Christ-centered academic inquiry and spiritual leadership Biblical & Theological Studies (Ph.D)

Wheaton College trains evangelical scholars to serve the church worldwide as teachers, researchers, pastors, and leaders.

Our Biblical & Theological Studies Ph.D program fosters faithfulness to the teaching of Scripture and theology in combination with creative and critical reflection on its significance for the church and contemporary culture. 

Credential Type

  • Ph.D.

Major Credits Required

  • 40-60


  • 3-5 years


  • Residential

6 Students Admitted

Small cohorts enable us to provide more opportunities and attention to each Ph.D. student. 

17 Countries

Our 90+ Ph.D. graduates serve churches and communities around the globe.



100% Funding

All Ph.D. students receive full tuition funding plus a research fellowship and travel stipends. 

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Amy Peeler Headshot

Contact a Program Mentor

It’s not too early! Connect with one of our program mentors to discuss dissertation topics, learn program distinctives, and explore vocational pathways.

Why Wheaton for Your Biblical and Theological Ph.D.? A Holistic Approach to Biblical-Theological Studies

In a world of highly specialized scholarship, we are intentional about bridging the scholarly gap between the Old and New Testaments, and especially between the disciplines of Biblical Studies and Theology.

Concurrent Coursework

Unlike most doctoral programs in North America that operate with a sequential, step-by-step model, our program is concurrent. This means students begin work on their dissertation proposals during their first semester, while taking seminars, honing their modern language skills, completing required readings for breadth and depth of knowledge in their field, and engaging in fellowship work.

Globally Minded Curriculum

Students will be exposed to perspectives from around the world through class discussions, the periodic presence of visiting international scholars, and an academic community engaged in global issues. Additionally, Wheaton is a member of the Hispanic Theological Initiative, a consortium of 25 institutions dedicated to increasing the the number of Latino/a Ph.D. candidates and graduates in related fields.

Integrated Research

Wheaton's Ph.D. program emphasizes the connections between disciplines. Our dissertation requirements call for original research that has integrative, biblical-theological significance.

Program Goals

In today’s academy, Biblical Studies and Theology are often treated as separate, autonomous subjects, but our Ph.D. program is designed to hold them together: We want our students to engage the entire canon of Scripture to discern its unified message. Likewise, our program explores the scriptural roots of theology and the theological roots of Scripture.

Our Curriculum

The length and specific components of the program will vary from student to student, but will include seminar-style courses and directed independent studies.

Ph.D. candidates also will write a dissertation that is distinctly theological in nature. This original research will focus on one of the traditional academic areas: Old Testament, New Testament, Systematic Theology, or Historical Theology.

View Curriculum

Sample Courses

Much of the Ph.D. program is rooted in independent studies, but common seminars include:

  • Biblical Interpretation and Theology
  • Old Testament Ethics
  • Gender and the New Testament
  • Doctrine of Creation
  • Christ and Culture

Our Faculty Compassionate and Intelligent Educators

From the very start of their program through their dissertation defense, Ph.D. students will build strong personal and academic relationships with the program faculty. The following professors are the primary Ph.D. mentors.

Andrew Abernethy, Ph.D. Headshot

Andrew Abernethy, Ph.D.

Assistant Dean of Biblical and Theological Studies in the Litfin Divinity School; Program Director of the M.A. in Biblical Exegesis Program; Professor of Old Testament
M. Daniel Carroll R. (Rodas), Ph.D. Headshot

M. Daniel Carroll R. (Rodas), Ph.D.

Scripture Press Ministries Professor of Biblical Studies and Pedagogy
Marc Cortez, Ph.D. Headshot

Marc Cortez, Ph.D.

Dean of the Litfin Divinity School, Professor of Theology, Director of M.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies
Esau McCaulley, Ph.D. Headshot

Esau McCaulley, Ph.D.

Blanchard Associate Professor of New Testament and Public Theology
Rev. Amy Peeler, Ph.D. Headshot

Rev. Amy Peeler, Ph.D.

Kenneth T. Wessner Professor of New Testament
Richard Schultz, Ph.D. Headshot

Richard Schultz, Ph.D.

