Doctor of Philosophy

Doctor of Philosophy

Focus Highlights

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is an advanced academic degree requiring 42 credit hours of academic work including a dissertation. This four-year program is available at the Los Angeles campus. We offer PhD degrees in biblical studies and theology.

The PhD degree is designed to develop a students’ professional skills throughout their studies, including the ability to research, write and defend a doctoral dissertation. Our students study with world class scholars from Gateway Seminary and affiliated faculty from other institutions who can provide one-on-one academic supervision and mentoring. We work together to give the next generation of Christian scholars access to experts from around the world. Through the guidance of our faculty, interaction with other students in seminar discussions and extensive work with both primary and secondary sources, you will be prepared to produce a dissertation that makes a unique contributes to your field. Our scholarly resources include an excellent library with extensive online resources and easy access to other nearby theological libraries, including some of the finest in the country.

The PhD delivery format is designed to provide an efficient and flexible schedule for students who may live far from campus. Students are only required to be on campus four times per semester: once for seminar week, and three times for concentrated class sessions. Seminar week consists of class meetings, a daily worship service and plenary sessions in which visiting scholars and Gateway Seminary faculty present research and dialogue with fellow faculty members and students.


  • Biblical Studies – Students in the biblical studies program focus on either the New Testament or Old Testament and complement their studies with a 6 credit-hour minor in theology, church history, New Testament or Old Testament.
  • Theology – Students in the theology program complement their studies with a 6 credit-hour minor in theology, church history, New Testament or Old Testament

Ministry Path

Students will be equipped for vocations of teaching and research in theological schools, colleges, and universities or for scholarly enhancement of ministerial practice.

Why a PhD at Gateway Seminary?

While the PhD program places emphasis on advanced academic research, it also highly values practical kingdom work. We encourage students to remain committed to their current ministries and to apply what they are learning to the people they are serving.

The Seminary ensures the academic quality for the PhD students through excellent faculty who have dedicated their time and expertise to create highly specialized classroom experiences. Many of our alumni are teaching in universities, seminaries and church ministries, and are published in reputable series and journals.


  • Applicants must hold a bachelor’s (or equivalent degree) from an accredited college or university, and a Master of Divinity (or equivalent degree) from an accredited institution that meets Gateway Seminary's requirements in Hebrew and Greek.
  • For the biblical studies major: Completion of 16 graduate semester hours of Greek and Hebrew, at least 9 in either Hebrew or Greek (necessary to have completed before enrollment but not necessary before applying).
  • For the theology Major: Completion of 24 graduate semester hours of theology and church history, at least 8 of these in advanced theology and church history courses. Completion of 12 graduate semester hours of Greek and Hebrew.
  • All students: One modern research language required before enrolling into the program (though not necessary before applying).
  • GPA no lower than 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.
  • A sample research paper that that demonstrates the ability to do advanced research.
  • Acceptable GRE score.
  • Rationale for PhD study.
  • Official TOEFL score, if applicable.

Financial Aid Application

Gateway Seminary’s PhD faculty is built from a variety of experts in their fields.

Gary Arbino, PhD
Professor of Old Testament and Archaeology
Curator, Marion Eakins Archaeological Collection

David Dockery, PhD
President, Union University
Professor of Christian Studies

Rodrick Durst, PhD
Professor of Historical Theology

George Guthrie, PhD
Benjamin W. Perry Professor of Bible
Union University

David M. Howard, PhD
Professor of Old Testament
Bethel Seminary

Mike Kuykendall, PhD
Professor of New Testament
V. Philips Long, PhD
Professor of Old Testament

Michael Martin, PhD
Professor of New Testament
Vice President for Academic Affairs

Richard R. Melick, Jr., PhD
Distinguished Professor of New Testament

Chris Morgan, PhD
Dean of the School of Christian Ministries
California Baptist University

John Shouse, PhD
Professor of Christian Theology

Paul Wegner, PhD
Professor of Old Testament

Timothy Wiarda, PhD
Professor of New Testament