Doctor of Philosophy Degree for Pastors & Other Christian Leaders

Biblically Focused Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
42 Credit Hours


The Biblically Focused Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program is completed entirely online using distance education methods.  It is designed  to develop the doctoral candidate’s ability to summarize, synthesize, conceptualize, formulate, and evaluate within academic research parameters.


Students my select to focus (same as major or concentrate) in one of four disciplines.  These are:


• Biblical Counseling*
• Biblical Studies
• Pastoral Ministry
• Theology


The learner will draw from personal and professional experience in partnership with in-depth, scholarly investigation. The learner will develop skill in critical, reflective thinking while conducting academic research. The successful doctoral candidate will demonstrate the ability to apply knowledge and understanding of inquiry and research methods by completing a scholarly, publishable dissertation.


Entrance Requirements


  • An acceptable earned master's degree;
  • Access to the Internet, email, and appropriate computer usage skills;
  • Completion of an Application for Admission;
    (The Application Fee is payable only after enrollment approval.)
  • Entrance approval by the Academic Office;
  • Enrollment and payment of appropriate fees;
  • Finalizing of acceptable tuition balance arrangements;
  • Completion of the enrollment process.
  • Completion of the orientation process.
  • Begin the program of study.


The Biblically Focused Doctor of Philosophy Study Plan


1.  Online Orientation MOR is a 2 credit course designed to prepare the student for completing an online degree program.

2.  The student will select Four Focus Courses (12 credit hours) in the chosen area. These courses may come frrom one of four areas:

• Biblical Counseling*
• Biblical Studies
• Pastoral Ministry
• Theology


3.  ARW-701 – Advanced Research and Writing Course (2 credit hours)


4.  Professional Anthology (12 credit hours) demonstrated by the evaluative completion of an Academic Professional Ministry Analysis project of life-long learning and specialized achievement in the learner’s professional field. The Professional Anthology Study Guide gives complete details on designing this evaluative document.


5.  Dissertation (12 credit hours) of no less than one hundred twenty five pages of focused content within the study area designed per acceptable scholarly standards and reviewed by the appointed Dissertation Committee.

The Dissertation Project involves six submissions. The first four submissions are under the direction of a Dissertation Advisor. The appointed Dissertation Committee evaluates the last two submissions.  


The Doctoral Dissertation Study Guide gives complete details on constructing this document.


• Submission One: The Topic Proposal;
• Submission Two: The Academic Abstract;
• Submission Three: Preliminary Outline , Chapter One
   and Preliminary Bibliography;
• Submission Four: The Critical Literature Review Chapter;
• Submission Five: The Rough Draft;
• Submission Six: The Final Draft.

6.  Oral Defense.  The oral defense takes place during an online meeting with the degree candidate and the Dissertation Committee. 


7.  Submission of the dissertation for printing.


8.  Program Summary (2 Credit Hours) demonstrated by a critical summation and synthesis of the student’s study program validating the student’s ability to put elements together to form a coherent or functional whole while integrating knowledge and understanding in the operational Christian worldview.  This is designed to demonstrate the student’s ability to make judgments based on criteria and standards by checking and critiquing. The Program Summary Study Guide gives complete details on crafting this document.


The MTRI Ph.D. program is designed for the independent minded person with a strong desire to improve personal skills, and self-discipline through a guided program of study.  It is most appropriate for individuals who wish to expand their knowledge base for greater effectiveness in their current area of ministry.


*Biblical counseling courses and degrees approved by:
The Association of Certified Biblical Counselors
The International Association of Biblical Counselors

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