Luder-Wycliffe is pleased to announce our newest model of degree acceleration through the mode of Degree by Dissertation (dissertation/thesis). Although this model (Degree by Dissertation) of learning can be done in a shorter amount of time compared to the traditional course work method, it is by no means less taxing. The Degree by Dissertation program is a very rigorous endeavor, but just as rewarding.
Luder-Wycliffe Theological Seminary offers the Degree by Dissertation to the following degree levels:
- Master of Theology (M.Th.)
- Master of Divinity (M.Div.)
- Doctor of Theology (Th.D.)
- Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
NOTE: The Ph.D. degree requirements in the Degree by Dissertation are exactly the same as for the Th.D. Only the subject matter will differ between the two.
Master Degree level requirements are exactly the same as the doctoral level EXCEPT for the dissertation word count. SEE requirement below:
Doctoral Dissertation word count: 75,000
Masters Dissertation word count: 50,000
**The Handbook Description will only include the doctoral level program, since the same protocol is given for the Masters level with the exception of the word count.
** PayPal paying option is at the bottom of this page. Make sure that you fill out your application on the ADMISSIONS Page. Payment and enrollment should be done on the same day.
Doctor of Theology Degree (Th.D.)
Degree by Dissertation
Degree Requirements — Process
DOCTORATE by DISSERTATION — Description
Luder-Wycliffe Theological Seminary offers the opportunity to individuals interested in Theological Studies to earn a Doctorate in Theology (Th.D.) for pastors in ministry who have established themselves in their chosen clerical area and have completed Master’s level study in their major field or endeavor. They should also have significant experience within the parameters of their clerical life. Luder-Wycliffe Theological Seminary considers the completion of a Master’s Degree program appropriate academic preparation for admission to the Doctorate by Dissertation program. We follow the British educational model in this respect. at LWTS.
We believe the advanced and experienced Theological student has obtained sufficient academic progress up to this point and is now fully prepared to develop a cohesive and comprehensive dissertation. The primary objective of the program is to provide the opportunity for qualified candidates to produce quality dissertations in an academic environment, working independently, while using the theological school as one of many possible resources. No transfer credit shall be applicable toward this degree, neither shall there be any credit for “work experience” or “life experience.” This is an earned degree and the development of a doctoral dissertation is a major and significant life effort.
Admission to the Luder-Wycliffe Theological Seminary’s Doctorate by Dissertation program is based upon the following criteria:
• Individual participants will have completed a recognized Masters level degree. It is appropriate that this degree be in one of the traditional areas of Christian Religious Studies.
• Participants should have at least a few years of meaningful professional ministerial experience (i.e., pastoral, chaplaincy, religious education). But nevertheless, it is not a requirement.
• The dissertation topic must focus Christian disciplines which may include but not limited to the following:
Theology, Systematic Theology, Biblical Theology, Theory and Practice of Ministry, Biblical Studies, Christian Ethics, Church History, Christian Philosophy, Pastoral Care, Biblical Counseling, Eschatology, and Apologetics.
All, however, must have a firm theological premise upon which they are based.
• Participants are expected to be proficient in English language skills. Where English is a second language, it is expected that the participant, at their own expense, shall retain such assistance as to allow them to submit well written and prepared materials as long as the original work and thoughts are of their own creation.
• Participants must have access to a computer, appropriate software, email and Internet, and academic library resources. Typically, all work is expected to be submitted and exchanged on-line via the internet.
• This program is intended for students who are self motivated and can work independently. As with all programs at LWTS, Th.D. students work with the Dean of Academics as well as other LWTS Professors who may serve as their advisors. Students work independently, communicating with the Dean and/or advisors throughout the process.
There is no time limit to complete the Th.D. program. However, at each phase of the doctoral process, prior to progressing to the next element, approval from LWTS is necessary. In order to remain in good standing as an active student, participating degree candidates must demonstrate effective progress toward achieving quality standards at each phase. The candidate must be in ongoing contact with their advisor on a regular basis, which is fundamental to this process.
APPLICATION AND ACCEPTANCE
Application to the LWTS Th.D. program is an on-line process at www.luderwycliffe.com
Once the student has been admitted to the degree program, full payment of this fee will be an acknowledgement by the student as accepting the LWTS admission process and to the Doctorate by Dissertation Program which will culminate at its completion with the award of a Doctorate in Theology (Th.D.) degree, once all work has been accomplished, and all fees and tuition are paid. There is no graduation fee at LWTS for this particular degree. The diploma is included in the tuition payments.
