Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ
Doctor of Philosophy FAQ
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.
We currently accept cohorts to begin each fall semester.
Select your program on the Admissions page to view admission deadlines.
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.
Students generally take 6 credit hours each semester during the coursework phase of the program.
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.
See the Tuition & Financial Aid page in the Admissions section of the website.
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.
The program includes 48 hours of coursework, including 24 hours of track electives and 12 hours of non-track electives; plus exams and dissertation.
Students are expected to enroll every semester (fall, spring and summer) until they have completed the program.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Students are matched with faculty advisors upon acceptance based on their research interests.
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.
Dissertations will normally be between 40,000-80,000 words.
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
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 >