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PhD Program Requirements

In addition to the general requirements for all Religion PhD degrees, HCRNA
students must complete the following:


The student will designate one of the areas from the three offered (Christian origins, Medieval/Reformation, and Religion in North America) as the major field and another area from the same group as the minor.


The school offers a two-course survey in Christian origins and Medieval/Reformation Christianity and a similar two-course-survey in Religions of North America.  Students will take the segments of these two sequences that pertain to their two fields.

Students must complete 12-16 units in the major field and 8-12 in the designated minor. Courses from outside the discipline (e.g., Cultural Studies, anthropology, sociology) and in a religious tradition other than Christianity are also required. Any remaining units may be distributed in accord with the student's interests.

Qualifying Examinations

The exams are ordinarily taken during the student’s third year.  They consist of three four-hour written examinations and an oral examination. Students will be examined in (1) the major field, (2) the minor field, and (3) a thematic investigation of a topic that will provide a broad context and historical depth for the student’s dissertation topic.

Paper Requirement

In connection with the qualifying examination, students will submit a long paper comparing Christianity and another religion (A paper written for a course is acceptable).

Dissertation Proposal

At the time of the qualifying examination, students will also submit a dissertation proposal that will be reviewed at the oral examination following the written portion. 

The Dissertation

After completion of the dissertation, the student defends it before the committee in accordance with School of Religion procedures.

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