Learning Outcomes

  • Students will master and articulate contemporary theological systems and schools of thought using hermeneutical tools appropriate to the subjects studied.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of foundational areas of Catholic theology.
  • Students will bring ecumenical and global dimensions of Christian theology into dialogue with Catholic thought.
  • Students will show a capacity to present integrated and constructive theological arguments that critically engage and analyze historical and contemporary theological sources.

Requirements for the
Ph.D. Degree

The doctoral coursework, consisting of thirty credit hours in Bible, Doctrine, and Ethics, is designed to equip students with a broad and sound knowledge of the field. At the conclusion of the coursework, students undergo a rigorous Ph.D. comprehensive exam, which ensures that they have a secure grasp of the fundamentals in the various theological areas. In the third year of their matriculation, doctoral students are given the opportunity to teach undergraduate courses and thereby accumulate valuable classroom experience.


Completion of ten graduate theology seminars totaling a minimum of thirty credit hours with at least a B average.


Each candidate for the Ph.D. in Theology must demonstrate a reading competence in two foreign languages which are  theologically relevant.

Comprehensive Examination

Each candidate for the Ph.D. in Theology is required to take a comprehensive examination upon completion of course work and satisfaction of the language requirements. Normally this exam is taken within one year of finishing course work. The comprehensive exam includes a research component, a written component and an oral component in each of four areas: Systematic Theology, Ecclesiology and Sacraments, General Moral Theology and an area of specialization chosen by the student and approved by the faculty.


A dissertation (six credits), which makes an original and significant theological contribution in the area of contemporary Theology, written under the supervision of a director, and publicly defended before a three-person dissertation defense board which includes the director.