Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Studies

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The purpose of the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Biblical Studies with degree concentrations in the Old Testament or the New Testament is to equip students for academic teaching, research, and for producing scholarly, creative writing in the fields of Old Testament and New Testament. Students select one of these two fields as a concentration, while conducting significant study in the other testament is obviously the minor. They will take a comprehensive examination and write a dissertation, both of which will reflect the area of concentration. The program is specifically oriented toward preparing students to teach Bible and biblical languages in universities, seminaries, theological schools, and colleges; to teach in related academic fields at the college level; to become a specialist in scholarly biblical teaching in one’s ministerial practice; and to produce scholarly writing. This Biblical Studies program should equip students with the aptitude necessary to bring critical skills to the biblical text; to analyze, interpret, and explain the text; and to express insights and conclusions in scholarly writing.

There are 10 core courses of the 20 required courses in the PhD in Biblical Studies which address areas such as biblical archaeology, the world of the Bible, theology, doctrine, critical interpretation of the Bible, ethics, linguistics, etymology, the authority of the Bible, exegesis, and the origin and history of the Scriptures. These core courses provide students with essential research tools and assess the methods of critical scholarship. The six Old and New Testament textual courses in this program will use the latest Hebrew or Greek editions of the Old and New Testaments. The other four courses deal directly with the writing of the dissertation.

Other requirements within these concentrations are as follows:

1.    Old Testament Concentration

A student may elect the concentration in Old Testament studies.  The primary goal of this concentration is the development of a comprehensive knowledge of the Old Testament and related subjects.  This Old Testament emphasis encompasses a study of ancient Near Eastern Archaeology, History and Religion (with an emphasis on Israel and its neighbors), Old Testament Theology, and textual courses with Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia as the primary source.  A total of 33 required semester hours would be in the field of Old Testament study (this includes 9 semester hours in the core courses, 12 hours in textual courses and 12 hours in the dissertation); additionally there will be 15 hours in New Testament study; and 12 more hours in studies related to both Testaments.

2.    New Testament Concentration

A student may elect the concentration in New Testament studies.  The primary goal of this concentration is a development of a comprehensive knowledge of the New Testament and related studies.  The New Testament concentration encompasses a study of Archaeology, History and Religion of the Hellenistic Age (with an emphasis on Palestine), New Testament Theology, and textual courses which make use of the best editions of the Greek New Testament.  A total of 33 required semester hours would be in the field of New Testament study (this includes 9 hours in the core courses, 12 hours in textual courses and 12 hours in the dissertation); additionally there will be 15 semester hours in Old Testament study; and 12 semester hours in studies related to both Testaments.

Upon completion of the Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Studies program the graduates will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the field of biblical studies and a working knowledge of related academic disciplines, such as theology and history;
  2. Apply the biblical text in the original languages and to exegete it in a scholarly manner;
  3. Engage competently in original research and writing that advances the understanding of the biblical text for the sake of academy, church, and society in order to enrich the spiritual life of others.
  4. Support a sense of and a commitment to the vocation of biblical scholarship in its dimensions of learning, research, and teaching.

A student will demonstrate achievement of the program outcomes by receiving a passing grade in dissertation Module IV.

The PhD in Biblical Studies is a rigorous research-oriented study of 60 semester hours beyond Amridge University’s Master of Arts in Biblical Studies. The doctoral acceptance committee, which is chaired by the dean of the Turner School of Theology, will examine the student’s transcripts to identify any necessary prerequisite courses.

Minimum Prerequisite Courses Required for Either Concentration 

FD 6308 Hebrew Readings I (2nd year)

FD 6309 Hebrew Readings II (2nd year)

FD 6304 Greek Readings I (2nd year)

FD 6305 Greek Readings II (2nd Year)

Upon completion of the PhD in Biblical Studies, the student will be prepared to teach academic courses in biblical studies, biblical languages, and related subjects and will be skilled to engage in productive, original research.  The student will also be equipped for higher-level service to the church universal.  Also, furthermore, the graduate will be able to teach in related programs at the university-level.

