PhD in Religious Education

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PhD Religious Education | 72 credits Above the BA

The PhD in Religious Education prepares professionals for leadership in religious education. Specifically, it provides students with an understanding of the distinctive nature of the field of religious education as an interdisciplinary area of research and scholarship at the intersection of the academic disciplines of theology/religious studies and education. In their course work students explore the religious and educational development of children, youth, and adults; historical and contemporary approaches to religious education: and the personal, social, and communal dimensions of education in faith. The program focuses on Christian traditions of religious education, while also exploring how a concern for interreligious education is constitutive of the theory and practice of religious education. Graduates of the program contribute to substantive research and scholarship, and the development of practical approaches to religious education. The program is known for its comprehensive religious education curriculum, and the accessibility of faculty members and their dedication to mentoring students.


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.

Coursework required for the PhD is as follows:


ZZGR 8080 Ph.D. Mentoring Seminar - required twice for 6 credits and must be retaken each Fall and Spring after coursework is complete until graduation.

ZZGR 8040 Dissertation Qualifying Paper

ZZGR 8084 Dissertation Format Review

Religious Education Core (30 credits)

REGR 8102 Foundations of Religious Education
REGR 8140 Curriculum and Religious Education
REGR 8120 Education for Peace and Justice
REGR 8210 History of Religious Education
REGR 8180 The Religious Educational Development of Children
REGR 8202 Youth and Young Adult Ministry
REGR 8580 Adult Learning and Development
REGR 8404 Research Methods and Resources in Religious Education

Required courses from the Graduate School of Education (9 credits required)

ASGE 7428 Seminar in Leadership
ASGE 7432 Seminar in Organizational Theory
1 elective course from the Graduate School of Education from:
ASGE 6000-9999 or UEGE-9999

Religious Education Electives (9 credits required)
3 courses from REGR 6000-9999

Pastoral Studies Requirement (6 credits)
2 courses from PMGR 6000-9999, SPGR 6000-9999, PCGR 6000-9999, RLGR 6000-9999

Other Religious Studies (24 credits)

Admission Requirements

Deadline each year is February 1, for Fall admission.

An applicant for the PhD 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 PhD 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 (GRE) 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.

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GRE Office

441 East Fordham Road
Keating Hall 303
Bronx, NY 10458

Tel: 718-817-4800

Fax: 718-817-3352