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An alumna: Explore the PhD in Renewal Theology - Practical Theology program at Regent University.

Ph.D. in Renewal Theology – Practical Theology

Increase the Impact of Your Ministry

Be equipped to teach, research, and prepare emerging church leaders across the globe with Regent’s Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Renewal Theology – Practical Theology program. It provides Christian education for those called to ministry through the church, academy, military or nonprofit settings. Grow in pastoral leadership and spiritual renewal with the Practical Theology concentration, which is delivered online with a two-week on-campus residency in Virginia Beach each fall semester.

Online w/ Residency
60
January 9, 2023
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ENHANCE YOUR EXPERTISE

Gain expertise in focused areas of transformational ministry and leadership development.

ESTABLISH YOUR REPUTATION

Publish original research and take your career path to the next level with exciting leadership opportunities.

DEEPEN YOUR IMPACT

Serve in both the Church and academy while helping others understand the significance of the Church.

Presented from a Christian worldview, this specialty degree is supported by award-winning faculty in Virginia Beach.

Please complete the Request Information form on this page to learn more about this program.

The Ph.D. in Renewal Theology at Regent University is accredited by The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS).

On completing the Ph.D. in Renewal Theology – Practical Theology degree, you will be able to:

  • Employ historic and contemporary practical theologies from a Renewal perspective.
  • Draw from a broad spectrum of theological research and apply the experience gained from a teaching practicum.
  • Utilize advanced academic research methodologies.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

  • Church Pastor-Theologian
  • University Professor
  • Renewal Theology Leader
  • Church Leadership Consulting

Spiritual formation processes in the context of leadership and renewal are studied and practiced to effect personal and vocational growth. Includes an experiential approach to leading formation and renewal in one’s ministerial context. Prerequisite: PMIN 700 (or concurrent).

Principles and methods of practical theology, surveying the various historic and contemporary practical theologies from a Renewal perspective. Develops the research skills of practical theological method, the process of writing practical theology and specific competencies necessary for completing dissertations in the area of practical theology.

Analysis of historical and contemporary church planting models and case studies from various traditions, demographic settings and cultural contexts. Development of a particular strategy in consultation with active church planting efforts across the country.

Holistic approach to health and wellness in ministry. Emphasizes an integrated approach to spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, and professional health in the minister’s personal life and ministry setting as a means to long term service and increased fruitfulness in ministry.

Deepening level of influence and unlocking leadership potential and understanding how God builds a person into a leader with God-given leadership identity. God’s work in building character and skill; developing strategic leadership skills, and habits becoming a passionate equipper of other leaders.
Renewal and transformation in the minister’s personal life and ministry context. Builds on case studies and historical accounts of the renewing power of the Holy Spirit. Explores personal renewal as a foundation for leading renewal in ministry settings with a view toward application.

2022-23 Semester Check-In Deadlines

All new students are expected to check-in for the semester two weeks before the session start date. Students should apply, be accepted, enroll in their first courses, and confirm a plan to pay for their courses prior to this date.

SessionSemester Check-InSession Start Date
Session AFriday, August 12Monday, August 22
Session MFriday, September 9Monday, September 19
Session BFriday, October 14Monday, October 24
Session CWednesday, January 4Monday, January 9
Session TFriday, January 27Monday, February 6
Session DFriday, March 3Monday, March 13
Session EFriday, April 28Monday, May 8
Session FFriday, June 9Monday, June 19

International Applicants

International student applicants should allow at least 4-6 weeks for an admission decision to be made once all required documents have been submitted to the appropriate offices and the applicant has followed all processes and procedures required for an admission decision.

Admissions Requirements

To be considered for acceptance into the Ph.D. program in the School of Divinity, The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) requires applicants to have completed an M.Div. degree or its equivalent with a minimum of 72 credit hours from a regionally accredited, post-secondary institution or an institution accredited by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

In addition, applicants to the Doctor of Philosophy program should have:

  • a desire and ability to write a dissertation from a Renewal perspective in the area of biblical studies, Christian theology or Church history
  • a high aptitude for scholarly research and writing as well as reading comprehension
  • a high intellectual achievement and scholarship as evidenced by college transcripts and the applicant’s writing sample
  • spiritual maturity and integrity of character
  • personal goals consistent with the mission of Regent University
  • a positive recommendation from a clergy member
  • understand and accept the Statement of Faith

Students will be required to competently use the language(s) in which relevant primary texts are written, as well as those in which there is important secondary material during both their course of studies and their dissertation research. Applicants for the Biblical Studies concentration are required to demonstrate reading-level proficiency in at least one biblical language. Applicants for the Christian Theology, Church History, and Practical Theology concentration are required to demonstrate a second-year level of proficiency in at least one biblical language. All biblical language credits must be completed prior to gaining admission into the Ph.D. degree.

