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Ph.D. in Religious Education Admissions Information/Requirements

Who We Look for and Deadlines

Although the Ph.D. admissions committee invites those with a background from a variety of fields of study, work experience, and those who have just a BA to apply, applicants who are most successful in earning a place to study in our Ph.D. in Religious Education program have:

  • Have earned an MA in Religious Education, Theology, Pastoral Ministry, Religious Studies, Education, or similar
  • Earned a 3.0 GPA (undergraduate program)
  • Earned a 3.5 GPA (graduate program)
  • Experience working in the field of religious education as a: teacher, catechist, youth minister, pastor, pastoral associate, diocesan leader, curriculum developer, etc.
  • A potential for making a strong contribution to the field of religious education
  • A clear career path moving forward after graduation
  • Strong writing and research capabilities
If you would like more information as to whether or not this program is a good fit for you and your career/ministerial goals, contact us any time to set-up a meeting with one of our religious education faculty members.

Application Requirements

All who apply to the Ph.D. in Religious Education program must submit the following:

  • Online Application
  • Personal Statement
  • Current Resume/CV
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • All Academic Transcripts
  • One 15-30 page Writing Sample
  • International Transcript Evaluation (for international students only)
  • TOEFL Exam Score (for international students only)
  • GRE exam (preferred) score or MAT exam score

In addition to the above, applicants to this program may also be contacted for a phone or in person interview.

For more a more detailed outlining of each of these requirements, please see our main Application Requirements page. Intrenational applicants should refer to our International Applicants page.

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Frequently Asked Questions 

MAT and GRE Exam

  • All Ph.D. applicants must provide scores from either the GRE or the MAT (Miller Analogies Test)
  • Ph.D. applicants are also required to submit a 15-30 page writing sample

MAT Exam
On the MAT exam, the Ph.D. admissions committee tends to look for a score of between 410 and 425. It is rare to see a score above 425.

GRE Exam
On the GRE, The Ph.D. admissions committee tends to look for a score between 160 and 170 on each of the two sections of the test. However, the committee has seen many good candidates with scores between 155 and 160.

If I scored below what you look for, can I still apply?
Yes! The Ph.D. admissions committee looks at each applicant's application as a whole and takes into account that some people do not show their strengths on standardized tests. So those who score slightly below the stated scores above are still encouraged to apply.

Do I need an M.A. Degree to Apply?

Do I have to have an M.A. to apply?
Although it would increase your competiveness, an M.A. is not a requirement to apply to the Ph.D. RE program. 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.

Is an interview required?

Is an interview required?
At its discretion, the Doctoral Studies Committee may interview select applicants for the program in person.

How many credits from MA degree will be applied to this program?

How many credits will I receive from my M.A. that will be applied to this program?
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. It is at that this time a full evaluation of credits is also made.


The Ph.D. in Religious Education admissions committee only accepts and reviews applications one time per year: Feb. 1

Please note that new Ph.D. students are admitted only to begin in the subsequent Fall semester.

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 (e.g. weather), all Ph.D. applicants will be kept informed as to when they might expect to receive a decision.