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Office of Admissions
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Evanston, IL 60201

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History of Christianity and Historical Theology


The PhD in History of Christianity and Historical Theology primarily prepares persons for teaching in theological seminaries and undergraduate church-related colleges, as well as for denominational leadership, and productive scholarship. This Concentration focuses upon historical themes, issues, and methodologies.  Students in the program will study a major historical emphasis, such as Christian origins and the Early church; the Reformations in Europe; the rise of the Reformation and the Wesleyan movement in England;  the period of US Christian history; Wesleyan and Methodist Studies.  Within these, more delimited time periods and subjects/themes would be selected for study and research, to include social context, theological developments, and key ecclesiastical and social issues.  The program allows students to minor in another theological discipline, or earn the seminary’s certificate in African American Studies.


Admission Requirements:

  • Masters degree in religious or theological studies from an accredited college or university.
  • Proficiency in the English language. Applicants for whom English is not their first language will be required to give evidence of such competence (demonstrated by a TOEFL score).

 A completed application consists of:

  • Application
  • Research statement
  • Professional experience/Resume
  • Writing sample (15 pages)
  • 3 letters of reference
  • Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score
  • Transcripts from all institutions attended
  • $75 application fee
  • Background check (conducted by the seminary, may take up to two weeks to complete)
  • Additional financial and church documents are required of international students in order to satisfy interrnal and federal requirements.

The admissions committee reserves the right to determine in its sole judgment whether an applicant is a suitable candidate for a specific concentration in the Ph.D. program.


PhD (H) Degree - 40 semester hours
H Degree Grid

  • 7 semester hours of core courses required of all PhD students
  • 24 semester hours in the major in Historical Studies
  • 9 hours in a minor field of study
  • At least two languages, ordinarily one from each of the following categories: 
    a) Latin, Greek, or Hebrew 
    b) French, German, or Spanish
  • 4 written qualifying examinations and an oral examination
    Among the three written exams in historical studies.
  • Dissertation proposal
  • Dissertation



Courses in the Concentration:

  • Life in the Early Church
  • Life in the Medieval Church
  • Christology and Trinity in the Early Church
  • Christianity and Culture in the Roman Empire
  • Ecclesiastical Latin
  • Topics in the History of Christian Thought
  • African American Religious History
  • Religion and the American Way
  • The Tasks of History
  • Christian Social and Political Thought: Topics
  • War and Peace
  • City of God
  • Introduction to Global Christianity


Core Program Faculty

Anna Johnson

Anna Marie Johnson

Assistant Professor of Reformation History

Select Bibliography
“Introduction for Martin Luther's Prefaces to the Postils of Antonius Corvinus,” in  American Edition of Luther's Works, volume 59.  Concordia (forthcoming.)

Entries on Anfechtung, Astrology, Gabriel Biel, Lucas Cranach, Diet of Worms, Desiderius Erasmus, Frederick the Wise, Humanism, Indulgences, Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt, Leipzig Disputation and Witchcraft in Companion to Reformation Theology, David Whitford, ed.,T&T Clark  (forthcoming).

Translation of “Martin Luther Reconsidered for 2017,” by Volker Leppin, in Lutheran Quarterly, Vol. 22 No. 4 (Winter 2008): 373-386.

Larry Murphy

Larry Murphy

Professor of the History of Christianity

Select Bibliography
Sojourner Truth: A Biography.  Greenwood Press, 2011.

“‘Good Religion’ and the Quest for Constructive Inter-Religious Dialogue,” in Kenneth L. Vaus and K.K. Yeo, eds., The Theology of Light and Sight:  An Interfaith Perspective.  Wipf  & Stock,  2011.

“Piety and Liberation: An Historical Exploration of African American Religion and Social Justice,” in Iva E. Carruthers, et.al., eds., Blow the Trumpet in Zion: Global Vision and Action for the 21st-Century Black Church.  Fortress Press, 2005.

