Teenage girls discussing their online bible class.

Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Studies

Quality Christian teaching and ministry requires a well-rounded academic background with a firm biblical foundation. Faulkner University offers such a foundation through the Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Studies program.

Program Objectives

The purpose of this fully online PhD in Biblical Studies program is to equip well-trained, morally oriented, and ethically driven scholars in academic study of the Bible. Graduates will be able to realize careers in teaching, research, and diverse fields of ministry. The program is designed to provide its graduates with essential knowledge in the key areas of biblical studies with preparation for scholarly endeavors. Therefore, the goals of the program are as follows:

  • To prepare graduates for entry-level teaching positions in public, private, and governmental sectors and for postdoctoral research.
  • To provide general coursework in biblical studies and specific coursework in religious history, theology, biblical backgrounds, archaeology, biblical and related languages, and biblical interpretation.
  • To provide graduates with specific and general knowledge and a range of skills in the key areas of reading, writing, speaking, researching, and analyzing which lead to excellence in various careers.

Primary student learning outcomes include working knowledge of biblical languages and of one additional language that contributes to theological research.

Program Design

To earn the PhD in Biblical Studies a Kearley Graduate School of Theology (KGST) student must earn 54 semester hours of credit at the doctoral level.  Each PhD student must complete foundational courses Biblical Scholarship and Christian Ministry and Advanced Studies in Biblical Hermeneutics, plus a six-course core which exposes the student to the breadth of academic experience in biblical studies. A student must also complete six electives from a choice of advanced seminars in the primary biblical text (Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek), and write a dissertation.  The capstone of the program is the student’s dissertation.  The student must complete four dissertation modules of three hours each in order to earn the degree. Upon completion the student must successfully defend (via conference call) that doctoral dissertation.

Non-credit exams required for the PhD program
A student must
pass language proficiency exams in the biblical languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek) before registering for textual seminars. The student must also pass an exam in one secondary research language (German, French, Spanish, Latin, etc.) before taking a program-comprehensive examination. The student must pass the comprehensive exams to advance to the dissertation modules.A fully online platform

This is a fully online program.

The PhD in Biblical Studies program can typically be completed in four to five years.

Required Foundation Courses:

BI 7301 Biblical Scholarship and Christian Ministry – Examines the use of Biblical doctrine and theology in Christian ministry
BI 7310 Advanced Studies in Biblical Hermeneutics – Studies the art of Biblical interpretation

Required Core Courses:

BI 7312 Advanced Studies Biblical Backgrounds – Examines role of archaeology, geography, and history in Biblical interpretation
BI 7314 Advanced Studies in Textual Criticism – Studies history, materials, and praxis of textual criticism
BI 7316 Advanced Studies in Biblical Theology – Examines Biblical thought and interpretation
BI 7318 Advanced Studies in Religious History – Studies history of Christian church and practices
BI 8311 Advanced Studies in Restoration Theology – Examines the movement that shaped the contemporary Christian church
BI 8313 Advanced Studies in Biblical Languages – Study of Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic

Elective Textual Seminars (Six seminars required)

OT 8320 Seminar in the Wisdom Literature or – Study of Biblical wisdom books
NT 8321 Seminar in the Epistle of Hebrews – Examines Biblical book of Hebrews
OT 8322 Seminar in the Historical Literature or – Study of Biblical historical literature texts
NT 8323 Seminar in the Pauline Letters – Examines Biblical letters of Paul
OT 8324 Seminar in the Major Prophets or – Study of major prophets of Old Testament scripture
NT 8325 Seminar in the Book of Acts – In-depth examination of the Acts of the Apostles
OT 8326 Seminar in the Torah – Examination of first five books of the Old Testament
NT 8327 Seminar in the Gospels – Study of the Gospels
OT 8328 Seminar in the Psalms  – Study of biblical book of Psalms
NT 8329 Seminar in the General Epistles and Johannine Literature – Examination of Biblical epistles
OT 8330 Seminar in the Minor prophets – Study of minor prophets of the Old Testament
NT 8331 Seminar in the Book of Romans – Examination of the book of Romans


RD 9320 Dissertation I – Student chosen topic
RD 9321 Dissertation II – Student chosen topic
RD 9322 Dissertation III – Student chosen topic
RD 9323 Dissertation IV – Student chosen topic

Admission Requirements

For admission to the PhD in Biblical Studies program, an applicant must complete the following tasks:

Completed graduate application.

Earn a biblical-studies master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Hold at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point in a master’s degree program. If the student does not meet this requirement, the student may request conditional admission.

Arrange delivery of official transcripts, from all the colleges and universities attended, directly from the school’s Registrar’s Office to Faulkner’s Office of Graduate Enrollment. Hand delivered copies, photocopies, and printouts of grade reports are not acceptable.

Submit three letters of recommendation with specific comments regarding the applicant’s academic work, ability to successfully complete graduate study, and any relevant professional experience. Letters of recommendation should, if possible, include a letter from a faculty member who taught master’s classes for the applicant and a letter from a work supervisor who is familiar with the applicant’s degree-related work.

Submit a goals statement of approximately 1500 words specifying the applicant’s degree-related goals and stating ways in which the PhD from the Kearley Graduate School of Theology will contribute toward achieving those goals. Include in this goals statement: (1) background preparation for the degree; (2) basis for the choice of the KGST; (3) spiritual and academic goals; (4) impact of the degree sought on financiers and personal, employment, and family time. Obtaining a score of 40 or above qualifies the applicant for an interview with the PhD faculty.

Submit a copy of a graduate research paper or thesis previously accepted in a graduate-level biblical studies program

Participate in an interview with the dean, KGST director, and the graduate committee.

Receive approval for admission from the KGST director.

A student whose first language is not English must also submit a TOEFL score of at least 500.

To Apply

  1. Submit a completed online application.
  2. Complete and print the Official Transcript Request  form and submit it to all previously attended schools with the appropriate fee.
  3. Send all additional items via email to your enrollment counselor.


2019-2020 Financial Information

Tuition $560 per semester hour
Eagle I Initiative Fee $100 per semester ($50 if 3 hours or less)
Registration Fee $120 per semester ($60 if 3 hours or less)
Online Course Fee $60 per semester hour
Applicable Course Fees see full tuition and fee schedule

View full tuition and fee schedule for all Faulkner University programs.