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PhD Studies

The PhD program of Princeton Theological Seminary forms scholars, servants, and leaders of the church and the academy through constructive, critical engagement with the Christian tradition in its complexity and diversity, and where appropriate, in conversation with other religious and intellectual traditions in their multiplicity and variety.  

The PhD program nurtures excellence in (1) research and writing, (2) teaching, and (3) academic citizenship. According to an August 2015 report, Princeton Theological Seminary has provided more faculty with doctoral degrees to schools accredited by The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) than any other institution of higher education.

Read the Report
Holding together love of God and love of learning in a single vision. 

We have an outstanding faculty with expertise across traditional theological disciplines and in dialogue with secular disciplines and contemporary concerns. We are a free-standing theological seminary rooted in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.); many of our faculty and students belong to churches of the Calvinist tradition and work from its dynamic theological heritage; yet others represent a wide variety of other Christian traditions, providing a richly ecumenical dialogue. Our doctoral program offers opportunities not only to study a field in depth, but also to pursue interdisciplinary study both within the Seminary and at Princeton University. Our library is one of the nation's largest theological libraries, and both faculty and students enjoy full access to the libraries of Princeton University as well. We live in a peaceful and beautiful town in central New Jersey—yet we are within an hour of the social and cultural riches of New York and Philadelphia. You might say we have the “best of both worlds.”

90% of our PhD graduates in the last 5 years are currently in faculty or ministerial positions.

“The graduates of our program have made substantive contributions to their academic disciplines, and they have a profound influence on the church as they shape its future pastors and leaders in their classrooms. As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the doctoral program this year, we are proud to mark the accomplishments of our alumni/ae and the impact of this program in theological education.”

—M. Craig Barnes, President of Princeton Theological Seminary

Educating faithful Christian leaders.

Associate Rector at Trinity Church, Princeton, New Jersey

Nancy Hagner, Class of 2013

“Preaching is one of the most important things we do as pastors because it’s one of the last places in our society where people will actually listen, perhaps to things they may not agree with.”