Skip to main content
MBTS logo link to homepage

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Biblical Studies

Midwestern offers a PhD in Biblical Studies as a Standard Program and with emphases available in Biblical Theology, New Testament, and Old Testament. The PhD, Biblical Studies is intended primarily to equip persons for vocations of teaching and research in theological schools, colleges, and universities as well as for the scholarly enhancement of ministerial practice.

Program Outcomes

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

  1. Master a discernible field of study in the area of biblical studies.
  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 biblical studies.


Language Requirements

  • Standard Biblical Studies requires 12 hours Greek, 12 hours Hebrew & a research language of either French or German
  • Biblical Theology requires 6 hours Greek, 6 hours Hebrew & a research language of either French or German
  • New Testament requires 12 hours of Greek, 6 hours of Hebrew & a research language of either French or German
  • Old Testament requires 6 hours of Greek, 12 hours of Hebrew & a research language of either French or German


Admission Requirements

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

  1. Hold an earned (a) ATS accredited Master of Divinity degree or (b) a master’s 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.
  4. Demonstrate graduate-level competency in biblical Hebrew and Koine Greek, usually satisfied by six hours of coursework, per each language, completed at the graduate level, with increases applied in the case of New Testament (12 Greek/6 Hebrew), Old Testament (6 Greek/12 Hebrew), and the standard Biblical Studies (12 Greek/12 Hebrew)
  5. Demonstrate graduate-level competency in historical and systematic theology, usually satisfied by graduate-level coursework taken in these fields.

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, Biblical Studies degree is a 52-hour program usually requiring four years or more of academic study.

Distinctive Resources

PhD, Biblical Studies students have access to community life that provides formal and informal educational experiences, religious fellowship, and opportunity for reflection upon the meaning of the Christian 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 are also provided.

The PhD program at Midwestern shares a common doctoral foundation with the other programs. Similar to the Doctor of Ministry program, the PhD program uses week-long seminars as the basic instructional format. Students will interact with professors during all aspects of these courses, including the pre-work, on-campus and post-campus periods of study. Students seeking to finish the program in four years will need to calendar 4 seminars per year. Only one seminar per term is required to maintain full time status. Seminars may be taken in any order with the exception of DR30020 (first) and DR30090 (last). Scheduling and enrollment is discussed in detail during DR30020 Doctoral Studies Colloquium.


Course List

Doctoral Core (16 hrs)

DR00000 Doctoral Orientation1  (0 hrs)
DR30020 Doctoral Studies Colloquium (4 hrs)
DR35090 Advanced Biblical Hermeneutics (4 hrs)
DR34080 Teaching Principles and Methods in Higher Education (4 hrs)
DR30090 Dissertation Seminar (4 hrs)

PhD, Biblical Studies 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.


Standard (Non-Emphasis)

DR35110 Adv. Hebrew Grammar (4 hrs)
DR35150 Adv. Greek Grammar (4 hrs)

Two seminars from the OT emphasis, two seminars from NT emphasis  (16 hrs):

  • 35510 Pentateuch
  • 35520 Historical Books
  • 35530 Prophetic Books
  • 35540 Poetic & Wisdom Books
  • 35600 Ancient Jewish & Greco Roman Literature
  • 35610 Synoptic Gospels and Acts
  • 35620 Johannine Literature
  • 35630 Pauline Epistles
  • 35640 General Epistles
  • 37340 Advanced Biblical Theology


Old Testament Emphasis

DR35110 Advanced Hebrew Grammar (4 hrs)
DR35510 Pentateuch (4 hrs)
DR35520 Historical Books (4 hrs)
DR35530 Prophetic Books (4 hrs)
DR35540 Poetic & Wisdom Books (4 hrs)

Select Elective (4 hrs):

  • 35600 Ancient Jewish & Greco Roman Literature
  • 36250 Preaching from the Old Testament
  • 37340 Advanced Biblical Theology
  • 37350 Old Testament Theology


New Testament Emphasis

DR35150 Advanced Greek Grammar (4 hrs)
DR35610 Synoptic Gospels and Acts (4 hrs)
DR35620 Johannine Literature (4 hrs)
DR35630 Pauline Epistles (4 hrs)
DR35640 General Epistles (4 hrs)

Selected Elective (4 hrs)

  • 35600 Ancient Jewish & Greco Roman Literature
  • 36260 Preaching from the New Testament
  • 37340 Advanced Biblical Theology
  • 37360 New Testament Theology


Biblical Theology Emphasis

DR35600 Ancient Jewish & Greco Roman Literature (4 hrs)
DR37350 Old Testament Theology (4 hrs)
DR37360 New Testament Theology (4 hrs)
DR37340 Advanced Biblical Theology (4 hrs)

Selected Elective (from Old Testament) (4 hrs)

  • 35110 Advanced Hebrew Grammar
  • 35510 Pentateuch
  • 35520 Historical Books
  • 35530 Prophetic Books
  • 35540 Poetic & Wisdom Books

Selected Elective (from New Testament) (4 hrs)

  • 35150 Advanced Greek Grammar
  • 35610 Synoptic Gospels and Acts
  • 35620 Johannine Literature
  • 35630 Pauline Epistles
  • 35640 General Epistles