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Ph.D. in Religion and Practice

This program is only offered on campus.

This program aspires to develop researchers and educators into promoters of social justice who are equipped to responsibly relate religion and spirituality to the pressing issues of our day. The Ph.D. program provides students mentoring and rigorous study in practical theology and religious education, and draws on the richness of other practice-intensive fields at GRE such as Christian spirituality and pastoral mental health counseling. The Ph.D. program is committed to creating knowledge, curating practices, and accompanying students in ways that respond robustly to urgent questions in academic research and to the needs of religions and societies—scholarship for the practice of service.

Program Highlights

  • Explore diverse approaches to practical theology and religious education, focused on how academic studies are inspired by and contribute to the common good.
  • Learn the value of interdisciplinary conversations about practice as you work with mentors to cultivate your unique contributions and clarify your vocational and career goals.
  • Teach and learn with our renowned faculty and international students from more than twenty countries.
  • Take courses at the member schools of the New York Theological Consortium.

Program Basics

  • The curriculum is 48 credits and includes a doctoral seminar, coursework, a proposal, and the writing and oral defense of a doctoral dissertation or substantial creative work.
  • Students are required to be on campus for coursework during their first two years (although students may take courses in various formats).
  • Reading knowledge of languages other than English may be required if the scope and nature of the dissertation or substantial creative work warrant such knowledge.


Graduates of the program will take a variety of career paths, including:

  • academic teaching and administration
  • ministerial leadership
  • public and private institutional leadership
  • creative social advocacy
  • entrepreneurial endeavors