Ph.D. in Religion and Practice Admissions and Application Requirements

For the present admission cycle (Fall 2024), admission to the Ph.D. in Religion and Practice has been suspended while changes to the program are being considered.

This page documents admissions information and application requirements for the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education’s Ph.D. program in religion and practice.

If you have any questions regarding these application requirements, please contact us at [email protected] or call 718-817-4800.


The Ph.D. program in religion and practice admissions committee accepts and reviews applications once a year, for fall semester admission only. The application deadline is  February 1.

Every effort will be made to extend decisions to all Ph.D. applicants by early March. However, should the committee be delayed for any reason, applicants will be kept informed as to when they might expect to receive a decision.

Minimum Requirements

Applicants to the Ph.D. program in religion and practice must have an earned master’s degree in practical theology, religious education, pastoral ministry, religious studies, or equivalent from an accredited educational institution. A grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or better (in graduate studies) is preferred.

If you would like more information as to whether or not this program is a good fit for you and your career/ministerial goals, please contact us at [email protected] or call 718-817-4800.

Submitting Your Application

1.  Complete the Online Application

All applicants to GRE’s Ph.D. program in religion and practice must complete and submit our online application. The following materials are required as part of the online application:

  • A current resume or CV

  • Three letters of recommendation

    • Two letters from an academic instructor or faculty member who can attest in detail to the quality of your work and potential for doctoral studies.

    • One letter from an employer or representative from your “community of practice” or “place of service” who can attest to your commitment and accountability to communities beyond the academy.

  • A personal statement that is composed of responses to the following prompts:

    • Narrate your intellectual autobiography, describing your academic interests, how they developed, and how they led to your pursuit of a doctoral degree in religion and practice.

    • What motivates you to choose Fordham University’s Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education (GRE)?

    • Within the practice-intensive fields at GRE such as practical theology, religious education, Christian spirituality, and pastoral mental health counseling, which particular practice(s) would you like to explore in your doctoral studies? On which context or community do you intend to focus, and what contemporary issues and concerns about fostering justice will you be addressing?

    • Describe the dissertation or creative project you hope to complete. What question will you investigate and for what purpose?

    • What difference do you think your dissertation or creative project can make in the world, and how do you envision doctoral studies preparing you to be part of making that difference?

    • Explain how your dissertation or creative project can help you make meaningful contributions to (a) academic teaching, research, and administration; (b) ministerial leadership; (c) public and private institutional leadership; and/or (d) social advocacy and entrepreneurship.

  • A writing sample. The Ph.D. in religion and practice is a writing-intensive program. Applicants must submit a 15 to 30 page writing sample that demonstrates an area of interest or curiosity.

2.  Submit all Official Academic Transcripts

Official transcripts of all coursework taken at the undergraduate and/or graduate level (including international transcripts) must be submitted to GRE by using one of the following methods:

If a degree has been completed, the transcript must include the degree awarded and date conferred.

Please note that all submitted documents will be kept on file with the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education and will not be returned or duplicated for any purpose.

3.  Interview

Finalists to the program must also submit to a videoconference interview with the Ph.D. admissions committee.

Important Information for International Applicants

In addition to the above, all international applicants are required to submit an International Transcript Evaluation and either a TOEFL or IELTS exam score. For more information about these requirements, please visit the international applicants page.

After Submitting Your Application

Communications from GRE

GRE will send email updates such as:

  • Requests for any outstanding materials that may be required as part of your application
  • An invitation to a videoconference interview with the Ph.D. admissions committee (for finalists only)
  • Our final admission decision

Application Review Process

An application is considered complete and ready for review only after it has been submitted and all supplemental materials have been received. Once an application is complete, it is forwarded to the GRE admissions committee.
All decisions are made by the GRE admissions committee and not the general admissions office staff.

How to Monitor Your Application Status

All applicants can verify whether the GRE has received supplemental application materials (such as official academic transcripts) by visiting their application status page.

To log in to the application status page, applicants will need to enter the same credentials they used when completing their application.