  • Biblical Studies concentration: 12 credit hours in one biblical language (Greek or Hebrew)
  • Christian Theology: 6 credits in one biblical language (Greek or Hebrew)
  • Church History: 6 credits in one biblical language (Greek or Hebrew)
  • Practical Theology: 6 credits in one biblical language (Greek or Hebrew)

Doctor of Philosophy Application Process (Ph.D.)

1. Submit Your Application
Complete the School of Divinity Application for Admission.

2. Submit a Clergy Recommendation
Request the Clergy Recommendation Form. It can be completed online or through the mail by your current pastor or ministry leader.

3. Complete Your Admissions Questionnaire
Please complete a brief admissions questionnaire based on your professional goals and interests, and provide thoughtful and thorough responses. This will give us a better opportunity to get to know you and see how your objectives align with our programs. Once completed, the questionnaire will be sent directly to an admissions counselor who will be in touch with you to help complete the rest of your application. Access the Admissions Questionnaire.

4. Academic Writing Sample or Graduate Degree Paper (with Citations)

Our Ph.D. program seeks to prepare scholars for advanced research, practice and leadership in academic, church and ministry settings through designated study, involving one of four concentrations: Biblical Studies, Christian Theology, Church History and Practical Theology. The academic writing sample assesses your ability to think critically and compose an original written work, based upon your chosen concentration area as indicated on your Ph.D. application. The Admissions Committee must ensure that your writing acumen is at a level commensurate with the demands of doctoral level academic writing.

In order to assess your writing ability, submit one of the following options as a writing sample:

  1. GRADUATE DEGREE PAPER: submit an academic paper completed during a previous graduate degree. The paper submitted must have been written within the past five years. Please ensure this is a submission of at least five pages that contains citations in the Turabian style format.
  2. WRITING SAMPLE: compose a five-page original paper, not previously written, which includes the following: (1) a topic of your choice that falls within one of the four concentrations mentioned above; (2) a demonstration of conceptual sophistication; (3) an obvious flow of thought from paragraph to paragraph; (4) critical thinking skills; and (5) evidence of independent judgment. Finally, in your conclusion, include what you think the work of the Spirit contributes to the topic you have chosen to discuss. References or citations should demonstrate use of the Turabian style formatting

Your academic writing sample or graduate degree paper should be emailed directly to the Admissions Office at apply@regent.edu using the subject line: DIV Doctoral Application Pieces.

5. Submit your Unofficial College Transcripts
We are able to examine and view your unofficial transcripts from U.S.-based schools, which indicate successful completion of bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, in order to review you for an admissions decision. Please submit your unofficial transcript to our Admissions Office by email to apply@regent.edu using the subject line: DIV Doctoral Application Pieces.

Non-U.S. transcripts must be evaluated by an NACES-approved company. For further details, please review the International Admissions Checklist on the International Students Admissions page.

International Applicants: Please visit the International Students Admissions page for a more detailed explanation of the Regent University application information and to determine whether or not you qualify as an international student.

*Upon conditional acceptance to the program by review of unofficial transcripts, Regent University’s Admissions Office will attempt to obtain your official transcripts from your U.S. degree-granting institutions, which indicate successful completion of bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. We will notify you if your previous institutions will not release transcripts directly to us.

6. Government-Issued ID
To ensure academic integrity, Regent University requires a copy of a government-issued ID. Please email a scanned copy or photograph of it to apply@regent.edu with the subject line: Government ID.

7. Mail official transcripts to the following address:
Regent University
Enrollment Support Services
1000 Regent University Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23464 USA
Phone: 757.352.4127 | Fax: 757.352.4381

After all application materials are received, the completed application will be reviewed by the Divinity admissions committee. When decisions are made, you will receive written notification. Financial aid and housing requests are reviewed after decisions have been announced in writing.

If you have questions about the School of Divinity’s admission process and our programs or to verify that we have received your application materials, please contact us.


Note: All items submitted as part of the application process become the property of Regent and cannot be returned.

PART-TIME STUDENTS

DegreeTuition Cost Per Credit HourAverage Credit Hours Per SemesterAverage Tuition Per Semester
Master of Arts (MA)$5156$3,090
Master of Divinity (MDiv)$5156$3,090
Master of Theological Studies (MTS)$5156$3,090
Master of Theology (ThM)$6703$2,010
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)$6703$2,010
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)$6703$2,010

Full-Time Students

DegreeTuition Cost Per Credit HourAverage Credit Hours Per SemesterAverage Tuition Per Semester
Master of Arts (MA)$5159$4,635
Master of Divinity (MDiv)$5159$4,635
Master of Theological Studies (MTS)$5159$4,635
Master of Theology (ThM)$6706$4,020
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)$6706$4,020
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)$6706$4,020

Student Fees Per Semester

University Services Fee (On-Campus Students)$800
University Services Fee (Online Students)$650

Part-Time Students

DegreeTuition Cost Per Credit HourAverage Credit Hours Per SemesterAverage Tuition Per Semester
Master of Arts (MA)$5006$3,000
Master of Divinity (MDiv)$5006$3,000
Master of Theological Studies (MTS)$5006$3,000
Master of Theology (ThM)$6503$1,950
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)$6503$1,950
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)$6503$1,950

Full-Time Students

DegreeTuition Cost Per Credit HourAverage Credit Hours Per SemesterAverage Tuition Per Semester
Master of Arts (MA)$5009$4,500
Master of Divinity (MDiv)$5009$4,455
Master of Theological Studies (MTS)$5009$4,500
Master of Theology (ThM)$6506$3,900
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)$6506$3,900
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)$6506$3,900

Student Fees Per Semester

University Services Fee (On-Campus Students)$800
University Services Fee (Online Students)$650

*Rates are subject to change at any time.

