Graduate Theological Union

Doctoral Program

GTU offers both the Ph.D. and the Th.D. degree. Both are advanced academic degrees intended to prepare students for professional careers in teaching, writing, and scholarship, as well as for leadership opportunities with religious organizations, social service agencies, foundations, museums, libraries, publishing, and in educational institutions.

The doctoral program includes Areas of Study that utilize the depth of faculty expertise made possible by the union of the nine member schools, affiliated centers and institutes. The academic disciplines represented by a diverse range of faculty, combined with multidenominational and interfaith cooperation, provide a rich environment for developing one’s academic voice.

The GTU has the faculty and research resources to offer a distinctively interdisciplinary approach to scholarship within one’s specialized area of study. Doctoral students also have the option to pursue an Allied Field during the course of the program, enabling them to establish a foundation of credentials in a discipline beyond the primary Area of Study.

The Ph.D. program places theological or religious studies in the context of university research disciplines, and students are required to engage such a discipline in order to provide an additional critical and theoretical dimension to their work. Most students pursue this dimension of their program by working with a faculty member from the University of California at Berkeley, just a block away from the GTU.

The Th.D. program has a specific theological emphasis, and is designed for students whose intellectual goals will gain focus through a theologically-defined academic lens.

Applicants to the doctoral program must have a Master of Divinity, or a Master of Arts degree in Theology, Religion, or a closely related field, and a bachelor’s degree from a fully accredited institution. All applicants are considered for the Presidential Scholarship, which provides funding for the recipients' first two years in the doctoral program.