Doctor of Philosophy

Doctor of Philosophy

Join a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program that will challenge you academically, grow your network of Christian colleagues and equip you to expand God's kingdom in the classroom.

Academics

Our goal is to fully equip you for a career as an academic or a pastor-scholar. By the time you graduate, you will have completed a dissertation, demonstrated competencies in comprehensive exams, presented a paper as an academic conference, submitted an article to a peer-reviewed journal and gained actual teaching experience. We are focused on guiding students through a rigorous program that will entirely prepare you to follow God's calling on your life. Don't accept shortcuts - pursue excellence in your studies alongside a cohort of challenging, gospel-minded students.

Gateway's Ph.D. is designed for efficiency - it requires only 42 credit hours of coursework and only one in-person seminar week per semester. By removing redundant requirements from the course schedule and emphasizing one-on-one mentoring, we created a clear degree plan and lowered financial costs.

The most important element of the program is our faculty. Built from Gateway's faculty and affiliated professors from partner institutions, your professors in the Ph.D. program represent a unique opportunity; they bring together expertise in their academic fields as well as their ministry commitments. This assembly of educators, pastors, missionaries and more will press you work and study hard, while helping you prioritize the most important aspects of your life: your spirituality, your family and your ministry.

Faculty

Biblical Studies

Dan Gurtner - Professor of New Testament

David Howard - Professor of Old Testament at Bethlehem College and Seminary

Richard Melick - Senior Distinguished Professor of New Testament

Alexander E. Stewart - Dean, Professor of New Testament Studies

John Taylor - Chair, Biblical Studies, Professor of New Testament

Paul Wegner - Senior Distinguished Professor of Old Testament Studies

Theology

Chris Chun - Chair, History/Theological Studies, Professor of Church History

Phil Hopkins - Professor of Missions

Christopher Morgan - Dean, School of Christian Ministries, Professor of Theology at California Baptist University

David Rathel - Director of AGS Program, Associate Professor of Christian Theology

John Shouse - Senior Professor of Christian Theology

Majors

Upon entering the program, you will pursue a major in either Old Testament, New Testament or Theology and a minor in Old Testament, New Testament, Theology, Church History or Applied Theology. Your major will require 12 credit hours of seminars and your minor will require 9 credit hours of seminars. Students in each major participate in 9 credit hours of common required seminars, 6 credit hours of one-on-one mentorship for comprehensive exams and dissertation prospectus development, and at least 6 credit hours of dissertation writing.

In lieu of a minor, you can substitute additional major seminars for a more focused experience.

You will be expected to complete a number of non-seminar requirements such as proficiency in two modern languages. These requirements are not included in your seminars to lower your tuition costs, provide flexibility and to simplify your degree plan.

Biblical Studies Major

Old Testament Major - A student pursuing an Old Testament major will do creative, contemporary research founded on the historical, philosophical, theological and methodological issues of the Old Testament using biblical Hebrew extensively.

New Testament Major - A student pursuing a New Testament major will do creative, contemporary research founded on the historical, philosophical, theological and methodological issues of the New Testament using biblical Greek extensively.

Non-Seminar Requirements - In an effort to reduce overall costs and to create a simpler path to completing your degree, we have moved a number of degree requirements out of our course requirements. For instance, modern research languages and comprehensive exams are still requirements to graduate, but instead of listing these as classes and charging tuition for them, we have categorized them as Non-Seminar Requirements, all of which are listed below:

  • · Two Modern Research Languages
  • · Teaching Experience
  • · Comprehensive Exams
  • · Academic Conference Participation and Report
  • · Present a Paper at an Academic Conference
  • · Submit a Paper to a Peer-Reviewed Journal

