Program Overview

Liberty University’s Doctor in Philosophy in Theology and Apologetics program prepares students for leadership roles within the ministry and academic fields. Students within the program may begin to enhance their theological knowledge and expertise so that they may teach others about their faith. Graduates of the program should have the necessary credentials to be qualified to teach within universities and graduate programs. In addition, students may be well equipped for careers as professional ministers. Within the program’s advanced coursework, students will have the opportunity to collaborate with current leaders in the theology and apologetics field. Graduates of the program may find future careers as a pastor, university professor, or university administrator.

To graduate successfully, students must complete a total of 57 credit hours. The required credit hours are fulfilled by completing three credits in Research Competency, 27 credits in Theology & Apologetics, 18 credits Elective Course, and nine Dissertation Course credits. Some of the Theology & Apologetics courses are Apologetic Method, Miracles, and Theological Method.

The program requires students to complete nine Theology & Apologetics Courses; the first four courses are pre-designated, while the other five may be chosen by the student. Students must choose five 900-level courses within the APOL or THEO subjects. Students will be required to complete six, 900-level elective courses. The elective courses must be chosen within APOL, CHHI, NBST, OBST, and THEO subjects. The program encourages students to complete one elective within each of the previously stated subjects.

Students should be advised that the program also requires students to complete two Language Competency Examinations. One examination must be completed in German and another in either French or Latin. Towards the end of the program, students are required to complete the Theology & Apologetics and Cognate Field Comprehensive Examinations.

The Research Competency portion of the program will instruct students on a variety of research and teaching subjects. Some specific course topics include research methods, dissertation topic selection, and computerized databases. Students will also have the opportunity to evaluate and discuss syllabus creation, lesson development, and the methods for evaluating progress within an online educational setting.

The dissertation segment is composed of two different courses: DISS 989 and DISS 990; however, students will need to complete DISS 989 a minimum of two times. The dissertation phase of the program requires that students maintain continuous enrollment through spring, fall and summer semesters until all of the requirements have been completed. Students must complete the degree’s courses with no grade lower than a “B-”. To graduate, students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students may transfer a maximum of 15 credits from a previous regionally accredited Ph.D. program.

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    Program Details

    Degree Level: Doctorate

    Delivery Format: 100% Online

    Accelerated Degree:

    Accreditation & Licensing

    Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. This is the regional accrediting body for southern states.


    Students must have earned a bachelor’s and masters degree from either a regionally or nationally accredited academic institution with a minimum GPA of 3.25.
    Submit official transcripts including a Seminary degree in either Master of Divinity, Master of Theology with thesis, or Master of Arts with a thesis.
    Submit TOEFL scores.
    Submit MAT or GRE scores.

    School Overview

    Training Champions for Christ since 1971

    We are committed to helping you achieve your goals and complete your degree as quickly as possible. One of our Admissions Counselors is ready to assist you with this process. Here is what you can expect from us:

    • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.*
    • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
    • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.

    *excludes licensure, certification, and some doctoral programs

    Benefits of Attending Liberty University

    • No standardized testing if you meet admission requirements.
    • Credit for prior training, certification, licensure, experience, and learning, and more such as:

    - Military

    - Real Estate

    - Insurance

    - Emergency Response

    • Courses taught from a Christian worldview.
    • 8 start dates a year, with an 8 week course format.

    Financing Options

    Financial Aid

    • 87% of all Liberty students in an online program are awarded financial aid.

    Tuition discounts for 

    • Military service members, including active duty, retired, veterans, and their spouses.
    • Emergency Response Personnel

    Corporate Tuition Assistance

    • Deferred – If you company reimburses you for the cost of your education, you submit your grades to your employer who pays you, and then you pay for your classes.

    Other convenient payment options are available


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