Blanchard Professor of Old Testament
Daniel Treier, Ph.D. Headshot

Daniel Treier, Ph.D.

Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Theology Director of Ph.D. Program
Andrew Abernethy Headshot
Ph.D. Mentors at Wheaton College Graduate School

Dr. Andrew Abernethy to Serve as New Ph.D. Mentor in Biblical Theological Studies

The Ph.D. Committee in Biblical and Theological Studies is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Andrew Abernethy as a new Ph.D. Mentor in Old Testament. His areas of interest are Isaiah, Psalms, and the Prophets, Theological/Canonical Interpretation, Literary-thematic approaches to the Old Testament, Old Testament theology, Integration of ancient context, literary analysis, and reception. 

Meet Faculty Mentors

Success After Wheaton What Can You Do With a Ph.D. in Biblical and Theological Studies?

In partnership with our Center for Vocation and Career, many find employment in higher education, as well as church and parachurch agencies.

Who Hires our Graduates?

  • Churches
  • Colleges and universities
  • Parachurch agencies
  • Religious organizations
  • Publishing houses
  • Seminaries

Where are Our Ph.D. Alumni Serving?

Alumni from the program have gone on to work at the following organizations and many more:

  • Reformed Theological Seminary
  • Institut Biblique et Missionnaire
  • Northern Seminary
  • Talbot School of Theology(Biola University)
  • The Urban Ministry Institute
  • Oak Hill Theological College
  • Grace Theological Seminary
  • Zondervan Publishing
  • Gordon College
  • Singapore Bible College
  • Bethlehem Bible College and Seminary
  • Crossway Books
  • Planetshakers College
  • Reality LA
  • Knox Theological Seminary
  • Visoko Evanđeosko Teološko Učilište, Croatia
  • Truett Seminary (Baylor University)
  • Africa International University
  • Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
  • Moody Bible Institute
  • Taylor University
  • Liberty Presbyterian Church
  • Life on the Vine Christian Community

What Career Paths Have Our Alumni Taken?

Alumni of the Ph.D. in Biblical & Theological Studies program have gone on to faithful careers in a variety of different fields. Many hold teaching positions at seminaries as well as both Christian and secular colleges and universities around the country and the world. Beyond that, our graduates pastor churches large and small here in the local area, on both coasts of the country, and in many other countries across the globe. A number of graduates also serve in publishing and other media-related fields.

See alumni placements

Carmen Joy Imes
Alumni Perspectives

Author & Educator

“Wheaton was an ideal place in which to prepare for a lifetime of scholarship and teaching.”

— Carmen Imes Ph.D., '16

Dr. Carmen Imes, an associate professor of Old Testament at Biola University in Alberta, Canada, is the author of Bearing God's Name: Why Sinai Still Matters. She has appeared on more than 50 podcasts and radio shows and is a guest blogger for Christianity Today, The Political Theology Network, and The Well. Imes frequently speaks at churches, conferences, and retreats, and she's even launched a YouTube channel where she releases weekly "Torah Tuesday" videos.

Before earning her Ph.D. from Wheaton College, Imes and her husband served as missionaries in the Philippines with SIM International.

Ty Kieser Headshot

Congratulations, Ty!

Ty Kieser, Ph.D. 2020 was recently hired as Assistant Professor of Theology and the Program Director of the M.A. in Theological & Biblical Studies at Criswell College in Dallas, Texas. His teaching is split between undergraduate and graduate theology and church history classes. Ty has published and presented extensively within his areas of research: Christology, trinitarian theology, post-Reformation theology, and theology of the atonement, including his forthcoming co-authorship, with Kelly M. Kapic, John Owen Among the Theologians(Under Contract; due 2024).

See where our alumni are now

More About This Program Frequently Asked Questions

We've put together a few common questions (and their answers) about this graduate program.

Investing in You

Financial Wellness

The Biblical & Theological Studies Ph.D. program offers full tuition scholarships, as well as a research fellowship, to each of the six students accepted per year.

This financial award enables Ph.D. candidates to devote themselves to advanced learning as a fully involved member of the academic community.

Learn About Graduate Financial Aid

Next Steps

Interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in Biblical and Theological Studies at Wheaton? Request more information or start your application today.