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Explore the PhD in Renewal Theology degree program at Regent University.

Ph.D. in Renewal Theology

Invest in a Terminal Degree

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Renewal Theology, delivered online with a two-week on-campus residency in Virginia Beach each 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, which will prepare you 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
January 11, 2021

COVID-19 Update: Concerned about travel? Fall residencies will be held online for your well-being and convenience.

Advance Your Knowledge

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.

Regent University ranked #2 of Top 25 Accredited Online PhD & Doctoral Degree Programs | Learn.org, 2020
Association of Theological Schools (ATS) Accredited
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 degree, you will be able to:

  • 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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

2020-2021 Semester Check-In Deadlines:

All new students are expected to check-in for the semester 2 weeks prior to 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.

Session

Semester Check-In

Session Start Date

Session A

Friday, August 14

Monday, August 24

Session M

Friday, September 11

Monday, September 21

Session B

Friday, October 16

Monday, October 26

Session C

Tuesday, January 5

Monday, January 11

Session T

Friday, January 29

Monday, February 8

Session D

Friday, March 5

Monday, March 15

Session E

Friday, April 30

Monday, May 10

Session F

Friday, June 11

Monday, June 21

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.

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. Pay Your $50 Application Fee
Your application will be fully processed once we have received your nonrefundable application fee. Mail a check payable to “Regent University” to Enrollment Support Services (see address below).

8. 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.

2019-20 Tuition Rates

Degree Level / Program Cost Per Credit Hour

Ph.D. in Renewal Theology

$650 per credit (In-state & Out-of-state)


 

Student Fees Per Semester

University Services Fee (On-Campus Students) $700

2020-21 Tuition Rates

Degree Level / Program Cost Per Credit Hour

Ph.D. in Renewal Theology

$650 per credit (In-state & Out-of-state)


 

Student Fees Per Semester

University Services Fee (On-Campus Students) $750

*Rates are subject to change at any time.

Residency Requirements

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 residencies each semester (fall, spring and summer). Residencies last for two weeks and include:

  • In-seat class time
  • Orientations
  • Academic and professional development
  • Fellowship opportunities
  • Time for group work and access to the University Library

These residency sessions usually occur in the second half of the semester.

Students spend a total of 22 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 40,000-80,000 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.

“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

“Regent has maintained a high standard of scholarship and the practical aspects of leadership, and they have outstanding professors. I was blessed when I was there.”

Daniel Backens, M.A. in Practical Theology, 1999 Senior Pastor, New Life Church

“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

“Regent was the final yes to answering my call to ministry. My Regent M.Div. degree was exactly what I needed to equip people in ministry.”

Nina Anderson, M.Div., 2014 Pastor, The Well; Kingdom Strategist, Nina Anderson Ministries; Motivational Speaker; Family & Service Pastor, New Life Church

“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