Admission Requirements

Applicants will be required to have a Master of Divinity degree (or 72 hours of graduate credit from an accredited program) with a 3.5 or higher cumulative grade point average. Applicants will also be required to perform well on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), not least on the verbal portion of the exam. Students must also demonstrate proficiency in Hebrew and Greek, along with one modern research language, before admission and enrollment.

The following items must be submitted/completed as part of your online application to Truett Theological Seminary and the Baylor University Graduate School:

  1. Provide Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. Information concerning the GRE may be obtained from Graduate Record Examinations, Educational Testing Service, Box 6000, Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6000 or the GRE website at gre.org.
  2. Provide a statement of purpose of 7-10 pages (single-space) indicating rationale for pursuing graduate work in preaching. Students will:
    • Explain your motivation for and expectations of doctoral education in preaching
    • Include particular qualities that you bring to the seminary/university and to the profession as well as areas in which you would like to grow academically and professionally
    • Specify your areas of academic and research interests
    • Speak to your scholarly potential
    • Address the integration of doctoral studies to your ministry in the local church
  3. Applicants will also be required to submit two sermon manuscripts and recordings of two preaching events—one from the Old Testament and the other from the New Testament.
  4. Applicants will demonstrate their facility with the biblical languages by submitting exegetical papers for both sermons and by taking a language competency exam during the admissions process. The applicant will provide the name and title, email address, and telephone number of a person who can proctor their competency exam. [This may be an elder, deacon, pastor, professor or other individual who can witness that the applicant is not using aids.]
  5. One foreign language must be completed before the end of the first year of the program. Until then, the student will be admitted on probation. It is advisable to complete the foreign language requirement prior to enrollment in the program. Students must provide transcripts of language course completion.
  6. Applicants will provide a sample of scholarly writing, representing the applicant’s best research and writing. One example (not exceeding 25 pages double-spaced) of a recent work of scholarly writing that provides evidence of one's capacity to think analytically and critically about homiletics. The following are examples of appropriate submissions:
    • Published article, book chapter, or excerpt from a published work
    • Unpublished research paper
    • A paper written in a graduate level course
    • A 7-10 page paper on a topic (homiletics) of interest to the applicant that is written specifically as the writing sample for the application
  7. Applicants will provide a resume or Curriculum Vitae. Include a list of publications and professional presentations.
  8. Applicants must have three to five years of full-time pastoral/preaching ministry.
  9. Applicants will submit official transcripts of all degree work: undergraduate, master degrees, and specifically the master of divinity degree (with a 3.5 or higher cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale) from an accredited seminary or university.
  10. Applicants will provide three letters of recommendation. Two of the references should come from academic faculty who can attest to the applicant’s superior ability and potential. A third reference should come from the leadership of the congregation in which the applicant is serving, in support of PhD studies. This can be from the board of deacons, elders, or other leadership body of the church. For full time applicants, a letter from a member of the pastoral staff will be acceptable.
  11. Selected students may be brought to campus for interviews in the final stage of selection.

Admission to the PhD in Preaching represents a competitive process. The most qualified applicants will receive an invitation to enter the PhD program. Admission to the PhD in Preaching program does not rest on a single factor but on the strength of the entire application portfolio, which demonstrates readiness for research doctoral studies.