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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Applied Theology

Midwestern offers a PhD in Applied Theology, with available emphases in Apologetics, Biblical Counseling, Biblical Spirituality, Ecclesiology, Leadership, and Missiology. The PhD, Applied Theology is intended primarily to equip persons for vocations of teaching and research in theological schools, colleges, and universities or for the scholarly enhancement of ministerial practice.

Program Outcomes

Students graduating from the Doctor of Philosophy, Applied Theology program will be able to do the following:

  1. Master a discernible field of study in the area of applied theology.
  2. Demonstrate advanced skill in scholarly research and evaluation.
  3. Demonstrate advanced skill in writing and theological instruction.
  4. Exercise the liberty to develop and defend a research dissertation in applied theology.


Language Requirements

  • Greek & Hebrew are not required.
  • Students in Applied Theology would be able to satisfy the research language requirement either by (a) taking one of the standard research languages used in Biblical Studies or Theological Studies, (b) demonstrating competence in a language used currently in an international ministry setting, or (c) 34300 Applied Statistics [2 hrs].


Admission Requirements

In addition to the general criteria for admission to Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, applicants to PhD, Applied Theology degree programs must satisfy the following criteria:

  1. Hold an earned (a) ATS accredited Master of Divinity degree or (b) a masters degree in a theological or related discipline from an accredited institution.
  2. Have a 3.0 grade point average or above on a 4.0 scale for all graduate-level studies.
  3. Demonstrate foundational competency in biblical hermeneutics/interpretation, normally to be satisfied by taking a graduate-level hermeneutics.

International applicants must also submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination. For the internet-based test (iBT), a minimum total score of 80 is required with a minimum of 20 on each of the Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing sub-sections. Other forms of the TOEFL exam are not accepted unless prior approval is obtained from the Doctoral Academic Policies Committee. Applicants not meeting all admission requirements may petition to enter the program under provisional status. For information about this process please contact the Doctoral Studies Office (877-414-3755 or [email protected]).


The PhD, Applied Theology degree is a 52-hour program usually requiring four years or more of academic study.

Distinctive Resources

PhD, Applied Theology students have access to community life that provides formal and informal educational experiences, religious fellowship, and opportunity for reflection upon the meaning of faith in its relation to education and research. Access to faculty advisors/mentors, possible opportunity for teaching college and online courses, and preferred access to library resources is also provided.


Course List

Doctoral Core (16 hrs)

DR00000 Doctoral Orientation1 (0 hrs)
DR30020 Doctoral Studies Colloquium (4 hrs)
DR30060 Integrating Christian Faith & Practice (4 hrs)
DR34080 Teaching Principles and Methods in Higher Education (4 hrs)
DR30090 Dissertation Seminar (4 hrs)

PhD, Applied Theology Seminars (24 hrs)

See course outlines by emphasis below

Comprehensive Examinations (4 hrs total)

DR39055 PhD Comprehensive Research (1-4 hrs)
DR39060 PhD Comprehensive Exam (1-4 hrs)

Dissertation2 (8 hrs total)

DR40980 PhD Ongoing Research (1-8 hrs)
DR40990 Dissertation – PhD (0-8 hrs)

Total Credit Hours (52 hrs)

1. Upon admission, the student will be enrolled in DR00000, Doctoral Orientation, for 0 credit hours.

2. After meeting all the requirements, the student will be enrolled in DR40980 PhD Dissertation – Ongoing Research for 1 credit hour each semester until the dissertation is completed. When the student is ready for the dissertation defense, the student will be enrolled in DR40990 PhD Dissertation for the remaining hours in order to receive a total of 8 credit hours.


Apologetics Emphasis

DR33330 Missiology (4 hrs)
DR37001 Science and Origins (4 hrs)
DR37002 World Religions (4 hrs)
DR37350 Old Testament Theology (OR)
DR37360 New Testament Theology (4 hrs)
DR37391 Philosophical Theology (4 hrs)
DR38405 Worldview and Ethical Theory (4 hrs)

Biblical Counseling Emphasis

DR31280 The Bible and Pastoral Care (4 hrs)
DR32210 Biblical Counseling Theory & Practice (4 hrs)
DR32212 Historical & Theological Foundations of
Biblical Counseling (4 hrs)
DR32220 Advanced Marriage & Family Counseling (4 hrs)
DR37337 Ecclesiology (4 hrs)

Selected Elective (4hrs):

  • Ethics
  • Historical Theology
  • Missiology
  • Biblical Theology or
  • Systematic Theology


Biblical Spirituality Emphasis

DR31080 Biblical Spirituality (4 hrs)
DR37337 Ecclesiology (4 hrs)
DR31280 The Bible & Pastoral Care (4 hrs)
DR31050 Biblical Foundations for Leadership (4 hrs)

Two Selected Electives (8 hrs)


Ecclesiology Emphasis

(Delivered in English, Korean, and Spanish)

DR31280 The Bible and Pastoral Care (4 hrs)
DR37305 Theology and Culture (4 hrs)
DR37337 Ecclesiology (4 hrs)

Three Selected Electives (12 hrs)

Leadership Emphasis

DR31020 Developing Christian Leaders (4 hrs)
DR31040 Contemporary Issues in Leadership (4 hrs)
DR31050 Biblical Foundations for Leadership (4 hrs)
DR31060 Organizational Theory & Development (4 hrs)
DR31085 Change & Conflict in Leadership (4 hrs)

Selected Elective (4 hrs):

  • 31010 Christian Leadership
  • 34850 Educational Leadership
  • 34892 Conference, Research, & Report


Missiology Emphasis

DR33330 Missiology (4 hrs)
DR37305 Theology and Culture (4 hrs)
DR37337 Ecclesiology (4 hrs)
DR38405 Worldview and Ethical Theory (4 hrs)

Two Selected Electives (8 hrs)

  • 33250 Church Planting Evangelism
  • 33255 Sponsoring New Churches
  • 33261 Critical Issues for Congregational & Personal Renewal
  • 33262 Revitalization and Renewal Perspectives
  • 33263 Contextualized Strategic Planning for Revitalization
  • 33270 Global Missions Through the Church
  • 37002 World Religions