Language Requirement

Amridge Universitys’s Turner School of Theology PhD degree programs require that “students shall be required to use competently the language(s) in which relevant primary texts are written, as well as those in which there is important secondary material.”

Applicants for the PhD in Biblical Studies should have coursework at the master’s or undergraduate degree level in Hebrew and Greek, and an approved secondary language, such as Aramaic, Latin, German, French, etc.  The Old Testament and New Testament textual courses incorporate an exegesis of the ancient Hebrew and Greek texts with the assistance of a useful secondary language.

Students who are deficient in these language skills will be required to take additional leveling courses to improve their language skills.  Students will be required to pass proficiency exams in three languages.  Students must pass the Hebrew language proficiency exam prior to registering for Old Testament textual courses. Students must pass the Greek language proficiency exam prior to registering for New Testament textual courses.  Additionally, the student must pass the proficiency exam for an approved secondary language for the student’s major (Old Testament or New Testament) prior to registering for textual courses in the student’s major.

Asterisk grades shall not be allowed for a language proficiency examination registration (course).  The allowable grades for a language proficiency examination registration are P, IP, or F.  The awarded grade shall be recorded on the student’s transcript for the semester that the grade is assigned.  The Language Proficiency Examination Fee shall be charged each time a student registers for the language proficiency examination.

Time Normally Required to Complete the Program

It is possible to complete the program in four years; however, the completion time will depend on factors such as the number of leveling courses needed, the pace at which courses are taken, the student’s working knowledge in the required languages, and the time necessary to research and write the dissertation.

A student may take courses on a part-time or full-time basis.  The total time from admission to graduation should not exceed seven years.

 

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN BIBLICAL STUDIES

Before being graduated with the Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Studies, a student must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Satisfactorily complete 120 approved graduate semester hours, of which 60 semester hours must be the courses specified in the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Biblical Studies program at Amridge University. Of the 60 semester hours of courses specified in the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Biblical Studies program, a minimum of 45 semester hours (75%) must be taken from Amridge University. The remaining 60 semester hours consist of the student’s Master of Divinity or Master of Theology or two-year Master of Arts in Bible or Doctor of Ministry from a regionally or select nationally accredited institution with a 3.0 grade point average  on a 4.0 point scale;
  2. Demonstrate competency in and pass proficiency exams in Greek, Hebrew, and a secondary language;
  3. Complete all prerequisite and required coursework for the degree with a 3.0 grade or better in each course;
  4. Complete all program residency requirements;
  5. Pass the Comprehensive Examination and gain Candidacy Status;
  6. Submit and gain faculty approval of dissertation proposal appropriate to the student’s area of specialization and research competency;
  7. Pass all four dissertation modules;
  8. Final defense:
    1. As part of the dissertation defense, the student must present, defend and pass a Biblical Doctrines Position Paper. This paper is to be a revision and expansion of the original paper presented in the course FD 9300 Research in Biblical Doctrine. This paper must show evidence of research and study to substantiate, validate, or abjure the student’s belief in and understanding of three or more of the following biblical doctrines: God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the inspiration and authority of the Bible, humanity and sin, redemption and salvation, the church, and the last things. Special emphasis should be given to the various sub-doctrines of the selected doctrines in the paper thereby giving a full treatment of the chosen topics.
    2. Doctoral dissertation defense approval: the student must defend, and receive a passing grade for their doctoral dissertation before their Dissertation Committee, the dean of the Turner School of Theology, and other faculty. This defense will take place in Montgomery, Alabama at a time set by the Dissertation Committee.
    3. The student must comply with all requirements for submission of the completed dissertation to the Amridge University Head Librarian.
  9. Achieve a grade of 3.0 or higher for each PhD courses in the student’s PhD program;
  10. Complete and submit the Amridge University Degree Completion Application. The properly completed and signed application must be submitted no later than the first day of classes of the semester prior to the semester the student plans to graduate. This submission schedule permits the University to conduct a full audit of the respective student’s records to make sure that all courses, programs, and respective graduation requirements have been attained.