Information regarding the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in World Christian Studies for the School of Evangelism and Missions which follows is an overview of the basic structure and requirements for completing the degree. Students enrolled in the program follow the current World Christian Studies Doctor of Philosophy Degree Handbook, which is provided by the Office of the Associate Dean for Doctoral Programs.
The Ph.D. program prepares persons of exceptional ability and promise to serve as teachers in specialized areas of theology: pastors, chaplains, or denominational leaders in positions such as administrators, editors, authors, in the United States or abroad. Presupposing a general education, the Ph.D. program emphasizes the attainment of expertise in the major, quality research, the development of critical evaluative skills, and significant contribution to the student’s field. Requiring competence in both biblical and nonbiblical languages, the program also provides instruction in principles of research and in pedagogy. Doctoral study presupposes a high degree of originality, independence, analytical research, judgment, and skill in articulating findings.
Applicants who have not previously attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary must submit a complete application for admission to the Office of Admissions. General admission application forms can be found online at www.swbts.edu. All applicants must gain admission to the seminary prior to receiving admission to the World Christian Studies Ph.D. program.
Current students or alumni of Southwestern who have graduated within the last three years must complete a Continued Studies Request or a Former Student Enrollment Update Request. These forms are available from the Office of the Registrar. Those alumni or former students who have not attended Southwestern within the last three years must reapply for admission.
Applicants must hold a masters degree in biblical and theological studies from a regionally accredited college, university, or seminary. Acceptable degrees for entrance into the Ph.D. program include the Master of Theology (Th.M.) and the Master of Divinity (M.Div.). The Master of Arts (Theology) (MATh.) may be acceptable for some majors depending on the overall content of the degree curriculum in relationship to the desired area of study. All applicants to the program must possess exegetical competence in biblical Hebrew and Greek.
Applicants must have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher in graduate studies in Bible and theology. If an applicant has not completed the degree program, transcripts verifying the possibility of attaining a 3.5 must be submitted before an application will be considered.
Because of the World Christian Studies Ph.D. program’s purpose and nature, applicants must have two years of international field experience, or its equivalent, and be working currently in a multi-cultural environment and/or role.
International applicants and/or students who have earned a terminal degree outside the United States must submit their transcripts to World Education Services (WES) for evaluation. The evaluation service sends evaluation results directly to the Ph.D. Office.
World Education Services
P.O. Box 745
Old Chelsea Station
New York, NY 10113-0745
Phone: 1-800-937-3895, fax: 212-739-6100
Each applicant must submit scores from the Graduate Record Exam Standard Examination (GRE). The GRE should be taken at least four months prior to the entrance examination and must have been taken no more than five years prior to applying for admission to Southwestern’s World Christian Studies Ph.D. program. Applicants must take the GRE at a testing center, since Southwestern Seminary does not administer the test. The GRE may be taken more than once, but only one score will be considered with the application. Each applicant must take the Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing portions of the GRE’s General Test.
International applicants that have American citizenship do not have to complete the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). All other international applicants must complete the TOEFL with a minimum score of 100 on the internet-based test or 250 on the computer-based test. Students who do not complete the internet-based TOEFL must also complete the TSE (Test of Spoken English). International applicants who have successfully completed an accredited English-language based degree may be exempt from this requirement.
Each applicant must submit a substantial research paper in the World Christian Studies field, representing the applicant’s best research and writing. The use of primary sources and the biblical languages (where applicable) will be examined carefully. The argumentation of the paper, including the clarity of the thesis, evaluation of evidence, and exercise of critical thought (as opposed to descriptive treatments) plays an essential role in the faculty’s assessment of research papers. The form and style should follow either the Southwestern Seminary Manual of Style or the most recent edition of Turabian.
Each applicant must provide the names and contact information of three former graduate-level professors to complete confidential recommendations in the application for the World Christian Studies Ph.D. degree. Recommendation forms will be sent electronically by the Fish School Ph.D. Office to the recommenders.
Applicants whose application form, research document, standardized test scores, and academic reference forms are posted by the deadline may be invited for an interview and asked to write an examination in the World Christian Studies concentration. The entrance examination probes the applicant’s knowledge in the field and tests the student’s ability to organize and express those thoughts logically and clearly. Entrance examinations require two hours. Those who have completed their application requirements will be notified by the Ph.D. Office of the time, date, and place for the examination. Study aids for this exam are available from the office of the Associate Dean for Doctoral Programs. Members of the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions Doctoral Committee will interview qualified applicants.
Applicants must submit all required documents for World Christian Studies Ph.D. applications to the Ph.D. Office by the last Friday in August or January prior to the May semester in which accepted applicants will begin their seminars. Applications are good for one year from the date received.
Academic year prior to beginning Ph.D. studies
|Applicants request application materials (application forms, including a list of required documents to support the application)|
Fall: By the last Friday in August. Items mailed must be postmarked by the last Friday in August.
