The GTU offers a PhD, an advanced academic degree intended to prepare students for professional careers in teaching, writing, and scholarship, as well as 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.

Students applying to enter the PhD program at the GTU are able to choose their fields of study from among more than thirty concentrations grouped into four interdisciplinary departments:

  • Sacred Texts & Their Interpretation: Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Hindu Sacred Texts, Islamic Sacred Texts, New Testament, Rabbinic Literature
  • Historical & Cultural Studies of Religion: Anthropology of Religion, Art and Religion, Buddhist Studies, Christian Spirituality, Comparative Religion, History of Christianity, Hindu Studies, Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies, New Religious Movements, Religion and Literature, Sociology of Religion
  • Theology & Ethics: Aesthetics, Christian Theology, Comparative Ethics, Comparative Theology, Ethics, Hindu Theology, Islamic Philosophy and Theology, Philosophical Theology, Theology & Science
  • Religion & Practice: Homiletics, Liturgical Studies, Missiology, Practical Theology, Religious Education

The academic disciplines represented by a diverse range of faculty, combined with multidenominational and interfaith cooperation, provide a rich environment for developing your own academic voice.

GTU has the faculty and research resources to offer a distinctively interdisciplinary approach to scholarship within your specialized area of study. Doctoral students also have the option to pursue an allied field during the course of the program, enabling you to establish a foundation of credentials in a discipline beyond the primary area of study.

The PhD program places theological or religious studies in the context of university research disciplines, and you will be required to engage such a discipline to provide an additional critical and theoretical dimension to your 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.

To apply to the program, you 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. Here are some helpful links that provide information on the GTU PhD, how to request information, and how to apply.


For more information, please contact:

Isai Garcia, Associate Director of Admissions Operations | 415.451.2831