Ph.D. in Theology and Education

Ph.D. in Theology and Education

A truly interdisciplinary doctoral program.

The Ph.D. in theology and education is intended to prepare future leaders and scholars in the integrative field of religious education.  The program combines resources from the School of Theology and Ministry, the Lynch School of Education, and the Graduate School of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences.

Participants take courses in theology, education, and religious education; faculty members from each of these areas serve on both the comprehensive examination committee and on the dissertation committee.

Courses, advisement, examinations and dissertations focus on developing the following proficiencies:

  • Integration of scholarly reflection and practical educational concerns
  • Development of a general level of competence in Bible, systematics, ethics, and pastoral theology
  • Development of a general level of competence in the literature and practice of education, especially educational philosophy and history, curriculum, and instruction
  • Development of a general level of competence in the social sciences most relevant to religious education, especially sociology and psychology
  • Development of expertise in religious education as a field of scholarship and practice, including the following: a clarity about the contributions of theology, education and the social sciences to religious education, a detailed grasp of the literature of religious education, including historical classics, contemporary writing, and ecclesial texts
  • An ability to engage in research and to write for various publications about religious education
  • The ability to teach with creativity and active engagement in both academic and pastoral contexts

All students admitted to the doctoral program receive
a 4-year stipend of approximately $20,000/year.

Our Faculty

Vocations of Our Graduates

Professor, Jesuit Theological College, Melbourne, Australia

Professor of Environmental Ethics, Department of Theology University of Portland

Member of Irish Senate

Associate Professor of Theology, Aquinas Institute of Theology

Director of Contextual Education and Congregational Partnerships, Boston University School of Theology



Professor, Mount Mary College

Head of Chapel, Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry

Associate Professor, Director of Pastoral Ministry
Program, Duquesne University

Professor of Christian/Jewish Learning, St. Joseph’s University

President, College of St. Mary



Application Information



Fall 2019
January 15, 2019

Application Form

The application to the STM must be completed online.

Start Application

Make sure you click the "Submit" button on the last page of the application.  You will receive an email confirming that your application has been submitted.  Within 48 hours of submitting your application, you should receive an email with your Boston College credentials (your Eagle ID and BC username) so that you can login to the BC applicant system and check the status of your full application. If you have been a BC student before, your credentials will be the same and you may not receive a credentials email.  If you have not been a BC student before, and do not receive your credentials email, please contact the admissions office for help: or 617-552-6506.

Additional requirements for international applicants
Additional requirements for religious applicants

Application Fee

A non-refundable fee of $75 is required for every degree and non-degree application submitted.

Payment Options

  • Pay by credit or debit card via the web; You can pay the application fee at the same time your submit your application form.  However, if you do not pay the fee at the same time you submit your application, you can pay online at a later date through the Agora Portal. You must use your BC Username and password to log in.

  • Pay by check or money order made payable to Boston College, via regular mail.  Please include your check with a copy of your application form submission confirmation page and include your name and intended degree program.

Please note: The application fee cannot be refunded for any reason. If you qualify for a fee waiver, you should not pay the fee when you submit the application form. Fee waivers are automatically granted to the following applicants: Jesuits, applicants currently completing a year of service, and current STM students. We do not waive the application fee for other reasons.

Standardized Tests

GRE scores
All applicants applying to the Ph.D. program must submit GRE scores -- no exceptions will be made. Scores need to be received directly from ETS.  Our GRE code is 2508.

TOEFL scores
All applicants for whom English is not their native language must also provide TOEFL test score results. An acceptable TOEFL score is 85 or above on the internet-based test. When taking the exam, include STM’s institutional code – 3971 – so that your scores may be sent directly to the school. Learn more about the TOEFL and about qualifications for a TOEFL waiver.


One copy of each transcript is required from all colleges, universities, seminaries, or theological schools that you have attended. Each transcript should contain a list of all coursework taken, grades/marks received, and, if applicable, degree granted and date of degree confirmation. If your college or university will send official transcripts electronically, they can be emailed to  Otherwise, transcripts must be mailed and be contained in a sealed, signed envelope. If the official transcript is not English, a translation should be provided with the official document. Please alert us if your transcript will be arriving with a different name than the one you are using on your application (e.g. your maiden name).

Mailing Addresses
For applicants using the U.S. Postal Service:
Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
Processing Center
P.O. Box 67406
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

For applicants using FedEx or UPS, please use this address:
Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
Simboli Hall
9 Lake Street
Brighton, MA 02135-3841


Ph.D. applicants are required to submit three recommendations using the online application system. 

Each recommender should be familiar with the applicant’s academic competence. For applicants who have been out of school for a significant amount of time, the recommenders should be familiar with the applicant's professional competence. Applicants to our certificate programs are required to submit one letter of recommendation. Please be sure that your recommenders are aware of the application deadlines and online process, and choose them carefully to ensure that they can write on your behalf in a timely manner.

Writing Sample

The writing sample must be uploaded as part of the application. The sample should be an academic paper of around 25 pages.  


The resume must be uploaded as part of the application.  It is helpful if you highlight relevant teaching, research, ministry, service, and leadership positions you have held.

Personal Statement

The personal statement must be uploaded as part of the application.  The personal statement should be three pages in length, double-spaced.

Your statement should address the following:

  • The academic, professional, and personal development that has motivated you to apply to the STM. Include a sketch of your educational background and interests, any experience you have in ministry and/or religious education, and any other relevant professional and volunteer experience
  • Your understanding of theological education and/or ministry in the context of the Church’s mission
  • How you plan to apply your theological education
  • Given your experience, how you assess your principal strengths for theological education and/or ministry as well as your areas of needed development
  • Information outlining your specific area and field of academic interest, a proposed topic(s) for your research and dissertation, how your previous academic, professional, and/or pastoral experience has prepared you for studies within that particular field, and the STM faculty member(s) with whom you would like to work