Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy degree is designed for those current or future ministers of the church who have the additional gifts of research and writing.

Not every pastor has the gift of writing. But some do. Even fewer pastors are especially gifted with researching, thinking, teaching, and writing well. All pastors are theologians, because all pastors are called to study and communicate theology to their congregations, especially by reading and explaining the written Word of God. But not all pastors are called to be public theologians. These are men who know how to become generalists of knowledge. They read widely. But not only do they read widely, they also read deeply. They know how to discern truth from error in matters that are very complex. And they know how to communicate complexities with clarity. They can take scholarly babel and bring it down for the people to read and hear with understanding. These men are pastor-theologians. And some of God’s greatest gifts to the history of the church have been pastor-theologians. The names of Calvin and Owen are cases in point.

This degree is not intended to form a specialist scholar for the academy. This will be obvious in the requirements below. This degree is intended to form a pastor-theologian for the church.

This degree is designed to be a means of education through self-study. All learning takes place in the convenience of one’s own country, state, city, church, home, coffee shop, etc.

All who are admitted into this program will have to fulfill these requirements:

Select from these possible tracks.

  1. Linguistic Studies
  2. Biblical Studies
  3. Theological Studies
  4. Philosophical Studies
  5. Historical Studies
  6. Practical Studies
  7. Hermeneutics
  8. Old Testament
  9. New Testament
  10. Biblical Theology
  11. Systematic Theology
  12. Church History
  13. Philosophy
  14. Apologetics
  15. Biblical Hebrew
  16. Biblical Aramaic
  17. Biblical Greek
  18. Evangelism
  19. Missions
  20. Discipleship
  21. Worship
  22. Preaching
  23. Teaching
  24. Biblical Counseling
  25. Biblical Leadership
  26. City Development
  27. Cultural Engagement

Read 30,000 pages across no more than 150 approved books on that subject. You have the opportunity to select your own books. We’ll select books for you if that is preferred. All books must be approved by us in the end.

Write a 150-300 page book of original research for a popular audience on an approved topic within that subject. This book must be both academic and practical. This book must be both informative and devotional. The intended audience of this book can include scholars or seminary students. The intended audience of this book must include pastors and church members. The topic must relate to the chosen track. The topic must be approved before the book is written.

Participate in a small group. You may meet with fellow church members. You may meet with fellow ministers in your area who aren’t students of our program. You may meet with other students in our program at a distance via technology. Our primary hope is that you’ll learn how to think, speak, write, and live better by engaging with other believers in a group setting. We also hope you’ll learn how to partner with other believers and churches in ministry. Frankly, we’re tired of pastors competing against each other, and we’re tired of churches competing each other, especially when they share the same doctrine and belong to the same denomination.

Become mentored by a pastor. If you aren’t already a pastor, we strongly suggest you become mentored by your own pastor. If you are already a pastor, we suggest you become mentored by an older pastor in the area who has had more time to develop personal character, theological acumen, and ministry skills. Either way, we all need to be discipled by the older generations of the church. Our primary hope is that your character, theology, and skills will be developed by becoming mentored by an older, more experienced pastor.

Become an intern at a local church. If you aren’t already a pastor, we strongly suggest you intern at your own church. If you’re already a pastor, you won’t be required to intern at another church. The point is that we want every student actually serving the church, and we want them serving the church weekly. Our primary hope is that you’ll develop a greater understanding of the workings of the church, and that you’ll develop ministry skills by serving in a local church.