Spring: By the last Friday in January. Items mailed must be postmarked by the last Friday in January.
|Applicants must submit to the Ph.D. office: the World Christian Studies Ph.D. application form, official transcripts, GRE scores, TOEFL scores (if applicable), WES (if applicable), three academic references, and a substantial research paper.|
|Intent to sit for Entrance Exams
Fall: Second Friday in September
Spring: Second Friday in February
|Applicants invited to take the entrance exams must confirm by reservation form sent with the invitation.|
|Entrance Exams and Interview
Fall: Complete by First Monday in November
Spring: Complete by First Monday in March
|Applicants write the major and minor entrance exam. Applicants interview with the Fish School Doctoral Committee. Each applicant will be contacted by the Associate Dean for Doctoral Programs to arrange the faculty interview.|
Applicants must have completed elective work in their desired field of study beyond the introductory courses required in a standard M.Div. degree. Each applicant’s portfolio will be evaluated by a faculty member assigned by the Ph.D. Doctoral Committee. Admission decisions rest totally on the strength of the complete portfolio. Those deemed insufficiently prepared will be denied admission.
In addition to competence in both biblical Hebrew and Greek, each division of the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions requires graduate-level preparation that applicants must complete prior to beginning seminars. Faculty, in consultation with the Associate Dean for Doctoral Programs, determine what leveling course-work must be completed on the basis of the applicant’s graduate transcripts.
The World Christian Studies degree requires one thesis-specific, research field language, or one traditional research language evaluated by proficiency exam, or its equivalent, as a research tool, determining specific research language competency. Students’ selection of their research field language requires the approval of each student’s Mentor Tutor and the Associate Dean for Doctoral Programs. If the Mentor-Tutor determines that only one research language is insufficient for the thesis subject, students may be required to do more than one research language. Applicants who must complete leveling work should pursue research language studies while doing leveling work, provided that the leveling courses remain the priority. English may not serve as students’ research language. The Research Language program at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary offers Theological German online. Normally, students may not enroll in research seminars until the research language has been completed. Students must document competency either by transcripted hours or a letter from the Director of the Research Language Program at Southwestern Seminary verifying that the student has successfully passed proficiency examinations. Failure to meet the required research language competencies may result in the student’s termination from the program.
The applicant’s admission to the World Christian Studies Ph.D. program does not rest on a single factor but on the strength of the entire portfolio, demonstrating readiness for Modified Residency Ph.D. work. Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions faculty and the Associate Dean for Doctoral Programs evaluate the applicant’s fitness for doctoral studies. Students will be notified by mail after taking the entrance examinations whether or not they have been accepted into the World Christian Studies Ph.D. program.
In the spring after all admissions materials have been compiled, the Associate Dean for Doctoral Programs calls a meeting of the Ph.D. Doctoral Committee. After carefully reviewing all documents in an applicant’s portfolio, the Ph.D. Doctoral Committee recommends admission or rejection to the Associate Dean for Doctoral Programs. While the Committee’s recommendation is normally accepted, should the Associate Dean for Doctoral Programs decide not to accept their recommendation, he will do so only after further consultation with the Ph.D Doctoral Committee and the approval of the Dean.
Applicants denied admission to the World Christian Studies Ph.D. program may reapply only once. All application materials are confidential. Neither the Associate Dean for Doctoral Programs, nor the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions Faculty, have any obligation to divulge information regarding admission decisions.
Students admitted to the World Christian Studies Ph.D. program who do not begin seminar studies within one and one-half years from the time of admission must submit a new application both for World Christian Studies Ph.D. study and for general admission to the seminary.
Admission to the World Christian Studies Ph.D. program does not admit the student to the residential Ph.D. program.
Each World Christian Studies Ph.D. student must complete four thesis-defined Research Seminars, six Library Intensives, three fall and three spring Tutorial Sessions, four prospectus-focused Student Colloquia, the Teaching in Global Higher Education Seminar with the corresponding Teaching Apprenticeship, three Annual Oral Comprehensive Exams, and the dissertation.
Each World Christian Studies Ph.D. student is required to pay the general matriculation fee and all student fees of the institution as well as the Ph.D. studies fee each semester until the degree has been completed. Fees are established by the seminary administration, not by the Ph.D. office, and are subject to change.
Tuition* - Southern Baptist (per year, CP Scholarship) $5,600.00
Tuition* - Non-Southern Baptist (per year) $11,200.00
*Research language courses and other leveling courses are not included in this amount. These courses will be billed at the hourly rate for Masters courses.
Financial assistance is not available through the Ph.D. Office. However, all research doctoral students in good standing are eligible to receive a Research Doctoral Grant (RDG) in the amount of $300 each Fall and Spring semester, up to eight semesters. In order to receive the RDG, you must download an application form, complete it, and return it to the Fish School Ph.D. Office (PHDWCS@keptprivate.com) by the deadline listed on the application. Failure to submit a completed RDG application by the deadline will forfeit the student’s ability to receive that semester’s RDG. All inquiries regarding the RDG should be made through the Ph.D. Office.
For additional information about Ph.D. studies in the School of Evangelism and Missions, please contact the Ph.D. Office:
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions
P.O. Box 22667
Fort Worth, TX 76122-0667
817.923.1921, ext. 6476