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Department of Religion
College of Arts and Sciences

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Description of PhD


The Doctor of Philosophy in religion provides an opportunity for qualified students to do graduate work in this discipline at the highest level and in the university setting. It provides preparation for research and teaching in graduate theological education and in the college and university setting where religion is taught as one of the liberal arts and in relation to other such disciplines, particularly the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. The Baylor program offers work in four areas: New Testament, Old Testament, Church History, and Theology (Historical Theology, Systematic Theology, Christian Ethics, Contemporary Theology, Religion and Literature).

Jump to:

I. Course Work
II. Modern Foreign Languages
III. Preliminary Examinations
IV. Ph.D. Candidacy
V. Teaching Colloquy
VI. Dissertation
VII. Calendar for Ph.D. Program Completion


I. Course Work

For the Ph.D. in religion, a total of forty-eight (48) hours is required. Thirty-nine (39) semester hours (minimum) are required in Religion as indicated here:

Major: Thirty-three (33) semester hours (minimum) in the field declared as the area of concentration (Old Testament, New Testament, Church History, Theology). All courses in the major must be at the 5000 level.

Cognate: A total of nine (9) semester hours (minimum) at the 5000 level in a cognate field (Old Testament/New Testament; Church History/Theology).

Elective Courses: A total of six (6) semester hours of graduate courses within the Religion Department (but not in major or cognate field) or graduate courses in other departments. Electives should be chosen in consultation with area faculty, to enhance the research or teaching interests of the student.

Religion Major

Religion Cognate

Elective Courses

33 hours:

  • 6 hours colloquia (6 one hr. courses)

  • 27 hour emphasis (9 three hr. seminars)

9 hours:

  • 5000 level
    courses in Religion Cognate Area (3 three hour seminars)

6 hours:

  • Graduate courses within the Religion Department but not in the major or cognate field; or graduate courses in another department (2 three hour seminars).

II. Foreign Languages

The requirement of foreign languages as research tools is related to the major field of study and to research needs. The basic requirement is intermediate proficiency in two foreign languages, one of which must be attained prior to the fall semester. Methods for achieving the proficiency are described in the Graduate School Catalog. The following statements indicate the basic policy in each area:

•Old Testament and New Testament: The requirement is German and French. The area faculty may approve the substitution of another language for French if the student's research needs justify the substitution.

•Historical Studies: (1) Students concentrating in Church History will achieve intermediate proficiency in two of the following: German, French, Latin.

•Theological Studies: The requirement is German and French. The area faculty may approve the substitution of another language for French if the student's research needs justify the substitution.

Additional language study may be required in relation to research needs. One language must be completed before the beginning of course work in the fall semester, and the faculty recommends that all language work be completed in summer sessions. All foreign language requirements must be completed before students begin the last twenty-four semester hours of course work.

III. Preliminary Examinations

Doctoral students will take preliminary examinations at the completion of course work. Each student is required to take three preliminary examinations within the student's field of specialization.

IV. Ph.D. Candidacy

Admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. with a major in religion requires 1) satisfaction of foreign language requirements; 2) satisfactory completion of preliminary examinations; 3) approval of student's dissertation prospectus by Religion Graduate Faculty; and 4) certification by the Dean of the Graduate School.

V. Teaching Colloquy

The purpose of the teaching colloquy is to help students 1) gain insights into the intellectual development of students; 2) learn practical approaches to classroom instruction; 3) receive exposure to modern theories of teaching and learning; and 4) receive assistance in preparing for the employment application process.

Graduate Ph.D. students may receive the opportunity to teach courses within the religion department. Students wishing to teach must meet the following requirements:

  1. Successful completion of preliminary examinations

  2. Current enrollment or completion of REL 5399 (Teaching Colloquy)

  3. Attendance of mentoring sessions with appointed supervisor (currently Dr. Eric Holleyman).

VI. Dissertation

The final stage in the doctoral work is the satisfactory completion of a dissertation in accordance with guidelines provided by the Department and by the Graduate School.

VII. Calendar for Ph.D. Program Completion

Coursework

Summer

Fall

Spring

Before 1st year

1st Modern Foreign Language

First year

10 hours (3 courses + colloquium)

10 hours

Between 1st & 2nd years

2nd Modern Foreign Language and Prelim Prep

Second year

10 hours

10 hours

Between 2nd & 3rd years

Prelim Prep and/or additional language


Third year

7 hours (2 courses + colloquium)

1 hour (colloquium); Prelim Prep; Prelim Exams; Submit Topic Proposal 

End of third year

Submit Propsectus (August/September) 

Fourth year

Prospectus & Dissertation

Dissertation & Teaching Colloquy

 Fifth year
Disertation, Teaching, and Graduation!




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