The Ph.D. in Religious Education prepares highly specialized professionals for leadership in religious education. Multi-disciplinary fields of study intersect in the doctoral curriculum. The program is intended to nurture sound scholarship by encouraging students to develop and demonstrate erudition, reflection and research skills in their academic work, examinations, dissertations and vocational experiences.
Questions of faith and theology are examined with an eye to enhancing the general quality of religious education; the interaction of teaching, learning and theology is at the core of the program. Doctoral students grapple with the central texts and questions of theological, philosophical, historical, psychological, sociological and religious thought.
Doctoral studies in this field help prepare professionals through character development, spiritual nurture, social or public commitment, and the transmission of religious heritage. The program seeks to provide students with the knowledge and skills to work as religious education professionals in various settings: colleges and universities, family counseling centers, schools, congregations, dioceses and public service organizations.
In keeping with Fordham University's Jesuit mission the program gives special, though not exclusive, attention to the Christian and Catholic religious tradition. A major concern, in keeping with the mission of Jesuit education, is to explore the social role that religious education can play in dealing with pivotal contemporary cultural movements such as ecology, feminism, multiculturalism, and peace and justice, as these intersect with theological issues such as faith inculturation and spirituality.
The structure and content of the program affirms religious education as a distinctive field of scholarship with its own history, theoretical framework and philosophical underpinnings. The course of study has three distinct but interrelated components: a required core of courses in religious education; a set of electives in religious education, and religious and theological studies.
The curriculum includes required courses and seminars, qualifying examinations, a dissertation proposal, and the writing and oral defense of a doctoral dissertation. Students will ordinarily devote the equivalent of two full years to course work. Reading knowledge of languages other than English may be required if the scope and nature of the dissertation warrants such knowledge.
Admission Deadline each year is February 1, for Fall admission.
An applicant for the Ph.D. program must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited educational institution. An applicant's academic record should indicate a capacity for graduate work of high quality. Admission to the Ph.D. program is selective and offered only to those students who have demonstrated the intellectual ability, preparation and motivation for a vocation as a scholar or pastoral leader.
All applicants should submit scores from the Miller Analogies Test. International students also must pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination if their first language is not English.
Those applying for admission must normally have achieved a 3.5 (B+) average in their master's program. This grade point average should be maintained during the entire course of study. Applicants are expected to have had at least three years of experience in religious education.
At its discretion the Doctoral Studies Committee may interview select applicants for the program in person. Applicants should take care to provide a complete dossier, encompassing the application form, degree credentials, .transcripts of all prior academic work, and two letters of recommendation from professors with whom they have studied. Applications for admission must be received by February 1. Every effort will be made to notify applicants by March 1 of each year.
Students admitted into the program receive provisional matriculation. The Doctoral Studies Committee reviews students for permanent matriculation after they have taken twelve credits beyond their master's degree. The committee makes this determination based on students' performance in the program and their promise for completing a doctoral dissertation.
The Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education (GSRRE) makes a special effort to form a community of scholars among faculty and students. Towards that goal a number of apartments are available at a building adjoining the Bronx campus. Early leasing is suggested. For a limited number of students, some financial assistance is available on the basis of merit and need.
For applicants with GSRRE degrees at the master's and/ or post-master's levels or those from other religious education/theological programs, the required number of courses will be negotiated with the Doctoral Studies Committee on the recommendation of the student's adviser in consultation with the student.
Ph.D. Curriculum (72 credits beyond a B.A.)
Religious Education Core (30 credits)
Foundations of Religious Education
The History of Religious Education
Community, Family and Religious Education
Religious and Educational Development of Children
Youth and Young Adults
Adult Learning and Development
Curriculum and Religious Education
Parish Education: Ministry and Leadership
Education for Peace and Justice
Research Methods and Resources in Religious Education
Religious Education Electives (12 credits; sample listing)
The Aesthetic Dimensions of Religious Education
Special Questions:Youth Ministry
Family Ministry: Special Questions
Moral Education and Development
Imagination: Ministry and Religious Education
Spirituality and Faith Life of Adolescents
Spirituality and the Arts
Multicultural Religious Education
Communicating Faith Within a Secular Culture
Strategies for Religious Education
Human Growth and Development
Religious Studies (30 Credits; at least one in each area)
Religion and Social Sciences