Doctor of Philosophy: Pastoral Theology

The Pastoral Theology Ph.D. program is not accepting applications for future students.


The Ph.D. program in Pastoral Theology: Transforming Persons, Communities, and Practices is designed to prepare scholars and practitioners in the academic discipline of pastoral theology and in practices with individuals, communities and wider publics. In keeping with the mission of Brite Divinity School, graduates of this program will make significant contributions to academy, church, and community through scholarship, original research, and reflective practice. Graduates will serve as teachers and researchers, pastoral care specialists, chaplains and leaders in intellectual and public contexts. View coursework and other degree program requirements related to the PhD Pastoral Theology program here.

Due to the generosity of donors, all admitted Ph.D. students receive full tuition and a $10,000 stipend. More information about tuition and fees is available here.

The application deadline for fall matriculation into a Ph.D. program is January 15.

Admission Requirements:

PhD Pastoral Theology applications must contain the following area specific requirements:

  1. A M.Div. from an ATS-accredited school is expected. Most successful applicants have completed the following:
    • 9 hours of pastoral care, pastoral theology, or pastoral counseling
    • 3 hours of ethics
    • 6 hours of theology
    • 6 hours of Bible
    • 6 hours of church history
    • The Admissions Committee will consider other degrees on a case by base basis.
  2. A document (thesis, research paper, article, lecture, writing project) in the applicant’s area of specialty that demonstrates abilities to conceptualize and communicate through the written word.
  3. A supervisory report from an experience in which they engaged intentionally in offering care to others and where attention was given to critical self-reflection over an extended period of time. Such experiences might include a unit of CPE, CPSP, AAPC, or work with a Licensed Clinical Supervisor (LCSW, LPC, AAMFT, etc.). The supervisory report ought to include a critical assessment of the applicant’s capacity for engaging others in helping conversations as well as the ability to learn through an intentional program of supervision and reflection.
  4. A Statement of Purpose
  5. Letters of Recommendation
  6. Transcripts from all previous undergraduate and graduate institutions
  7. GRE Scores
  8. TOEFL (if applicable)
  9. Personal Conduct Statement
  10. Application Fee

The application deadline for fall matriculation into a Ph.D. program is January 15.