PhD (Discipleship & Lifespan Education)

Welcome to the PhD (Discipleship & Lifespan Education) Program at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary!


The PhD (Discipleship & Lifespan Education) Program prepares men and women to be scholars, teachers and researchers in specialized teaching and discipling ministries of the home, the church, or Christian colleges and universities. All candidates further develop the core competencies of a religious educator and select an area of specialization for intense study and research using research methodologies of the social sciences.

Discipleship & Lifespan Education is a study of both God and man and the relationship between them. The uniqueness of the program lies in incorporating different academic disciplines (i.e. theology, education, leadership, philosophy) during the process of the study, thus enabling a religious educator to see “the big picture” and to employ multidisciplinary perspectives toward practical and theoretical issues.



A Christian Apologist is one who:
Informed about the theology, ideology, and theory that impacts religious education in the contemporary context, articulates the Christian position so as to win the hearts and minds of others to Christ.

A Pastor-Teacher is one who:
In response to the Gospel Commission, uses transformational teaching and learning strategies to disciple others toward Christian maturity across the life span.

A Servant-Leader is one who:
In humble surrender to the Holy Spirit, is able to lead groups and organizations to make positive change using contextually appropriate means.

An Evaluator-Researcher is one who:
Sees the universe as a revelation from God, and seeks to understand that revelation and the work of others who have explored it, using appropriate and well-honed methods of inquiry.

A Maturing Christian is one who:
Through a well-lived and joyful life, gives evidence of spiritual, mental, physical, and social growth and transformation through on-going submission to Christ's Word and the Holy Spirit.  

A Lifelong Learner is one who:
Reflects the creative expression of the imago dei through sustainable habits of scholarship, demonstrating personal and professional development.

An Area Expert is one who:
Applies all relevant core competencies to his or her area of emphasis and teaches others to do likewise.


Learn more about the Admission Requirements for the PhD (Discipleship & Lifespan Education).