PhD in Philosophy of Religion (Coming Spring 2023)
Program Director: William Roach ([email protected])
The PhD in Philosophy of Religion is a 60-unit program designed for mature Christian postgraduates who desire in-depth academic study in the area of philosophy of religion. Its approach, in the tradition of classical theism and classical philosophy, is designed for those who appreciate the full inspiration and inerrancy of the Word of God. We encourage applications for admission from those who desire to cultivate a scholar’s mind and a pastor’s heart, and conduct advanced research in the areas of philosophical theology, philosophy of religion, philosophical apologetics and moral philosophy.
The program’s design is suitable for those who cannot relocate, take leave of employment and desire the flexibility.
- No residency requirement (the oral defense may be required to be in residence)
- International students are welcome
- Choose between part-time and full-time study
- 4-7 years for full-time study, and 5-9 years to complete your part-time PhD
- Regular contact with your research professors
Program Learning Outcomes
VIU is committed to quality education with the following program objectives:
- To learn how to analyze and defend the historic Christian faith against philosophical objections.
- To articulate advanced knowledge of philosophy, theology, apologetics, and Biblical studies.
- To demonstrate the ability to perform advanced and original research in the areas of philosophy, theology, apologetics, and Biblical studies.
- To communicate and defend the Christian faith effectively in both academic and ministry settings.
- To demonstrate a love for the truth of God and the willingness to reach people from various backgrounds with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The applicant should possess an academic graduate degree from an accredited institution (or equivalent) of at least 60-units (or the MDiv with apologetics and/or philosophy) in an area related to their proposed research. (VIU and SES graduates may be granted advanced standing with a graduate degree of 48-units or more which would waive the 60-unit minimal requirement). The applicant’s graduate program should contain a minimum of the following set of fulfilled graduate level courses:
- Four systematic theology courses (12 semester units)
- One logic/critical thinking/symbolic logic course (3 semester units)
- 15 semester units of philosophy courses
- 15 additional semester units in the areas of either philosophy, apologetics, theology, or religious studies or a combination of these.
If these prerequisites are not satisfied at the time of admission, the candidate may be accepted into the PhD program with the provision these prerequisite courses will be fulfilled prior to achieving candidature status. If the applicant holds an undergraduate degree in philosophy or closely related field, this also will be considered in the admissions process.
The applicant must also submit a writing sample not co-authored that is greater than 15 pages. The sample should be in the subject matter of philosophy and exemplify graduate level writing and research with footnotes. In addition, letters of recommendation from previous faculty and clergy are required
Though the GRE and MAT exams are not required, after applying to the program, the student will be required to pass a written entrance exam prior to acceptance. The entrance exam will allow the student a limited preparation time and then test the student’s ability to respond to graduate level philosophy questions.
The PhD in Philosophy of Religion program may allow, upon successful review of official transcripts, up to 6-units of previously earned doctoral credit to be transferred from another accredited institution. This credit will be evaluated by the Registrar and Academic Dean for suitability of transfer. Please send official academic transcripts to the VIU Registrar.
Continued Enrollment Requirements
All PhD students prior to candidature are required to take a minimum of three courses per year. Exceptions can only be granted by the Academic Dean.
The student will be promoted from PhD Student to PhD Candidate by action of the faculty only when all classwork, language requirements, and comprehensive exams have been completed successfully with an overall GPA of 3.50. The student must also be in good overall standing with evidence of Christian character. This is also when the student will be deemed ABD (all-but-dissertation). Only after achieving PhD Candidacy will the student be able to begin the dissertation process.
The dissertation process involves submitting a dissertation prospectus for approval. Upon approval, the student will be guided by the dissertation supervisor until the dissertation is completed and passes the oral defense. The student’s dissertation must constitute an original contribution to learning, give evidence of systematic study, and ability to relate the results of such study to the general body of knowledge in the subject area. The dissertation must be written in Turabian style formatting with a minimum length of 80,000 words.
