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PHD Opportunities

PhD Opportunities Brochure

Ph.D. Opportunities for Gordon-Conwell Graduates

Are you interested in a Ph.D.?

You are not alone!

Around one-third of our recently surveyed incoming students were interested in pursuing further graduate study after GCTS. Choosing a graduate degree before pursuing a Ph.D. is very important. Gordon-Conwell has been recognized by our peers as a top destination for evangelicals who wish to continue into the academy. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions for those interested in a Ph.D.

What degree should I choose?

The majority of our Ph.D.-bound students pursue the Master of Divinity or one Master of Arts in their area of concentration (e.g., New Testament, Church History). Those students who wish to keep open the option of ordination will pursue the Master of Divinity and sometimes the Master of Divinity and Master of Theology (Th.M.). The Master of Theology, a one-year capstone degree designed for students who have completed a Master of Divinity, provides advanced, specialized preparation for Christian ministry or doctoral work. Nine areas of concentration are available through the three academic divisions (Biblical Studies, Christian Thought & Practical Theology).

What are some advantages to studying at GCTS?

The Boston Theological Institute (BTI)

Gordon-Conwell’s location just north of Boston provides access to a wealth of cultural, historical and educational opportunities. Gordon-Conwell is a part of the Boston Theological Institute (BTI), which is the oldest and largest academic theological consortium in the world.  Through our membership in the BTI, students can take classes, access library resources, attend major lectureships and take part in interdisciplinary conferences at other member institutions.

Where can I get a Ph.D. with a GCTS degree?

In the last few years, our alumni have been accepted at the following schools:

Harvard, Boston University, University of Texas-Austin, Emory, Princeton, Oxford, Cambridge, Trinity, Asbury, St. Andrews, Durham, Wheaton, Wycliffe College at Toronto, Yale, Boston College, Aberdeen, Toronto School of Theology, University of Manchester, Edinburgh and Brandeis – just to name a few!

Alumni Stories

Gina ZurloGina Zurlo, MA (Religion) ’09, Ph.D. Candidate in History and Hermeneutics at Boston University School of Theology

What really encouraged me to pursue Ph.D. work was my interaction with Todd Johnson and the Center for the Study of Global Christianity. In my case, I had gained a penchant for a niche field that required me to have an advanced degree to do it professionally. One other thing that encouraged me for Ph.D. work was my interaction with other students through the Boston Theological Institute (BTI). When I took classes at other schools I realized that these people exist and that it’s a viable option after seminary.

To learn more about our joint Ph.D. program with Boston University, click here!

Justin AllisonJustin Allison MDiv ’14, Th.M. ’15, Ph.D. Candidate in New Testament Studies at the University of Durham

Since starting Ph.D. studies in New Testament at a British university, I have been so thankful for the training I received at GCTS during my MDIV and ThM (NT) degrees. The breadth and depth required in exegetical classes, the chance to learn a variety of ancient and modern languages, the faculty’s acute interaction with current scholarship, the wide scope of the MDiv – all these aspects have been foundational for my doctoral studies. Despite the self-doubt and anxiety that most beginning Ph.D. students face, I carry an abiding sense of confidence and competence into my research program. 

Christopher WilliamsChris Williams, M.Div. ’11, Th.M. ’11, Ph.D. Student in Theology at Boston College with a concentration in New Testament

My experience at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary played a vital role in my development as a scholar.  My professors at Gordon-Conwell exposed me to the current trends of modern scholarship and sound methodological approaches to biblical interpretation.  The commitment to academic rigor and biblical scholarship at GCTS prepared me to continue following God’s call on my life.

 Brian CarrierBrian Carrier MDiv ’13, Ph.D. Candidate in Biblical Studies at the Catholic University of America

GCTS taught me to read critically, think critically, and write critically. I was consistently expected to meet high academic standards and was given the right feedback to be able to continuously improve as a scholar. The priority that GCTS places on learning the original Biblical languages was also instrumental; my GCTS studies in Greek and Hebrew equipped me to participate in advanced language classes and exegetical seminars in my doctoral program. Finally, and most importantly, GCTS and the Pierce Center instilled in me a greater love for God and for His Church and have solidified for me the importance of Christian community and a healthy prayer life that has sustained me during my current studies. 

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