Doctor of Philosophy - Clarks Summit University

Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy degree at Baptist Bible Seminary is an advanced professional ministry program that gives you the competent ability to engage in thorough research and writing. The Ph.D. is considered the terminal degree for those who teach higher level education courses, as well as missionary educators, international academic leaders, and pastors who desire to have a strong teaching ministry.

The degree program requires 60 credit hours of study, including a doctoral dissertation. For those possessing a Th.M. degree, the PhD program is 38 credit hour program. Credits may be flexible depending on your previous theological education.

As a student in the Ph.D. program, you can specialize your program to fit your ministry needs. Focus in the areas of Old Testament, New Testament, Systematic Theology, or Bible Exposition. 

The flexibility of the doctoral modules allows students from around the world to study at BBS.

Having trouble deciding between the Ph.D. and the D.Min.? View a program comparison chart here.

Select a Doctor of Philosophy Concentration

The focus of the Old Testament concentration is analyzing and mastering the Hebrew language for sufficient translation and theological understanding. Courses in biblical Aramaic, ancient culture, and textual criticism are included in the concentration, giving you a deep understanding of the Old Testament.

The New Testament concentration emphasizes a sound understanding of historical and cultural implications of the New Testament. Courses included in the concentration focus on linguistics, textual criticism, and in-depth exegetical studies of New Testament literature.

As a student in the Systematic Theology concentration, you will address historical and contemporary issues in theology. Practical skills are gained as you learn to teach theology cross-culturally. Special attention is paid to teaching in the postmodern culture.

Detailed study of each Old Testament and New Testament books is the focus of the Bible Exposition concentration. You will study biblical concepts as well as issues in hermeneutics and exegesis. Biblical analysis of history, culture, archaeology and chronology give you the fullest understanding of the biblical texts and the tools for exposition.

Formats and Features

The Doctor of Philosophy degree is a non-resident program offered in one-week, on-campus modules. This flexibility allows you to continue in your current ministry without having to relocate your family or take a long-term leave of absence.

The program is a hybrid of both classroom lecture and online learning. Each 13-week course requires one week of internal residency. Students come to the Clarks Summit campus for one week intensive classes. Internal residence weeks include about 26 hours of instructions and are held in October, February, and June.

As an in-service degree program, the Ph.D. can be earned while you continue in your professional ministry setting. The program may also be completed in much less time by living in the area and carrying a larger load of courses.

Ph.D. Requirements

Baptist Bible Seminary exists to train students in biblical doctrines and scriptural applications for excellence in leadership. BBS is open to men and women desiring to grow their faith and deepen their ministry in an academic setting.

A Master of Divinity degree is required for entrance into the Ph.D. program. Other master’s degrees may be utilized and supplemented with additional coursework. Your M.Div. must have prepared you with Greek and Hebrew language study to use in Bible study and research. BBS will work with you on biblical language reviews for assistance in this area. You must have earned a grade point average of 3.0 in all graduate studies to enter the Ph.D. program. Transcripts must be sent from all previous undergraduate and graduate level studies.

An oral interview with a faculty committee will be conducted prior to admission. A written statement of agreement with the articles of doctrine of Baptist Bible Seminary must also be submitted.

The general requirements for entrance as a student into Baptist Bible Seminary apply to all doctoral students. Read the Baptist Bible Seminary Catalog.

For more information on enrollment requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy refer to the Ph.D. Handbook.

Doctor of Philosophy Core Courses:

  • OT1 Seminar in OT Hermeneutics and Exegetical Method

  • NT1 Seminar in NT Hermeneutics and Exegetical Method

  • TH1 Seminar in Advanced Theological Method

  • BI1 Advanced Bible Teaching and Communication Methods

  • MP1 Developing Effective Leadership Skills*

  • MP2 The Centrality of Scripture in Ministry*

  • MP3 Current Trends in Global Ministry*

    *Only one of these courses is required.

Old Testament
OT2 Old Testament Theology
OT3 Advanced Readings in the Hebrew Bible
OT4 Biblical Aramaic
OT5 OT History and the Ancient Near East
OT6 Comparative Semitics & OT Textual Criticism
OT7 Seminar in OT Problems
OT8 Studies in Deuteronomy
OT9 Studies in Biblical Hebrew Poetry
OT10 Studies in Former Prophets
OT11 Studies in Post Exilic Prophets & Writings
PH890 Independent Study in Old Testament

New Testament
NT2 Seminar in Greek Studies
NT3 Seminar in Biblical Intertextuality
NT4 NT Backgrounds & Intertestamental Period
NT5 NT Biblical Theology
NT6 NT Textual Criticism
NT7 Seminar in NT Problems
NT8 Seminar in Gospel Studies
NT9 Exegetical Studies in Johannine Literature
NT10 Exegetical Studies in Pauline Literature
NT11 Exegetical Studies in Non-Pauline Literature
PH890 Independent Study in New Testament


TH2 The History of Christian Doctrine
TH3 Teaching Contextualized Theology Cross-Culturally
TH4 Issues in Eschatology
TH5 Contemporary Issues in Theology
TH6 Issues in Biblical Ethics
TH7 Issues in Christian Apologetics
TH8 Studies in the History of Dispensationalism
TH9 Advanced Issues in Ecclesiology
TH10 Studies in Bible & Science Issues
TH11 Cross-listed Courses from OT and NT
PH890 Independent Study in Theology

Bible Exposition
BI2 Analysis of Old Testament Books
BI3 Analysis of New Testament Books
BI4 Interpretive Issues in Bible Exposition
BI5 Issues in Contemporary Hermeneutical Theory
BI6 Biblical Covenants
BI7 Advanced Bible Exposition
BI8 Bible Archaeology and Chronology
BI9 Understanding the Middle East Mind in Bible Times
BI10 Advanced Issues in Dispensational Bible Analysis
PH890 Independent Study in Bible Exposition

Interdisciplinary Seminar and Communication Practicum
PH11, 12, 13 Interdisciplinary Seminars and Communications Practicums

Theological Language Courses
PH71 Reading Theological German 1 credit
PH72 Reading Theological French 1 credit

Professional Teaching Practicum
PH14 Professional Teaching Practicum 0 credits

Comprehensive Exams
PH15 Comprehensive Exams Preparation 0 credits

Dissertation Sequence
PH91 Dissertation Reading & Proposal 2 credits
PH92 Dissertation Reading & Research 2 credits
PH93 Dissertation Reading, Writing, & Defense 3 credits

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