriculum,
  • Five courses in the Practical Theology Curriculum,
  • Two courses for the Comprehensive Examination, and 
  • Five courses in the dissertation.

The courses will be scheduled so that coursework may be completed in 2 years. 

Student Learning Outcomes

As a result of this program, a student will be able to:

  • Construct a robust, nuanced theological understanding of the Church that: a) is informed by biblical, historical, theological, and philosophical considerations, b) critically assesses practices of ministry (past and present), and c) engages such practices for the purpose of appropriate experimentation and integration into the student’s ecclesial context.  
  • Cultivate and develop expertise in the critical study of the Church from a specific field of study (biblical, theological, historical), including a critical understanding and utilization of publications within the larger realm of theological and ecclesial studies.
  • Apply, critically and creatively, theological knowledge regarding the Church into a dissertation with critical and qualitative research that contributes to the body of scholarly knowledge in the field.

Admissions Requirements:

  • A recognized master’s degree in religion (M.A., M.Div., M.T.S., Th.M.) from an accredited academic institution (by an official US regional accreditation agency and/or the Association of Theological Schools; or, for international students, a similar international accrediting agency), with a minimum of 30 semester graduate credits, including a minimum of 6 semester graduate credits in each of the following disciplines: biblical studies, systematic theology, church history, philosophy, and practical theology. An official transcript is required.  
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.2 in previous graduate programs. An official transcript is required.         
  • Three reference letters of recommendation that provide evidence of scholarly abilities, aptitude for ministry, and potential for successful completion of a doctoral program. At least two of these must be academic references, and at least one letter must be provided by a person familiar with the applicant’s ministry experience.
  • Submission of a 3-5 page statement of purpose in which the applicant explains:
    • their academic and professional interests,
    • the reasons behind selecting this particular program and Northwest Nazarene University as desirable in pursuing those interests, and
    • how they see this degree impacting their role in the Church
  • Submission of a paper (both hard copy and electronic file, approximately 15-20 pages in length) on an appropriate subject from the broad field of religion or religious studies that represents the applicant’s analytical and writing abilities. This paper may be a representative piece of the applicant’s previous work in another academic program.
  • Competency in the use of computer and internet technology, and either access to or ownership of appropriate computer equipment. High-speed internet access is required.
  • Recommendation of program recommendation admissions committee.
  • Non-refundable application fee.

Graduation Requirements

1.  The student will complete all coursework and pass each class with at least a B-.  A lower grade requires that the course be repeated.  A cumulative GPA of 3.2 is required.
2.  The student must attend the two designated face-to-face classes at NNU.
3.  The student will pass four comprehensive examinations, as outlined in the curriculum.
4.  The student's dissertation prospectus must be approved by the advisor(s) and the program director.
5.  The student's dissertation will be approved by the dissertation committee with the designation of "passed"; "passed with revision" must be revised and approved.
6.  The dissertation will meet all style requirements for final submission.
7.  The student will pay their tuition in full.

Foundational Curriculum

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The Graduate School of Theology may choose to accept up to 8 credits (2 courses) in transfer for the above Foundational Courses from an accredited Th.D. or Ph.D. program.

Comprehensive Exams

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