Research PhD Degree

Research Doctorate (PhD) degree in Theology, accredited and conferred by North-West University, South-Africa
Total of 256 credits

Requirements for Doctorate / PhD degree in Theology

The distance learning degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in theology is gained through the successful completion of a thesis of 60,000 to 80,000 words and is open to graduates who have gained a Master’s degree in Theology by research. Candidates with either a Master’s degree in Divinity (MDiv) or any other Master’s degree in Theology that did not require the student to submit for external examination a research dissertation of not less than 30,000 words or an unaccredited Master’s degree in Theology or related subject (eg Religious Studies) may not automatically meet the entry requirements for this degree programme, but can access the joint programme MA/PhD at a considerable financial saving to the normal route.

Thesis requirements for a research Doctorate (PhD) Theology Degree

The PhD thesis will embody independent research work of distinction and will be deemed by the External Examiner(s) and the Vice-President to be worthy of publication in whole or in part. Applicants should first submit a Research Proposal to the Registrar prepared in accordance with North-West University guidelines provided specifically for this purpose.

Explanation of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) in Theology

Qualifying for the Doctoral Theology (PhD Theology) degree requires advanced specialist research in Christian Theology or Biblical Languages. The Doctorate (PhD) in Theology is a focused qualification that comprises research in a specialist theological field selected by the Doctoral Theology student. As the research progresses, any perceived needs to make a change or to adapt the curriculum area of the Doctorate (PhD) research study is enabled with permission from the North-West University School Director and the Director of Research at the faculty of Theology.

The Doctoral research is conducted online and part-time through distance learning at Greenwich School of Theology (GST) in partnership with North-West University’s (NWU)faculty of Theology. Each institution appoints a tutor to guide and supervise the Doctorate Theology student throughout the Doctoral Theology degree program and the facilities of the university – the library for instance – are accessible to all GST/NWU students online via the internet at a distance. Greenwich School of Theology PhD, Doctoral Students come from across the world and some Doctorate students never leave their home country while completing the Doctorate (PhD) Theology Degree.

Doctorate (PhD) Theology Degree Research areas:

Research areas for the doctorate (PhD) in Theology as shown on the course code form (256 credits) are as follows:

  • Dogmatics
  • Ethics
  • Greek
  • Homiletics
  • Catechetics
  • Church and Dogma History
  • Church Law / Polity
  • Liturgics
  • Missiology
  • New Testament
  • Old Testament
  • Pastoral Studies
  • Semitic Languages

Examples of dissertation titles of past doctorate theology students include:

Church and Dogma History: "Joseph Smith's tritheism: The prophet's theology in context, critiqued from a Nicene perspective"

Church and Dogma History: "The North of Ireland Keswick Convention: an intensive evaluation of its impact on Protestantism in the North of Ireland since 1914"

New Testament: “Confident and imaginative: Scripture & hermeneutic in the Johannine passion narrative and today.”

Dogmatics: “Resurrection and Scripture: The relationship between two key doctrines in Reformed Apologetic Methodology.”

Church and Dogma History: The Pneumatology of St Irenaeus of Lyons

Missiology: “The urban explosion of Black Majority Churches: their origin, growth, distinctiveness and contribution to British Christianity.”

Old Testament: “A Musical People: The Role of Music in Biblical Life”

Liturgics: “The resilience of the eighteenth century hymn in contemporary Church of Ireland (Anglican) worship.”

Pastoral Studies: “Continuing congregational training: a comparison of group-work initiatives within the Church of England.”


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