Once the candidate has been accepted, and has acknowledged that acceptance by paying the registration fee, they will be categorized as a Candidate for the Doctor of Theology degree.
Manuscript guidelines for preparation and presentation of the dissertation will be provided to the student when the student has registered as a Doctoral Candidate by payment of the program costs.
DOCTORATE BY DISSERTATION — DEGREE PROCESS
Participants pursuing the doctorate degree by dissertation shall complete a ten-phase process equivalent to typical work beyond the Master’s degree in a traditional doctoral program which shall include —
1. Determination of the Dissertation Topic. In conjunction with the LWTS, develop a dissertation topic appropriate for this level of academic achievement. All materials for the Degree by Dissertation throughout this process should be transmitted to the candidate’s advisor, which will be appointed once enrolled into the program.
2. Approval. The student will receive official LWTS approval of the dissertation topic. At this time the student may begin developing the research methods philosophy upon which the development of their dissertation with be based.
3. Research Methods Development. Develop and present a strategy for researching the approved dissertation topic. This will include research methods to be used, materials that will be used in this research and location of these materials to the student. Lists of possible primary and secondary sources should be included in this document, whether or not they are actually used in the final development of the dissertation. The length of this document will be solely driven by the nature of the research. The student should be as comprehensive as possible in this process as it will assist and guide them in the development of the final dissertation itself. This is the first document submission after the approval of the dissertation topic and this research strategy must also be approved before continuing on in the process.
4. Obtain Research Methods Approval. Once the dissertation topic has been approved, and the research methods established, the student may then begin to develop the body of the dissertation. As this writing process continues, the student is encouraged to engage the school through the Office of the candidate’s advisor for ongoing reflection, direction and guidance.
5. Submit Initial Dissertation Text for Review. Once the body of thought of the dissertation has been fully developed, it shall then be submitted for evaluation and comment. The submission should only include a Title Page, body of the subject matter, and endnotes (or footnotes). They should be formatted as recommended in the formatting guide. The word count requirement for this degree is 75,000. The body of the dissertation manuscript should meet or exceed 250 double spaced typewritten pages.
6. Dissertation Critique. The dissertation will be critiqued at this point, presenting to the student specific comments, concerns and suggestions for improving the document. These shall be presented in a detailed and identifiable written format for the student’s response.
7. Dissertation Defense.. The student shall then “defend” their dissertation, responding in writing and/or oral to the specifics of the issues raised by the Critique. All items identified in the Critique must be responded to with the student either justifying, in detail, the rationale for the area of concern, or present how they will reconsider the material presented.
8. Rewrite/Modifications to the Initial Dissertation Text. Once LWTS has conferred with the student on their response and come to agreement on any and all issues presented, the changes/modifications will then be made to the body of the dissertation.
9. Submission of Completed Dissertation, Ready for Publication. The rewritten dissertation is submitted in final form including all front matter as required in the Manuscript Guidelines with proper formatting and including (as appropriate) a summary, conclusions, bibliography and appendices.
10. Final Approval — Degree Award. Once the final dissertation document is submitted, and approved, LWTS will award the student the doctoral Degree in Theology. This represents the conclusion of the degree process.
No transfer credit shall be applicable toward this degree; neither shall there be any credit for “work experience” or “life experience.” This is an earned degree and the development of a doctoral dissertation is a major and significant life effort.
TUITION – Degree by Dissertation
Tuition for the Th.D. and Ph.D. by Thesis programs at LWTS is $2,500.00.
Tuition for the M.Th. and M.Div. by Thesis programs at LWTS is $2,250.00
It is payable in monthly installments, minus the down payment. Each monthly payment should be no less than $150.00
SUBMISSIONS – Degree by Dissertation
1 — Determination of the Dissertation Topic / Proposal Process.
During this phase of the process, participants prepare a formal proposal related to their concept of a dissertation topic. The proposal is completed under the direction of the student’s advisor at LWTS. The dissertation topic should be unique and represent a contribution to the theological area of the student’s choice.
2 — Research Methods Presentation.
The Research Methods presentation is intended to guide the participant in developing the direction and methodology for effectively preparing a written argument in a quality academic pursuit. The student should list specific resources to be considered such as libraries, museums, other academic institutions and scholarly individuals. Additionally, details and examples of texts and manuscripts to be considered in developing the dissertation should be presented, indicating the scope and intention of the writing effort. If statistical research is to be part of the students work, the student should present how this will be done in a professional manner, care being given to the possible confidential nature of the information being obtained. Proper safeguards of confidential information must be presented and maintained at all times.
3 – Conduct of Dissertation Project – Initial Submission of Draft Text.
