Doctor of Philosophy.


Doctor of Philosophy

Dive deep. Aim high.

The Doctor of Philosophy is an advanced research degree for:

  • Students aspiring to work in teaching, research and leadership in college, university and seminary level education
  • Professionals in government, law, religious leadership, NGOs, libraries and media seeking high-level credentials as an expert in religious and theological studies

The PhD is the highest academic degree available in the United States.

Students complete coursework and comprehensive exams in three to four years. The dissertation, from prospectus to defense and submission, often takes two years.

Areas of Study

The Theological School’s Graduate Division of Religion (GDR) supports graduate research in the following disciplinary areas of specialization:

Transdisciplinary Signature Areas

To deepen transdisciplinary work, all students also declare a Signature Area major in one of the following:

My research at Drew focused on the intersections of queer and feminist theories in and around Paul’s letters, in addition to ancient Greek and studies ways of teaching Greek as a “living language." I have presented multiple papers at the Society of Biblical Literature, and facilitated mentoring sessions for the national SBL’s 'non-traditional' hermeneutics coalition. ”
James Hoke
Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion, Luther College

General Information

Admissions Requirements

•  Deadline: Fall Semester – December 15

• A master’s degree or the equivalent from an accredited institution.

• The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is optional for all applicants, domestic and international. Scores no older than five years are accepted. To present a competitive application, a student should have a minimum score of 153 on the verbal section, a minimum score of 144 on the quantitative section and a minimum score of 4 on the analytical writing section.

• Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for all international applicants. Scores no older than five years are accepted. To present a competitive application, a student should have a minimum score of 80. Applicants that have completed at least one year of full time study at an accredited College or University in a country where English is the primary language of instruction may request a waiver. The TOEFL is waived for applicants that come from any of these listed countries.

• A personal statement describing the applicant's personal and intellectual interests that have led him or her to the proposed disciplinary field of study, and what directions those interests will take at Drew, particularly in relation to a possible signature area, and preferably with reference to the specific faculty with whom they hope to work.

• An academic writing sample, ordinarily an academic paper or essay.

• Two letters of recommendation. These should be from academic professors or persons familiar with the student’s academic ability and with the academic rigors of a graduate degree. They should comment on the critical thinking and writing skills, the research ability and the general suitability of the applicant for graduate study.

• A resume. Students cannot be enrolled simultaneously in more than one school of the university, or in more than one program.

I earned a Bachelor in Theology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa where I focused on oral histories of HIV/AIDS in churches, hospitals and communities. My master’s thesis, “Hagar, Sarah and the Abrahamic Religions: Exploring their Postcoloniality and Polygamous Identities,” prepared me for my current reading of the Hebrew Bible in relation to Africa and its diaspora(s). I am able to make connections between my field work and my research because of the kind of scholarship I am now exposed to at Drew. ”
Minenhle Nomalungelo Khumalo
Student, Hebrew Bible track