Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

Doctor of Philosophy FAQ

How should I go about choosing a Ph.D. program?

This is a great question, and you should invest some time into considering the issues. Part I of this book provides very helpful information on choosing Ph.D. programs, and we highly recommend it: Nijay K. Gupta, Prepare, Succeed, Advance: A Guidebook for Getting a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies and Beyond (Pickwick, 2011). Note: The book is not limited to Biblical Studies Ph.D. programs.

When can I begin the program?

We currently accept cohorts to begin each fall and spring semester.

When is the deadline for application?

Select your program on the Admissions page to view admission deadlines.

If I am accepted to the Ph.D. program, can I defer my acceptance to another semester?

If you are accepted to the Ph.D. program in Theological Studies and you decide to defer, your application will be reevaluated by the Ph.D. admissions committee. Your application would then be reviewed along with all other applications for the next year, and a new admissions decision would be made. If you wait longer than a year and wish to attend the Ph.D. program, you will need to submit a new application.

How many credits should I plan to take my first semester?

Students generally take 6 credit hours each semester during the coursework phase of the program.

What courses will I be taking?

Students will generally take two courses during their first semester: Theological Studies & the Academy and Theological German. If students have already met their modern language requirement, or if German is not required for their research interest, they may take another elective or core course. For information about Doctor of Philosophy courses see the University Catalog.

How much is tuition?

See the Tuition & Financial Aid page in the Admissions section of the website.

How long will it take me to complete my degree?

The Doctor of Philosophy program will take 4 to 7 years to complete, depending on how long the student takes to complete the dissertation. Coursework can usually be finished in 2.5 - 3.5 years.

How many hours is the Ph.D. Program?

The program includes 48 hours of coursework, including 24 hours of track electives and 12 hours of non-track electives; plus exams and dissertation.

Do I have to be enrolled every semester?

Students are expected to enroll every semester (fall, spring and summer) until they have completed the program.

How often will I be required to come to campus?

The Ph.D. program is designed for pastors, educators and missionaries to be able to study while remaining in their ministry context; therefore, students are able to stay in their work and/or ministry setting and travel to campus for residencies each semester (fall, spring and summer). Residencies last for two weeks and include in-seat class time; orientations; academic, professional development, and training sessions; fellowship opportunities; and time for group work and access to the University Library. These residency sessions usually occur in mid to late-October, the last week of February and first week of March, and the last two weeks of June.

Students spend a total of 24 weeks of residence, usually at the rate of two weeks per semester (either here or on research sites, as agreed upon with advisors and approved by the director) spread out over the duration of their program.

Where can I get a residency overview?

Click here to access the residency overview.

Will I have to come to campus after I finish coursework?

Yes, students come to campus during the qualifying exam and dissertation phases of the program to take exams and conduct research for the dissertation. These weeks will be counted toward fulfillment of the required 24 weeks of residency (see above).

How frequently are the courses offered?

Courses are offered on a rotating basis during all three semesters each year (fall, spring and summer). Full-time students participate in two courses per semester.

How many hours each week should I expect to devote to my studies?

Our students report that they expect to spend an average of 35-50 hours per week on their doctoral studies, depending on how many classes they are taking during the semester.

Are there language requirements for admission (Greek, Hebrew, German, etc.), and, if so, are there entrance examinations?

Students are required to use proficiently at least two ancient or modern research languages in which the primary and secondary texts relevant to their disciplines are written. The required languages will be determined by concentration and in consultation with the advisor. Usually students will matriculate into the program with proficiency in at least one relevant ancient or modern language, and then gain proficiency in another ancient or modern languages during their coursework. Students may be required to pass a recognized language certification program, or a standard language proficiency exam, to demonstrate proficiency.

Are students assigned faculty advisors?

Students are matched with faculty advisors upon acceptance based on their research interests.

What is the dissertation process? Are there oral defenses?

Students who pass the qualifying exams proceed to the dissertation phase which includes submission and acceptance of a proposal, writing of the dissertation and an oral defense held on campus in Virginia Beach.

How long should the dissertation be?

Dissertations will normally be between 40,000-80,000 words.

Is the Doctor of Philosophy program accredited?

Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associates, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404.679.4500 for questions about the accreditation of Regent University.

The School of Divinity is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) Commission on Accrediting and has been authorized by the ATS to offer masters and doctorate degrees.

David Stine, D.Min. '07

David Stine, D.Min. '07

Lead Pastor, DC Metro Church

"I felt such a connection with everyone at Regent. My education was fantastic; I needed it. But the relationships developed there were key. They still impact me today." Read more >