African-American Faith in America. New York: Facts on File. 2003.

"W.E.B. DuBois and the Souls of Black Folk: A Commentary," in: AME Church Review, Vol.CXIX, April-June, 2003.

editor, Down by the Riverside: Readings in African American Religion. New York University Press, 2000.

Jim Papandrea

Jim Papandrea

Associate Professor of Church History

Select Bibliography
Reading the Early Church Fathers: From the Didache to Nicaea.  Paulist Press, 2012.

“Novatian” in Encyclopedia of Ancient History.  Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.

Novatian of Rome and the Culmination of Pre-Nicene Orthodoxy.  Pickwick Publications, Princeton Monograph Series, 2011.

The Wedding of the Lamb: A Historical Approach to the Book of Revelation.  Pickwick Publications, 2011.

“Between Two Thieves: Novatian of Rome and Kenosis Christology” in If These Stones Could Speak… Studies on Patristic Texts and Archaeology: Essays in Honor of Dennis E. Groh. The Edwin Mellen Press, 2009.

The Trinitarian Theology of Novatian of Rome: A Study in Third Century Orthodoxy.  The Edwin Mellen Press, 2008.


Affiliated Faculty from Cognate Disciplines


 Mark Teasdale

Mark Teasdale

E. Stanley Jones Assistant Professor of Evangelism

Select Bibliography
Articles “Saint Sava” and “Serbian Christianity,” in Blackwell Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization, 2008.

“Peter Cartwright and the Emerging National Identity in Antebellum America,” in Methodist History vol. 46, no. 2, Jan. 2008

Solicited Book Review on Gibbs, Eddie and Ryan K. Bolger, Emerging Churches: Creating Christian Community in Postmodern Cultures.  Baker Academic, 2005.Journal of the Academy for Evangelism in Theological Education vol. 22, 2006 – 2007.

Solicited Book Review on Raschke, Carl, The Next Reformation: Why Evangelicals Must Embrace Postmodernity , in Journal of the Academy for Evangelism in Theological Education vol. 21, 2005 – 2006.

Barry Bryant copy

Barry Bryant

Associate Professor of Wesleyan and United Methodist Studies

Select Bibliography
"The Israeli-Palestinian Situation: Theological Explorations" and "Reflections of a Recovered Christian Zionist" Quarterly Review, Spring 2005

Presidential address, "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: Conflict of Values?" Wesley Philosophical Society, March 2004

"Class Leaders, Pastoral Care, and Christian Formation," in Discipleship Quarterly 18 (2003) 3:6-7

"Trinity, Technology, and the Meaning of Personhood," in Memphis Theological Seminary Journal, 38(2002)1:5-17

Henk Pieterse

Hendrik Pieterse

Associate Professor of Global Christianity and World Religions

Select Bibliography
“Die Gastfreundschaft Gottes leben,” in Michael Nausner, ed., Kirchliches Leben in methodistische Tradition: Perspektiven aus drei Kontinenten. Reutlinger Theologische Studien Band 6.  Edition Ruprecht, 2009.Opting for the Margins, Again: Recovering an Episcopal Initiative.   General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, The United Methodist Church, 2007); also available online: http://www.gbhem.org/site/c.lsKSL3POLvF/b.3470795/k.A280/Publications.htm.

“In Search of a Nation: Nation Building in the New South Africa.” Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Comparative Studies, Volume 8 (February 2002). Web: http://www.safundi.com.

“Neopragmatism and the Christian Desire for a Transcendent God: Is a Dialogue Possible?” Essays in Philosophy: A Biannual Journal, Volume 3, Number 2, 2002. Web: http://www.humboldt.edu/~essays.

“Rorty among the Theologians: The Possibility of Theology after the New Historicism.” Published in Charley D. Hardwick and Donald A. Crosby (eds.), Pragmatism, Neo-Pragmatism, and Religion: Conversations with Richard Rorty.  Peter Lang, 1997.

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students from a wide range of faith traditions.