Oral Defense (Viva Voce)
After submitting an acceptable dissertation, the candidate will be required to give a live in-residence oral defense of their research to no less than three faculty readers/examiners, one of which may be from another institution. This will give opportunity to the candidate to explain and correct any misunderstanding of their research, and offer the examiners a chance to test the knowledge and research contained in the dissertation.
60 Hours Total
3 Hours Prerequisites
30 Hours Coursework
6 Hours Mentorship
1 Hour Comprehensive Exams
20 Hours Prospectus and Dissertation
RW499 Research, Writing and Technology Skills (P/F)
CE1010 Teaching in Higher Education (3 units)
PH1010 Metaphysics (3 units)
PH1015 Epistemology (3 units)
PH1020 Coherence of Theism (3 units)
PH1025 Philosophy of Mind (3 units)
PH1030 Moral Philosophy (3 units)
PH1035 Philosophy of Science (3 units)
PH1040 The Problem of Evil (3 units)
PH1045 Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (3 units)
PH1050 Modern and Contemporary Philosophy (3 units)
PH1055 Elective (3 units)
PHR1108 Mentorship 1 (3 units)
PHR11109 Mentorship 2 (3 units)
PHR1105 Comprehensive Exam (Oral and Written) (1 unit)
PHR1100 Language Competency Preparation and Examination (P/F: 0 units)
Prospectus and Dissertation
PHR1200 Dissertation Prospectus (2 hr)
PHR1300 Dissertation Research and Writing (16 units) PHR 1400 PhD Dissertation Defense (2 hr)
 This elective course may be taken as an independent study with an approved VIU faculty member or approved professor outside of VIU. The purpose of taking this course as an independent study would be to work with a specialist on a particular topic. The professor would offer guided readings and mentorship to assist the student. The professor, syllabus, and assignments must be approved by the PhD Director prior to starting the course.
Upon successful completion of the program courses with at least a 3.5 GPA, competency exams, research language, written dissertation, oral defense, and a positive faculty recommendation for graduation, the candidate will receive the PhD in Philosophy of Religion granted by Veritas International University.
|PhD in Philosophy of Religion (PhD)*|
|Prerequisites – 3 units|
|RW499 Research, Writing & Technology Skills(P/F)||CE1010 Teaching in Higher Education (3)|
|STAGE 1: Philosophy of Religion – 27 units|
|PH1010 Metaphysics (3)||PH1035 Philosophy of Science (3)|
|PH1015 Epistemology (3)||PH1040 The Problem of Evil (3)|
|PH1020 Coherence of Theism (3)||PH1045 Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (3)|
|PH1025 Philosophy of Mind (3)||PH1050 Modern and Contemporary Philosophy (3)|
|PH1030 Moral Philosophy (3)|
|Electives – 3 units|
|PHR1055 Elective Course** (3)|
|Mentorship – 6 Units|
|PHR1108 Mentorship 1 (3)||PHR1109 Mentorship 2 (3)|
|STAGE 2: Language Competency – Pass/Fail|
|PHR1100 Language Competency Preparation and Examination (P/F)|
|Comprehensive Exams (Prior to Dissertation) – 1 Unit|
|PHR1105 Comprehensive Exam (Oral and Written) (1)|
|STAGE 3: Prospectus and Dissertation – 18 units|
|PHR1200 Dissertation Prospectus (2)||PHR1300 Dissertation Research and Writing (16)|
|STAGE 4: Oral Defense – 2 unit|
|PHR1400 PhD Dissertation Defense (2)|
|Total Semester Hours: 60|
*This degree can prepare someone for the following California Occupational Codes: Clergy 21-2011; Directors, religious activities and
education 21-2021; Religious workers 21-2099.
**This elective course may be taken as an independent study with an approved VIU faculty member or approved professor outside of
VIU. The purpose of taking this course as an independent study would be to work with a specialist on a particular topic. The professor
would offer guided readings and mentorship to assist the student. The professor, syllabus, and assignments must be approved by the
PhD Director prior to starting the course.