Doctor Of Theology


The primary purpose of advanced academic studies leading to the Doctor of Theology (ThD) degree is to provide teacher-scholars in the fields of biblical and theological studies for the Seventh-day Adventist Church—primarily its institutions of higher learning (colleges, seminaries, universities) around the world.

Program Director and Administrative Assistant

Tom Shepherd
Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Director of PhD, ThD, MTh Programs

Mable Bowen
Administrative Assistant, Doctor of Theology


Description of Program

The Doctor of Theology degree, based on the Master of Divinity degree, trains teacher-scholars in the fields of biblical studies and theology for service in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This academic degree meets the need of individuals in areas of the world where a ThD is the preferred academic degree. The normal doctorate in religion is the PhD.

The ThD program is offered in two fields of study with areas of emphasis as listed below:

  • Archaeology and History
  • Exegesis and Theology
  • Languages and Literature
Theological Studies
  • Historical Theology
  • Systematic Theology

A minimum of 2 academic years of formal course work or not fewer than 6 quarters of full-time study at 12 credits per quarter is required. This ordinarily amounts to a minimum of 72 credits of formal course work, 36 credits of which must consist of seminars, directed study, and reading courses. The student chooses a field of study and within that field an area of emphasis to which at least one-half (36 credits) of the course work is devoted. The student also chooses a supporting area, normally in another field, to which at least one-fourth (18 credits) of the course work is devoted. Of the remaining 18 credits of course work, 4 are used in GSEM854, 4 in GSEM920, and 4 in GSEM860. Students with recognized experience as college/graduate-level teachers may devote the latter 4 credits (together with the other remaining 6 credits) to the area of emphasis or to the supporting area.

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