Biblical Studies Degree Map

S5525 Research Methods Seminar 3 hrs
E5711 Teaching in Higher Education 3 hrs
S5511 Hermeneutics 3 hrs
Required Seminars Total 9 hrs
S5521 Old Testament Reading Colloquium 3 hrs
or
S5522 New Testament Reading Colloquium 3 hrs
Major Seminars 12 hrs
Minor Seminars 6 hrs
Core Seminars 21 hrs
P5000 Comprehensive Exam Mentorship  3 hrs
P5100 Dissertation Prospectus Mentorship 3 hrs
P5111 Dissertation [for each semester enrolled] 6 hrs
Comprehensive Exams and Dissertation 12 hrs
Total Program 42 hrs

Theology Major

Theology Degree Map

S5525 Research Methods Seminar 3 hrs
E5711 Teaching in Higher Education 3 hrs
S5511 Hermeneutics 3 hrs
Required Seminars Total 9 hrs
L5522 Theology Reading Colloquium 3 hrs
Major Seminars 12 hrs
Minor Seminars 6 hrs
Core Seminars 21 hrs
P5000 Comprehensive Exam Mentorship  3 hrs
P5100 Dissertation Prospectus Mentorship 3 hrs
P5111 Dissertation [for each semester enrolled] 6 hrs
Comprehensive Exams and Dissertation 12 hrs
Total Program 42 hrs

Theology Major - A student pursuing a theology major will develop a deep understanding of the history of theology by studying historical, contemporary and systematic works. The student will produce an innovative and substantive dissertation that demonstrates awareness of primary historical, philosophical, theological and methodological issues in the specific field of study.

Non-Seminar Requirements

In an effort to reduce overall costs and to create a simpler path to completing your degree, we have moved a number of degree requirements out of our course requirements. For instance, modern research languages and comprehensive exams are still requirements to graduate, but instead of listing these as classes and charging tuition for them, we have categorized them as Non-Seminar Requirements, all of which are listed below:

  • · Two Modern Research Languages
  • · Teaching Experience
  • · Comprehensive Exams
  • · Academic Conference Participation and Report
  • · Present a Paper at an Academic Conference
  • · Submit a Paper to a Peer-Reviewed Journal

PhD Program Overview

Delivery Format

As a student, you will attend one in-person, week-long session at the start of each semester for seminars and fellowship with faculty and fellow students, followed by monthly seminar meetings via remote access.

Seminar week is defined by community. In class, you will be challenged through lectures and research presentations. Outside of class, seminar week is a refreshing and spiritual time of encouragement. Each day, faculty and students meet in the mornings for a time of devotion as well as corporate prayer. Lunch is a shared meal alongside a lecture and Q&A with a visiting or local scholar. Additionally, writing seminars and professional development sessions are available for your benefit.

One-on-One Mentorship

In Gateway's PhD program, you will receive structured mentoring from your advisor to prepare you for a lifetime of academic work and to help you stay on course for graduation. You will be expected to select an advisor during your first semester to guide you through seminars. Then, you will enroll in P5000 Comprehensive Exam Mentorship, a semester-long, one-on-one course with your advisor to prepare you for your first major milestone in the program: comprehensive exams. You will be fully prepared to pass this challenging stage of the program.  

Following your successful completion of comprehensive exams, you will enter P5100 Dissertation Prospectus Mentorship, another semester-long, one-on-one course with your advisor. Together, you will develop the foundation of your dissertation to ensure your research and writing efforts are fruitful. Completing a dissertation is a difficult task, but it can be accomplished under the direction of your advisor and with the support of your fellow students.  

Scholarships and Program Costs

Scholarships are merit-based and can cover either all or a portion of tuition costs. Some scholarships are offered on an annual basis and others are applicable for the full program.

Click here for tuition information.

Diverse Community

Gateway Seminary is known as the most diverse seminary in the United States, and the Ph.D. program demonstrates why diversity in thought, ethnic background and ministry experience is a vital component of a strong learning environment.

In your seminars, you will study with men and women from around the world. Class discussions are enriched by the perspectives of students born and raised in California and South Korea; from the U.S. South and the Global South. Your classmates will be rural pastors, urban church planters, returning missionaries and more all united in deep study to further the gospel. Building a network of fellow scholars is an important part of your doctoral program; at Gateway, the network you develop will be challenging, global and committed to the gospel.

Application Information