Following approval of the dissertation topic and the research methodology, participants will begin their research project. The dissertation may take the form of a traditional “research” project or it may be a major scholarly project of the type appropriate to the particular theological discipline. Whichever approach to the dissertation is chosen, the resulting project must demonstrate mastery of a body of knowledge in the field and represent a meaningful and original contribution to the betterment of the theological community.
The dissertation project may be conducted by quantitative, qualitative, or participatory action research. The body of the dissertation manuscript should meet or exceed 250 double spaced typewritten pages and be structured according to a set of approved manuscript guidelines provided separately. Dissertations must follow the guidelines provided by LWTS for such projects.
4 — Dissertation Defense.
Once the participant has prepared and delivered the dissertation manuscript, the faculty will conduct a formal review process. When completed, questions, concerns and suggestions will be sent to the student for their consideration.
Following receipt of the research manuscript, it typically takes the faculty two to four weeks to complete the physical review and prepare questions and commentary for student response/defense. The dissertation Critique is intended to allow detailed investigation of the underlying review of the literature, the dissertation methodology, the mechanics of the project, presentation of the findings, and the preliminary conclusions of the doctoral candidate.
The student is required to respond in writing and/or oral to each of the points raised by the Critique. This is the “defense” portion of the dissertation process.
One outcome of the dissertation review/defense process is a set of final expectations directing the participant through the remaining tasks for completing an acceptable dissertation manuscript.
5 — Submission of Final, Approved Dissertation.
Upon the participant’s completion of the final tasks, submission of the dissertation in publishable form, including completed front matter, abstract, contents, appendices, etc., as well as the receipt of any needed records and documentation, LWTS will issue a letter of completion to the participant. It will then make preparation for issuance of the transcript of record and diploma certificate once all tuition and fees have been paid.
Degree by Dissertation tuition costs.
Th.D. and Ph.D. …………………………………….$2,500.00
M.Th. and M.Div. …………………………………………….$2,250.00
|Full Th.M. Program Cost $2,250.00|
|Full M.Div. Program Cost $2,250.00|
|Full Th.D. Program Cost $2,500.00|
|Full Ph.D. Program Cost $2,500.00|
The purpose of the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Biblical Studies with degree concentrations in the Old Testament or the New Testament is to equip students for academic teaching, research, and for producing scholarly, creative writing in the fields of Old Testament and New Testament. Students select one of these two fields as a concentration, while conducting significant study in the other testament is obviously the minor. They will take a comprehensive examination and write a dissertation, both of which will reflect the area of concentration. The program is specifically oriented toward preparing students to teach Bible and biblical languages in universities, seminaries, theological schools, and colleges; to teach in related academic fields at the college level; to become a specialist in scholarly biblical teaching in one’s ministerial practice; and to produce scholarly writing. This Biblical Studies program should equip students with the aptitude necessary to bring critical skills to the biblical text; to analyze, interpret, and explain the text; and to express insights and conclusions in scholarly writing.
The core courses in the PhD in Biblical Studies address areas such as biblical archaeology, the world of the Bible, theology, doctrine, critical interpretation of the Bible, ethics, linguistics, etymology, the authority of the Bible, exegesis, and the origin and history of the Scriptures. These core courses provide students with essential research tools and assess the methods of critical scholarship. The textual courses in this program will use the latest Hebrew or Greek editions of the Old and New Testaments. The other four courses deal directly with the writing of the dissertation.
Other requirements within these concentrations are as follows:
Old Testament Concentration:
A student may elect the concentration in Old Testament studies. The primary goal of this concentration is the development of a comprehensive knowledge of the Old Testament and related subjects. This Old Testament emphasis encompasses a study of ancient Near Eastern Archaeology, History and Religion (with an emphasis on Israel and its neighbors), Old Testament Theology, and textual courses with Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia as the primary source. A total of 27 required semester hours would be in the field of Old Testament study (this includes 6 semester hours in the core courses, 9 hours in textual courses and 12 hours in the dissertation); additionally there will be 9 hours of elective coursework, 3 hours in New Testament study; and 12 more hours in studies related to both Testaments.
New Testament Concentration:
A student may elect the concentration in New Testament studies. The primary goal of this concentration is a development of a comprehensive knowledge of the New Testament and related studies. The New Testament concentration encompasses a study of Archaeology, History and Religion of the Hellenistic Age (with an emphasis on Palestine), New Testament Theology, and textual courses which make use of the best editions of the Greek New Testament. A total of 27 required semester hours would be in the field of New Testament study (this includes 6 hours in the core courses, 9 hours in textual courses and 12 hours in the dissertation); additionally there will be 9 hours of elective coursework, 3 semester hours in Old Testament study; and 12 semester hours in studies related to both Testaments.
