Curriculum Overview

The Ph.D. curriculum for the concentration in History of Christianity consists of nine seminars or courses, comprehensive exams, and a thesis. Please see our visual overview of the four year schedule. The following assumptions are made in relation to the seminars and courses:

  • A total of nine (9.0) credits are required for the concentration in History of Christianity.
  • The area seminars (HC8810 and HC8820) must be completed during the first year of residency.
  • The interdisciplinary seminary, Vocation of the Theologian (GR8620), must be completed during the first year of residency.
  • At least four (4.0) of the remaining credits must be 8000-level courses taken in the area of History of Christianity. The additional (2.0) credits required for the degree may be in other areas of the curriculum, from among 6000- or 8000-level courses.



In addition to specific language requirements indicated for the areas of concentration, all students in History of Christianity must pass written examinations in two research languages. Because of its importance in theological studies, German is normally one of the research languages. The second language is normally Latin, French, or Spanish (or English for international students). Other languages may be required depending on the topic of the thesis.

International students whose native language is other than English may use English as one research language by passing an examination in English composition.

First Year

  • two area seminars (one each semester: HC8810, HC8820)
  • two - four credits (area electives or outside electives)
  • the interdisciplinary seminar (J-Term: GR8620)
  • library practicum (J-Term: GR800)

Second Year

  • two - four credits (area electives or outside electives)

Ph.D. Colloquia

Ph.D. colloquia are scheduled regularly in each area throughout the year bringing students and faculty together to discuss topics related to the research of both students and faculty. Attendance at colloquia is required during the two years of residence.

Ph.D. Comprehensive Examinations

All students are required to complete a standard set of comprehensive exams that are appropriate for the concentration. The following History of Christianity exams must be taken in four successive weeks:

  1. History of a doctrine
  2. Three selected periods or topics
  3. Historiography
  4. Thesis area

Thesis / Dissertation

Students are expected to complete the Ph.D. dissertation according to the guidelines published in the academic catalog.