The purpose of the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biblical Studies (PhD) with degree concentrations in the Old Testament or the New Testament is to equip students for academic teaching, research, and for producing scholarly, creative writing in the fields of Old Testament and New Testament. Students select one of these two fields as a concentration, while conducting significant study in the other testament is obviously the minor. They will take a comprehensive examination and write a dissertation, both of which will reflect the area of concentration. The program is specifically oriented toward preparing students to teach Bible and biblical languages in universities, seminaries, theological schools, and colleges; to teach in related academic fields at the college level; to become a specialist in scholarly biblical teaching in one’s ministerial practice; and to produce scholarly writing. This Biblical Studies program should equip students with the aptitude necessary to bring critical skills to the biblical text; to analyze, interpret, and explain the text; and to express insights and conclusions in scholarly writing.
There are 10 core courses of the 20 required courses in the PhD in Biblical Studies which address areas such as biblical archaeology, the world of the Bible, theology, doctrine, critical interpretation of the Bible, ethics, linguistics, etymology, the authority of the Bible, exegesis, and the origin and history of the Scriptures. These core courses provide students with essential research tools and assess the methods of critical scholarship. The six Old and New Testament textual courses in this program will use the latest Hebrew or Greek editions of the Old and New Testaments. The other four courses deal directly with the writing of the dissertation.
Other requirements within these concentrations are as follows:
- Old Testament Concentration
A student may elect the concentration in Old Testament studies. The primary goal of this concentration is the development of a comprehensive knowledge of the Old Testament and related subjects. This Old Testament emphasis encompasses a study of ancient Near Eastern Archaeology, History and Religion (with an emphasis on Israel and its neighbors), Old Testament Theology, and textual courses with Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia as the primary source. A total of 33 required semester hours would be in the field of Old Testament study (this includes 9 semester hours in the core courses, 12 hours in textual courses and 12 hours in the dissertation); additionally there will be 15 hours in New Testament study; and 12 more hours in studies related to both Testaments.
- New Testament Concentration
A student may elect the concentration in New Testament studies. The primary goal of this concentration is a development of a comprehensive knowledge of the New Testament and related studies. The New Testament concentration encompasses a study of Archaeology, History and Religion of the Hellenistic Age (with an emphasis on Palestine), New Testament Theology, and textual courses which make use of the best editions of the Greek New Testament. A total of 33 required semester hours would be in the field of New Testament study (this includes 9 hours in the core courses, 12 hours in textual courses and 12 hours in the dissertation); additionally there will be 15 semester hours in Old Testament study; and 12 semester hours in studies related to both Testaments.
Upon completion of the Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Studies program the graduates will have:
- comprehensive knowledge of the field of biblical studies and a working knowledge of related academic disciplines, such as theology and history;
- The ability to use the biblical text in the original languages and to exegete it in a scholarly manner;
- The skills to engage competently in original research and writing that advance the understanding of the biblical text for the sake of academy, church, and society in order to enrich the spiritual life of others.
- A sense of and a commitment to the vocation of biblical scholarship in its dimensions of learning, research, and teaching.