Estimated Cost of Attendance: View the estimated cost of attendance to see an example of the total cost of tuition and fees.

Upcoming Residency Dates

Fall 2022: Monday, October 17 – Friday, October 28, 2022


The online with residency Ph.D. program is designed for pastors, educators and missionaries to be able to study while remaining in their ministry context; therefore, you are able to stay in your work and/or ministry setting and travel to campus for residency each fall semester. Residency occurs every fall semester for two weeks and coincide with the residency courses:

  • DGEN 801 Ph.D. Residency 1st Year: The first-year residency focuses on the attitudes, skills and abilities needed to flourish in a doctoral program.
  • DGEN 802 Ph.D. Residency 2nd Year: The second-year residency aims to strengthen critical thinking skills, research approaches, and scholarly writing in doctoral dissertation work.
  • DGEN 803 Ph.D. Residency 3rd Year: The third-year residency explores the vocation of being a Doctor of the Church.

Special events which occur during Ph.D. residency are:

  • Modular Courses (In-seat class time)
  • Rodman Williams Lecture Series
  • Research Presentations and Responses
  • Academic and professional development
  • Fellowship opportunities
  • Time for group work and access to the University Library

These residency sessions usually occur in mid-late October. Students spend a total of 6 weeks of residency spread out over the duration of their program.

1. 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.

2. When can I begin the program?
We currently accept cohorts to begin each fall, spring and summer semester.

3. When is the deadline for application?
Application deadlines can be found on the Admissions tab on this page.

4. 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 Renewal Theology and you decide to defer, you may delay your start date to another semester. If you wait longer than a year and wish to attend the Ph.D. program, you will need to submit a new application.

5. How many credits should I plan to take my first semester?
Students generally take six credit hours each semester during the coursework phase of the program.

6. What courses will I be taking?
The office of Academic Advising will assist you with developing a Suggested Enrollment Plan to map out your course requirements.

7. How long will it take me to complete my degree?
The Doctor of Philosophy program will take 4 – 7 years to complete, depending on how long the student takes to complete the dissertation. Coursework can usually be finished in 2.5 – 3 years.

8. How many hours is the Ph.D. Program?
The program includes 45 hours of coursework; plus exams and dissertation for a minimum of 60 credits.

9. 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.

10. How often will I be required to come to campus?
Refer to the Residency Requirements tab on this page.

11. 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 complete residency requirements, meet with their dissertation chair, and research for the dissertation.

12. 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.

13. Are students assigned faculty advisors?
Students are matched with a faculty dissertation chair to supervise their dissertation process upon completion of the comprehensive exam.

14. What is the dissertation process? Are there oral defenses?
Students who pass the comprehensive 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 or online via collaborate technology.

15. How long should the dissertation be?
Dissertations will normally be between 60,000-100,000 words.

16. Is the Doctor of Philosophy program accredited?
Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. 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. Learn more about Regent’s accreditation.

Th.M. Option

Students who do not continue in the Ph.D. program for any reason may opt to pursue a Master of Theology (Th.M.) degree in the School of Divinity. Upon approval of the School of Divinity and Academic Advising, the student will be registered for the appropriate Th.M. courses necessary to complete degree requirements.

“Thank you Regent University for making the most out of this special day for the Class of 2020.”

Richard Sarmiento, M.Div., 2020 Recruiting Specialist, Accenture Federal Services

“I experienced the Regent difference after visiting some of the best known seminaries. The faculty here prayed over each prospective student and laid hands on each of us. The Holy Spirit confirmed for me that day the Regent School of Divinity was where I needed to be.”

Matthew Chandler, M.Div., 2020 Director of Operations, Regent University School of Divinity

“All the professors at Regent are truly gracious and willing to talk to you and help you — even if it's not class-related. They treat their job like it's their calling. Through them, I learned to care for people like a pastor would.”

Derek Hirtz, M.Div., 2015

“I graduated from Regent University with a M.A. in Practical Theology. As I stand at the doorstep of my calling, I can see now how every lesson and interaction has prepared me.”

Son-Djerry Cameus, M.A. in Practical Theology, 2020 Community Navigator/Family Coach, La Esperanza

“It’s tough being a student when you’re older but [Regent] had so much flexibility and understanding that enabled me to pursue my degree.”

Ed Lee, M.A., 2017 Practical Theology