Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Studies

Quality Christian teaching and ministry requires a well-rounded academic background with a firm biblical foundation. At Faulkner University our online Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Studies provides this background.

Program Objectives

The purpose of the fully online Ph.D. in Biblical Studies is to provide a quality program for the preparation of well-trained, morally oriented, and ethically driven scholars in their chosen fields. Graduates will be able to realize careers in teaching, research, and diverse fields of ministerial occupations. 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.

Program Design

The Ph.D. in Biblical Studies consists of 54 semester hours of coursework beyond the master’s degree. All students must take the foundational course, Biblical Scholarship and Christian Ministry, and a seven-course core which exposes all students to the breadth of academic experience in biblical studies. Students choose one of two major tracks—Old Testament or New Testament—to complete the remaining 15 semester hours of course requirements.

The major track consists of four advanced seminars in the primary biblical text (Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek). The non-major track consists of two advanced seminars in the primary biblical text (Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek) in order to facilitate an interdisciplinary exposure in biblical studies. Students must also pass language proficiency exams in the biblical languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek) before registering for textual seminars and an exam in one secondary research language (German, French, Spanish, Latin, etc.) before taking the comprehensive examination. A student must pass the comprehensive exams to advance to the dissertation modules.

Finally, the dissertation consists of twelve hours (four dissertation modules of three hours each). All students must prepare and successfully defend (via conference call) their doctoral dissertation.

The program includes:

  • A fully online platform
  • A foundation course that examines the integration of scholarship and Christian ministry.
  • Seven core courses providing an in-depth understanding of the complex issues related to biblical studies.
  • Six textual courses in students’ area of concentration that explores the biblical text utilizing the primary languages of Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic.
  • Two textual courses in students’ non-major area that provides a broader understanding of the biblical literature.
  • Four dissertation modules that serve as the pinnacle of this academic program.
  • The Ph.D. program can typically be completed in four to five years.

Foundation Course:

BI 7301 Biblical Scholarship and Christian Ministry – Examines the use of Biblical doctrine and theology in Christian ministry

Core Courses:

BI 7310 Advanced Studies in Biblical Hermeneutics – Studies the art of Biblical interpretation

BI 7312 Advanced Studies Biblical Backgrounds – Examines role of archeology, 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

Textual Courses (12 hours in Major / 6 hours in Non-Major):

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 or – 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 or – 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 or – 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

Prospective students who wish to enroll in the Doctor of Philosophy program must meet the following admission requirements:

  • Hold a completed graduate degree in the field of biblical studies from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Official transcripts from all schools previously attended.
  • Hold a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0. If the student does not meet this requirement, the student may request conditional admission.
  • Score 500 on TOEFL (required of all students for whom English is a second language).
  • Submit three letters of recommendation with specific comments regarding the applicant’s academic work, any professional experience, and ability to complete successfully graduate study. These letters are usually from the applicant’s previous faculty members or supervisory personnel. At least one letter needs to come from a church leader.
  • Submit a statement of approximately 1500 words specifying personal goals and stating ways in which the Ph.D. from the Kearley Graduate School of Theology will contribute to those goals.
  • Submit a scholarly postgraduate formal writing sample
  • Participate in an interview with the dean, director of graduate studies, and graduate committee.
  • Receive approval by the director of graduate studies.

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.