Upon completion of the Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Studies, the graduate will be able to:
- Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the field of biblical studies and a working knowledge of related academic disciplines, such as theology and history;
- Apply the biblical text in the original languages and to exegete it in a scholarly manner;
- Engage competently in original research and writing that advances the understanding of the biblical text for the sake of academy, church, and society in order to enrich the spiritual life of others.
- Support a sense of and a commitment to the vocation of biblical scholarship in its dimensions of learning, research, and teaching.
A student will demonstrate achievement of the program outcomes by receiving a passing grade in dissertation Module IV.
The PhD in Biblical Studies is a rigorous research-oriented study of 51 semester hours beyond Amridge University’s Master of Arts in Biblical Studies. The doctoral acceptance committee, which is chaired by the dean of the Turner School of Theology, will examine the student’s transcripts to identify any necessary prerequisite courses.
Minimum Prerequisites Required for Old Testament:
FD 6308 Hebrew Readings I (2nd year)
FD 6309 Hebrew Readings II (2nd year)
Minimum Prerequisites Required for New Testament:
FD 6304 Greek Readings I (2nd year)
FD 6305 Greek Readings II (2nd Year)
Upon completion of the PhD in Biblical Studies, the student will be prepared to teach academic courses in biblical studies, biblical languages, and related subjects and will be skilled to engage in productive, original research. The student will also be equipped for higher-level service to the church universal. Also, furthermore, the graduate will be able to teach in related programs at the university-level.
Amridge University’s Turner School of Theology PhD degree programs require that “students shall be required to use competently the language(s) in which relevant primary texts are written, as well as those in which there is important secondary material.”
Applicants for the PhD in Biblical Studies should have coursework at the master’s or undergraduate degree level in Hebrew and/or Greek. The Old Testament and New Testament textual courses incorporate an exegesis of the ancient Hebrew and Greek texts with the assistance of a useful secondary language.
Students who are deficient in these language skills will be required to take additional leveling courses to improve their language skills. Students must be proficient in the Hebrew language prior to registering for Old Testament textual courses. Students must be proficient in the Greek language prior to registering for New Testament textual courses.
Time Normally Required to Complete the Program
It is possible to complete the program in four years; however, the completion time will depend on factors such as the number of leveling courses needed, the pace at which courses are taken, the student’s working knowledge in the required languages, and the time necessary to research and write the dissertation.
A student may take courses on a part-time or full-time basis. The total time from admission to graduation should not exceed seven years.
Graduation Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Studies
Before being graduated with the Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Studies, a student must satisfy the following requirements:
- Satisfactorily complete 51 semester hours of courses specified in the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Biblical Studies program, a minimum of 39 semester hours (75%) must be taken from Amridge University;
- Complete all prerequisite and required coursework for the degree;
- Complete all program residency requirements;
- Pass the Comprehensive Examination and gain Candidacy Status;
- Submit and gain faculty approval of dissertation proposal appropriate to the student’s area of specialization and research competency;
- Pass all four dissertation modules;
- Final defense:
- As part of the dissertation defense, the student must present, defend and pass a Biblical Doctrines Position Paper. This paper is to be a revision and expansion of the original paper presented in the course FD 9300 Research in Biblical Doctrine. This paper must show evidence of research and study to substantiate, validate, or abjure the student’s belief in and understanding of three or more of the following biblical doctrines: God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the inspiration and authority of the Bible, humanity and sin, redemption and salvation, the church, and the last things. Special emphasis should be given to the various sub-doctrines of the selected doctrines in the paper thereby giving a full treatment of the chosen topics.
- Doctoral dissertation defense approval: the student must defend, and receive a passing grade for their doctoral dissertation before their Dissertation Committee, the dean of the Turner School of Theology, and other faculty. This defense will take place in Montgomery, Alabama at a time set by the Dissertation Committee.
- The student must comply with all requirements for submission of the completed dissertation to the Amridge University Head Librarian.
- Achieve a grade of 3.0 or higher for each PhD courses in the student’s PhD program;
- Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0; and
- Complete and submit the Amridge University Degree Completion Application available from the University’s My Amridge Portal. The properly completed and signed application must be submitted no later than the first day of classes of the semester prior to the semester the student plans to graduate. This submission schedule permits the University to conduct a full audit of the respective student’s records to make sure that all courses, programs, and respective graduation requirements have been attained.