Doctor of Philosophy

Requirements for the degree, DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in Philosophy and Theology

60 credits, 30 of which can be waived for an acceptable Master of Arts degree.*

Of the remaining 30 credits, all of which must be at the graduate level (500 and above) 12 must be from doctoral level classes (600 or above) and 6 from either doctoral level classes or dissertation. **

A novella length fiction or analytical dissertation reviewed and approved by at least two professors including the program Director.

Up to half of the classwork applied to the degree can be from transfer classes approved by the program director, Dr. Pamela Fox, pam.kuhlken@pepperdine.edu ***

Doctoral Level classes (numbered 600 or above): 

Our doctoral level classes are essentially student-created independent studies in which the students research to find the most relevant books or other resources on a topic or topics such as those listed below or compiled as a resource that will enhance the historical, philosophical, and/or theological substance of a writing project they intend to create.  

Students plan a course of study and petition for a professor to approve, suggest, or require additions or substitutions. Once approved, the student reads, summarizes and writes about the learning journey the class has provided, highlighting insights and struggles and the final result in the formation of his or her attitudes.  One or more of the class projects may be integrated into of the dissertation.

Currently approved general topics:

Wisdom 601, The Crusades from Christian and Islamic perspectives

Wisdom 602, Revivals (worldwide), a historical perspective.

Wisdom 603, Revivals (American), a historical perspective

Wisdom 604, World Religions: Native American: Frank Waters Book of the Hopi, ; Moslem: Koran choose your version: Hindu: The Bhagavad Gita, translated by Stephen Mitchell; Taoist: Tao the Ching, Lao Tsu and Ursula LeGuin

Wisdom 605, Philosophical roots of Christian theology: Aristotle, Plato, Stoicism.

Wisdom 606, Historical Controversies (such as free will vs. predestination, interpretations of the Holy Trinity) 

Wisdom 607, Biblical inerrancy

Wisdom 608, Controversies in the Christian community (such as gender, homosexuality, abortion)

Wisdom 609, Radical alternatives in Christian thought

* Although traditional fifteen to eighteen week semesters do not apply to our classes, we use the standard semester/hour requirement of at least 40 hours of applied study for each credit, or 120 hours for each three credit class.

** Our classes are about reading and writing. As a general rule, we consider each ten pages of reading to equal one semester hour, and each 250 word page of writing to equal 2 semester hours.

*** General Electives can be college classes, or credit for life experience, which is explained on a handout we will send upon request.