Practical Theology

Doctor of Philosophy

Complete your doctoral degree in Practical Theology

The Practical Theology concentration encompasses the broad areas of Chaplaincy, Preaching, Pastoral Theology, and Moral Theology. In this concentration, you may choose to focus your research in any of the major areas of practical theology. If you want to make an original and significant contribution to your area of study and, as a result, contribute to a more accurate understanding of the message of Christ as found in Scripture, the Practical Theology concentration is for you.

What You’ll Learn

  • Research and write at an advanced level in practical theology under the functional authority of Scripture.
  • Make a scholarly contribution to the field of Chaplaincy, Preaching, Pastoral Theology, or Moral Theology.
  • Present research results in a professional, organized, coherent, and structured manner in both written and oral form.
  • Function responsibly in the context of a supervisory relationship while exhibiting CIU’s core value of victorious Christian living.

Program Length

Three years of full-time study or five years of part-time study.

Is the Program Offered Online?

This degree is offered fully online with no residence requirement.

Why Study Practical Theology at CIU?

  • Program design allows you to focus on research and writing from the beginning of your studies.
  • Non-residential modality allows you to pursue your degree without relocating.
  • Experienced faculty mentors provide individualized guidance in areas of their particular expertise.
  • Accredited regionally by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, nationally by the Association of Biblical Higher Education, and professionally by the Association of Theological Schools.

Locations Offered
45 credit hours
Program Length
3 years

Admission Requirements

  • Application
  • Official transcript from accredited institution (all graduate level work)
  • Completed MA, MDiv, or ThM with 3.5 GPA
  • Submit Master’s thesis or major research paper, approximately 5,000-6,000 words (20-24 pages)
  • Submit research proposal (approximately 500 words)
  • Biblical languages: 4 semesters of either/both biblical languages
  • 2 Academic References
  • Interview with admissions committee
  • *International requirements when appropriate


  • Instructors and leaders in global theological education
  • Seminary and University instructors in North America
  • Academic deans
  • Consultants on theological education
  • Authors and editors

Course of Study (45 hours)

Foundation  Course Credit Hours (9)
PTH 9200 Issues and Methods in Practical Theology 3
PTH 9400 Principles of Teaching, Learning, and Course Design 3
PTH 9900 Practical Theology Dissertation Proposal 3


Dissertation Course Credit Hours (36)
PTH 9901-9903 Practical Theology Dissertation Research 1-3 18
PTH 9904-9905 Practical Theology Dissertation Writing 1-2 15
PTH 9906 Practical Theology Dissertation Defense 3


See program details in the Academic Catalog.