Skip navigation
An open Bible: Explore the PhD in Theology online program at Regent University.

Ph.D. in Renewal Theology

Enhance Your Insight Through a Ph.D. in Theology

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Renewal Theology, delivered online with a two-week on-campus residency in Virginia Beach each fall semester, allows you to obtain your doctoral degree while remaining within your life or career context. Enhance your research and insight with this doctoral program so you can prepare yourself to contribute to the wider conversation of the theological academy from a Renewal perspective and equip emerging church leaders across the globe.

Online w/ Residency
60
August 19, 2024

Careers | Concentrations | Courses | Admissions | Tuition

Advance Your Knowledge WITH A PH.D. IN THEOLOGY

Explore academic and spiritual aspects of biblical studies, Church History, and Renewal theology to enhance your studies.

Establish Your Reputation

Publish original research in your chosen field on topics such as the Holy Spirit, Renewal movements, or another topic agreed upon with your advisor.

Expand Your Expertise 

Gain expertise in focused areas such as Hebrew Scriptures, Renewal theology, and Church history.

Access World-Class Faculty

The faculty of scholars and practitioners includes pioneers in Church history, biblical studies, and Renewal Theology.

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, you can:

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

Career Opportunities

  • Pastor-Theologian
  • Academic Research
  • Consulting
  • Ministry Leadership
  • University Faculty
$87Thousand
Approximate Annual Mean Wage of Postsecondary Philosophy & Religion Teachers U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Renewal Theology – Biblical Studies will develop the theologian in you for service in both the Church and academy, so you can help equip emerging church leaders in biblical studies, hermeneutics and theology.

Learn More

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Renewal Theology – Christian Theology will expand your knowledge in biblically-based theology and hermeneutics, so you can deepen your impact in the Church and academy and broaden your career opportunities, too.

Learn More

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Renewal Theology – Church History will expand your expertise in Church history and theology, so you can deepen your impact in the Church and academy and broaden your career opportunities, too.

Learn More

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Renewal Theology – Practical Theology will enhance your knowledge in focused areas of transformational ministry and leadership development, so you can deepen your impact in the Church and academy and broaden your career opportunities, too.

Learn More
Understanding and interpreting the Bible in a Renewal community of faith and scholarship, focusing on the hermeneutical challenges of the diversity of the canon, the plurality of interpretative methods and theories in relation to language and text, as well as the perceived nature of contemporary society.
Research-based; exploring the intersection of God and science. Focuses on scientific evidence for the existence of God in creation as an apologetic for the Christian faith.
The first year residency of the Ph.D. program focuses on the attitudes, skills and abilities needed to flourish in a doctoral program. Pass/No Pass.
The second year residency of the Ph.D. program aims to strengthen critical thinking skills, research approaches, and scholarly writing in doctoral dissertation work. Pass/No Pass. Prerequisite: DGEN 801.
The third year residency of the Ph.D. program explores the vocation of being a Doctor of the Church. Pass/No Pass. Prerequisite: DGEN 802.
Explores the question of Christian theological method and hermeneutics from the Renewal Perspective. Emphasizes distinctively Renewal approaches to thinking theologically while wrestling with the nature of religious and ecclesial identities. Philosophical, ontological, and epistemological assumptions will be considered vis-à-vis the questions of religious identity/practice and theological method.

2023-24 Semester Check-In Deadlines

All 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 11Monday, August 21
Session CThursday, January 4Monday, January 8
Session EFriday, April 26Monday, May 6

Prerequisites

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 Ph.D. 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

Language Requirements

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)

Admissions Requirements

Step 1: Apply to Regent University

Submit your application using the Regent University Online Application.

Note: If you are unable to complete our application due to a disability, please contact our Admissions Office at 757.352.4990 or admissions@regent.edu and an admissions representative will provide reasonable accommodations to assist you in completing the application.

Step 2: Submit Your Unofficial Transcripts

Submit your unofficial transcripts to regent.edu/items.

Upon submitting your application, you will receive an email requesting authorization for Regent University to obtain your official transcripts from your U.S. degree-granting institution. International transcripts must be evaluated by a NACES, AACRAO or NAFSA approved agency.

Step 3: Submit a Recommendation Letter

Please use the Recommendation Request Form to submit a clergy recommendation from your current pastor or ministry leader.

Step 4: Submit an 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:

  • 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 APA, MLA, or Turabian format.
  • 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 APA, MLA, or Turabian style formatting.

Your academic writing sample or graduate degree paper should be submitted to regent.edu/items.

Step 5: Submit Your Government-Issued ID

To ensure academic integrity, Regent University requires a copy of a government-issued ID. Please submit a scanned copy or photograph of it to regent.edu/items.


Please feel free to contact the Office of Admissions at 757.352.4990 or admissions@regent.edu should you have any further questions about the application process.

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

PART-TIME STUDENTS

DegreeTuition Cost Per Credit HourAverage Credit Hours Per SemesterAverage Tuition Per Semester
Master of Arts (MA)$5306$3,180
Master of Divinity (MDiv)$5306$3,180
Master of Theological Studies (MTS)$5306$3,180
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)$5309$4,770
Master of Divinity (MDiv)$5309$4,770
Master of Theological Studies (MTS)$5309$4,770
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)$850 (Fall & Spring)
$700 (Summer)
University Services Fee (Online Students)$700

Military Admissions & Aid » | Cost of Attendance »

Part-Time Students

DegreeTuition Cost Per Credit HourAverage Credit Hours Per SemesterAverage Tuition Per Semester
Master of Arts (MA)$5306$3,180
Master of Divinity (MDiv)$5306$3,180
Master of Theological Studies (MTS)$5306$3,180
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)$5309$4,770
Master of Divinity (MDiv)$5309$4,770
Master of Theological Studies (MTS)$5309$4,770
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)$850 (Fall & Spring)
$700 (Summer)
University Services Fee (Online Students)$700

Military Admissions & Aid » | Cost of Attendance »

*Rates are subject to change at any time.

Upcoming Residency Dates

Fall 2023: Monday, October 30 – Friday, November 10, 2023


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. in Renewal Theology program, can I defer my acceptance to another semester?
If you are accepted to the Ph.D. in Renewal Theology program 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. in Renewal Theology 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 section 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.

“Regent University puts care into creating ministers with longevity.”

Timothy Berry, M.Div., 2015 Biblical Theology

“My journey through the School of Divinity was transformational, challenging and inspirational. The Spirit-filled faculty and staff were dedicated to my success as a student and a military officer. My classes — both on campus and online — exuded excellence and sound biblical teaching.”

Tierra S. Gibbs, M.A., 2012 Practical Theology

“I received a direct commission to the U.S. Army Reserves in the rank of Second Lieutenant on April 10, 2019. The decision to pursue a military career came as a result of my prayerfully discerning a clear call from God to join ministry, specifically through military chaplaincy during this time.”

Whitney Mathis, M. Div., 2020

“It was the beginning stages of Regent's D.Min. program that really helped define my leadership gift and lay a foundation for what the Lord has done. It gave me the practical tools that I needed.”

Mark Batterson, D.Min., 2013 Lead Pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C.; New York Times Best-Selling Author