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Boston University Graduate School
Division of Religious and Theological Studies

PhD and MA in Theology

For the CURRENT PROGRAM, see PhD in Religious Thought.

Beginning in Fall 2009, Boston University's Division of Religious and Theological Studies (DRTS) offers PhD and MA degrees specializing in Christian Theology or Comparative Theology through Track II: Religious Thought. Boston University's School of Theology offers ThD majors and minors in Theology and a variety of masters degrees specializing in Theology. See General Information (below) for details.

Information on this page is for DRTS and STH doctoral students in Theology covered by old rules, in place prior to Fall 2009.


General Information

Purpose of the PhD and MA in Theology

Requirements of the PhD and MA in Theology

General Information


Purpose of the PhD and MA in Theology

The PhD and MA degrees offered by DRTS are academic degrees.

The doctoral programs in theology are designed to prepare students to understand and assess theological issues, and to pursue truth concerning them, in conversation with religious or secular traditions that might take an interest in them, or in which they might be interested.

The PhD and MA specializations in Theology are two: Christian Theology and Comparative Theology. Both specializations in the Theology PhD have a double emphasis on accumulating historical knowledge of philosophical and systematic theology (especially within Christianity for the Christianity track, and in two traditions for the Comparative track), and on building constructive skills needed to formulate and argue for theological positions.

For a more detailed account of the style and purpose of Boston University's doctoral programs Theology, see the appropriate section of the Theology Red Book.

Requirements of the PhD and MA in Theology

Included in the exciting mass of literature intended to guide you through your PhD degree program in theology is the so-called Theology Red Book. Note that, though this publication has a similar name to the DRTS "Virtual Red Book", it is a different document, older, and specific to the Theology programs. The similar names are evidence of the popularity of red covers for written documents, which is the form both took when they were first produced. Almost everything you need to know about the way the theology program works as far as requirements are concerned is discussed in gripping fashion within the pages of the Theology Red Book.

The theology PhD program comes in two specializations: Christianity and Comparative. Both degrees include a big dose of comparative theology, but the comparative track involves specializing in two traditions instead of one and so has different qualifying examinations and language requirements.

If you are interested in sample qualifying examination questions, you will find questions organized by period and type in the Web Archive.

The information on this page is copyright 1994 onwards, Wesley Wildman (basic information here), unless otherwise noted. If you want to use ideas that you find here, please be careful to acknowledge this site as your source, and remember also to credit the original author of what you use, where that is applicable. If you want to use text or stories from these pages, please contact me at the feedback address for permission.